ARTLET ALUMNA’S Sunday Beauty Queen bagged four awards, including Best Picture, in the Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) 2016 Gabi ng Parangal held Dec. 29.
The documentary directed by Journalism alumna Baby Ruth Villarama-Gutierrez also won Best Editing, Children’s Choice Award, and the Gatpuno Antonio J. Villegas Cultural Award, which is given to the film that best showcased the Filipino culture to the world.
Sunday Beauty Queen follows the lives of domestic helpers in Hong Kong who spend their Sundays off participating in beauty pageants. The pageants help them uplift themselves and raise funds for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in need.
Moreover, the documentary—first of its kind to compete in the annual film festival—featured the sacrifices done by OFWs for their families.
“There is a need to level the perception of people on different things. Filipinos have grown apathetic about many issues amongst us,” said Gutierrez, who dedicated the film to her mother who was once a domestic helper.
The film’s victory sent out the message of “breaking the mentality of exclusivity” in the film industry, which Gutierrez claimed has been “exclusive for big studios.”
“No matter where you come from, no matter what form you do as a filmmaker, as long as you have a powerful [and] great story to tell, you have a place with your audience,” she told the Flame in an online exchange.
“I hope it gives filmmakers the inspiration and encouragement they need to make more developmental stories,” she added.
MMFF is an annual film festival which aims to “celebrate Filipino’s artistic excellence and champion the sustainability of the Philippine movie industry.” F VANN MARLO M. VILLEGAS