The winner of this year's Crystal Bear Award for Best Feature Film at the Kinderfilmfest of the Berlin Film Festival is a heartwarming fable about the redemptive power of selfless gestures. In a poor village outside of Manila, nine-year-old Magnifico does his best to bring joy to his family despite difficult circumstances. His sister is handicapped, his brother just dropped out of college, his parents struggle to make ends meet, and his grandmother thinks the end is near. But Magnifico remains optimistic. He secretly prepares for his grandmother's death by tailoring a dress for her and building and painting a beautiful coffin. He takes his sister to a street festival, which pleases her so much that she actually speaks for the first time. Time and again, Magnifico's kindly actions help his loved ones rise above the squalid conditions in which they live -- until an unexpected tragedy changes everything.
Maryo J. de los Reyes was born on October 12, 1952, in Sta. Cruz, Manila, Philippines. When he reached high school, he decided to give the priesthood a chance, graduating from Our Lady of Guadalupe Minor Seminary. His dream of being a director never left him, so he enrolled at the Institute of Mass Communications of the University of the Philippines where he graduated with honors. While in school, he became active with PETA, the country's premiere theater group in the seventies. He then became the creative head of Agrix Films where he directed High School Circa '65, his first directorial venture in 1979. He received nominations for his work on this film. Since then, he has directed 56 feature films, several television programs and specials, commercials, and stage plays. His filmography includes Diosa (Goddess) (1985), My Other Woman (1990), Bedtime Stories (2002), and Laman (Flesh) (2002).