Fresh from rave reviews from its Japan and Estonia premieres, Fan Girl, the latest film from Antoinette Jadaone, became the most decorated entry at the 2020 edition of the annual Metro Manila Film Festival Gabi Ng Parangal, which was held virtually for the first time.
The “dark film,” which is about every fan girl’s fantasy of spending a night with their biggest celebrity idol, walked home bagged eight major awards plus a special award for its virtual float.
Produced by ABS-CBN Films’ Black Sheep, Globe Studios, Project 8, Epicmedia, and Crossword Production, the film sees the performances from newcomer Charlie Dizon and award-winning actor Paulo Avelino, who plays himself.
During the virtual awards night, Charlie was the last person to win bagging the Best Actress plum following Paulo’s victory in the Best Actor in the Leading Role category. In the Best Actress race, the young star edged out screen veterans Nora Aunor (Isa Pang Bahaghari), Sylvia Sanchez (Coming Home), Ritz Azul (The Missing), and Iza Calzado (Tagpuan).
“To see my name alongside these amazing actors is already a huge honor,” Charlie told Manila Standard Entertainment in a virtual interview.
In Fan Girl, Charlie essays the character Jane, a 16-year-old girl obsessed with a movie actor played by Paulo.
Speaking to Manila Standard during its virtual victory conference, Antoinette Jadaone shared that the film was brought about the political climate that we were in while doing the film. They started developing the story in 2016.
“It was a different story then but medyo coming-of-age na rin pero mas papunta siya ng romance. This movie talks to all the fans, not just to the fans of showbiz personalities. Pwede kang maging fan ng teacher mo, K-dramas, athletes at lalong lalo na pwede kang maging fan ng mga politiko,” she said.
“What started as just a story of celebrity fan culture, it was actually what we had in mind at the start, yung director statement ko noong 2016 was about celebrity fans lang but later on nag-evolve siya na hindi lang pala to sa entertainment industry natin. Mas about pala siya sa ibang klaseng idolatry,” she carried on.
For Charlie, the message of the film is very clear, “never meet your idol.”
“This is a caution, which is also the tagline of the film. Celebrities are humans, too. And not everything we see on television or in film truly represents what celebrities are in real life. Siguro, for fans, it’s better not to have close contact with their idols para mapreserve ang image na meron sila sa kanilang idol,” Charlie shared in an exclusive interview with the author.
Meanwhile, for Paulo, the MMFF Best Actor recognition, his first since he started in showbiz, is some sort of validation.
“MMFF has more mileage since it’s the biggest festival in the country. I hope, this award can inspire other actors to look for material that would challenge them,” the award-winning noted.
According to Antoinette Jadaone, she and her team, despite already dominating the awards show with their Best Film and Best Director wins, were nervous during the announcement for the Best Actor and Best Actress categories.
“We really wanted to win those awards. Magwawala kame kapag hindi sila nanalo,” the film director said in jest.
“I know the kind of effort they exerted for this film as actors. It’s really hard for them to do this film. They are all praises to Charlie. That’s given when you watch the film but I think much should also be given to Paulo. His decision to take on the role and put his name and reputation, and his image and branding on the line, I think is already a shoo-in for best actor,” the MMFF 2020 Best Director ended.
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