BACOLOD CITY–The Negrense film ‘Magikland’ directed by Christian Acuña was a huge winner at the virtual Gabi ng Parangal of the Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) 2020 last Saturday, December 26, bringing home six awards, including one for one of its producers, the late Peque Gallega.
The Best Musical Score was awarded to Emerzon Texon, Best Visual Effects to Richard Francia and Ryan Grimarez/Central Digital Lab, and Best Production Design to production designer Ericson Navarro.
‘Magikland’ also garnered the Best Virtual Float as well as the FPJ Memorial Awards.
Gallaga received the Special Jury Prize, which, since 2016, is among the special awards given annually.
The movie inspired by Negros folklore and by a theme park in Silay City, Negros Occidental, bearing the same name took almost two years to complete on a budget of P150 million.
Former Negros Rep. Albee Benitez’s Brightlight Productions and the other producers, Rey Bantug and Lore Reyes, produced the fantasy/adventure film that features state-of-the-art CGI (computer-generated imagery).
Set in present times, the movie sees four young friends transported to a fantasy world with the same name as a popular mobile game via a portal. In this other dimension, they encounter a villain that seeks to control Magikland, and all four work together to try to save it.
The main cast includes Miggs Cuaderno as Boy Bakunawa, Elijah Alejo as Mara Marapara, Princess Rabara as Pat Patag, and Josh Eugenio as Kit Kanlaon.
The supporting cast also boasts of heavyweights in the movie industry, including Jaclyn Jose, Jun Urbano, Bibeth Orteza, Jackielou Blanco, Cherie Gil, and Rowell Santiago.
During the film’s special screening attended by select members of the media on Wednesday, December 23, Gallaga’s family and friends became emotional, pointing out how he had not even witnessed his final project. Toward the end, the audience erupted in applause when a hologram of the much-respected, multi-awarded film-maker took a final bow.
Bacolod-born Gallaga, whose full name was Maurice Ruiz de Luzuriaga Gallaga, died on May 7, 2020, when the movie was only about 80% complete.
‘Magikland’ is available here starting December 25 and will be in theaters in January 2021./(Eugene Y. Adiong/INews-Bacolod/Negros Bureau)