‘Bwakaw’ gears up for Oscars
‘It’s a huge honor … It’s going to be a lot of work, but nothing that we can’t handle,’ says director Jun LanaBy Marinel R. Cruz
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Its “very Filipino theme with a universal effect” helped pave the way for Jun Lana’s acclaimed drama, “Bwakaw,” to be chosen as the country’s entry in the best foreign language film category of next year’s 85th Oscar awards.
This was according to director-scriptwriter Jose Carreon, who is a member of the seven-man screening committee formed by the Film Academy of the Philippines (FAP)—the group tasked to select the local entry to the Oscars.
“Bwakaw” is the story of a gay octogenarian named Rene (Eddie Garcia) and his pet dog.
“It’s a huge honor … I know it’s going to be a lot of work but nothing we can’t handle,” Lana told the Inquirer.
He added: “We have a worldwide sales agent, Fortissimo Films, to back us up, and APT Films, my coproducer, is already experienced in this area, having campaigned for Soxie Topacio’s ‘Ded Na Si Lolo’ a few years ago.”
Next month, “Bwakaw” will be showcased at the New York 2012 International Film Fest and will compete at the Hawaii Fest.
Lana, who will attend the New York fest with Garcia, said: “It’s perfect timing to kick off our Oscar campaign. From New York, I’m heading straight to two more film fests and I think they’re fantastic opportunities to raise more awareness about our film.”
According to Carreon, “Bwakaw” was chosen from a short list of eight films because “it presents serious topics, such as old age and death, in a light manner.”
He added that the committee members were also “impressed” with the performances of Garcia, Rez Cortez, Armida Siguion-Reyna and the dog Princess.
Every country is allowed to submit an entry through a local organization or group accredited by the US Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. The foreign language film award committee of the Oscars chooses five nominees through secret balloting.
“It’s the first time that a film I was in will be sent to the Oscars for consideration,” Garcia said. “If it makes it to the finals, well and good.”
“Bwakaw” won the best actor award for Garcia, audience choice and Netpac awards in this year’s Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival.
The film was screened at the recently concluded Toronto International Film Festival in Canada under the contemporary world cinema category.
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