Muro Ami

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Muro Ami (Reef Hunters)
GMA Films' Muro Ami (Reef Hunters)
Directed by Marilou Diaz-Abaya
Screenplay by Ricardo Lee and Jun Lana
Story by Marilou Diaz-Abaya
Starring Ceisar Montano as Fredo
Pen Medina as Dado
Amy Austria as Susan
Jhong Hilario as Botong
Rebecca Lusterio as Kalbo/Amy
Cinematography Rody Lacap
Edited by Jesus Navarro
Distributed by GMA Films
Release dates
  • 25 December 1999 (1999-12-25)
Running time
120 minutes
Country Philippines
Language Tagalog

Muro Ami (Reef-Hunters) is a Filipino film that depicts one of the worst forms of child labor in the illegal fishing system. The film follows the story of Fredo, a ruthless captain of 150 Muro Ami divers, who employ illegal fishing practices, such as pounding and crushing corals to scare fish, driving them towards the nets. With a high quota to meet, Fredo forces the divers, who consist mostly of children, to accomplish at least eight dives a day to meet their goal before the millennium. Tired and harassed after the burdensome task being given to them, the children have to make do in subhuman conditions in the Muro Ami boat, The Aurora. They sleep in rat-infested bunks and are fed only twice a day. Life above the water in the boat is much worse than the suffering the children encounter beneath the sea. For every dive, a child's life is perilously in danger.

On January 22, 2008, filmmaker Nick Deocampo, Director of the Movie Workers Welfare Foundation (Mowelfund) announced the holding of a Ricardo Lee Film Festival from February 4 to 10, 2008 – the World Arts Festival under Mayor Tito Sarion, in Daet city, Camarines Norte. Lee's scripts became Philippine cinema classics of Philippine cinema, which made the 2nd golden age of 1980 Filipino movies. 5 films will be shown in the festival: Gina Alajar's "Salome," "Anak," "Muro Ami," "Gumapang Ka sa Lusak", and "Memories of Old Manila".[1]

Awards and citations[edit]

Winner of thirteen awards of its sixteen nominations at the 1999 Metro Manila Film Festival including Best Child Performer (Rebecca Lusterio), Best Story (Marilou Diaz-Abaya, Ricardo Lee, Jun Lana), Best Screenplay (Ricardo Lee and Jun Lana), Best Director (Marilou Diaz-Abaya) and Best Picture. It also received the Jury and Public Choice Award in the Bénodet Filmfest in France.


Direction: Marilou Diaz-Abaya
Screenplay: Ricardo Lee and Jun Lana
Cinematography: Rody Lacap
Film Editing: Jesus Navarro
Production Design: Leo Abaya
Art Direction: Bonna Fajardo and Mannix Mateo
Music: Nonong Buencamino
Producers: Butch Jimenez, Jimmy Duavit, Marilou Diaz-Abaya



Year Award-Giving Body Category Recipient Result
1999 Metro Manila Film Festival [2] Best Picture Muro Ami Won
Best Director Marilou Diaz-Abaya Won
Best Supporting Actor Pen Medina Won
Best Cinematography Rody Lacap Won
Best Prodcution Design Leo Abaya Won
Best Editing Jess Navarro and Manet Dayrit Won
Best Child Performer Rebecca Lusterio Won
Best Original Story Marilou Diaz-Abaya, Ricardo Lee and Jun Lana Won
Best Screenplay Ricardo Lee and Jun Lana Won
Best Musical Score Nonong Buencamino Won
Best Visual Effects Marc Ambat (Optima Digital) Won
Best Sound Recording Albert Michael Idioma Won
Gatpuno Antonio J. Villegas Cultural Awards Muro Ami Won

See also[edit]

External links[edit]