Cinemanila winners, filmmakers lauded

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TENG Mangansakan. Photo by Rodel Rotoni

Movie director Tikoy Aguiluz, also founder of the annual Cinemanila International Film Festival, paid tribute to this year’s participating filmmakers during the awards ceremony held on Saturday night at the Bonifacio High Street Central Amphitheater in Taguig City.

“We never offered any grants, nor gave a P500,000 subsidy. We don’t even give cash prizes like we used to, but still they made their films and submitted them to Cinemanila. Tonight is all about these filmmakers,” Aguiluz said during his welcome speech.

TIKOY Aguiluz, Cinemanila International Film Festival founder. Photo by Rodel Rotoni

“We’ve always wanted to do and show a good film, and whether there’s an audience for them or not, we never seemed to care,” he pointed out. “We always thought that if we show a good film, the audience will come.”

Teng Mangansakan’s “Obscured Histories and Silent Longings of Daguluan’s Children” bagged this year’s Lino Brocka Grand Prize for the Digital Lokal category. Mangansakan also brought home the best director honor. The grand jury prize in this category went to Arnel Mardoquio’s “Ang Paglalakbay ng Mga Bituin sa Gabing Madilim.”

In the Young Cinema category, Carl Joseph Papa’s “Ang Prinsesa, Ang Prinsipe at si Marlborita” was the best short film winner, while Bienvenido Ferrer III was the recipient of the Ishmael Bernal award for his work on “Kabilang Dulo.”

NOEL Cabangon performs at the Cinemanila awards night.. Photo by Rodel Rotoni

For the international competition category, Kang Yi-kwan’s “Juvenile Offender” bagged the Lino Brocka Grand Prize. See Young-ju was chosen best actor for his work in this South Korean drama.

The grand jury prize went to James Lee’s “If It’s Not Now, Then When?” of Malaysia.

Oula Hamadeh copped the best actress award for her performance in the Maryan Najafi film “Kayan,” which represented Iran, Canada and Lebanon.

ARLYN dela Cruz. Photo by Rodel Rotoni

The best director honor in this category was shared by Carlos Reygadas for “Post Tenebras Luz” (Mexico) and Nawapol Thomrangrattanarit for “36” (Malaysia).

The late Filipino directors Marilou Diaz-Abaya and Celso Ad. Castillo, as well as the late Italian filmmaker-producer Sergio Leone, were the recipients of this year’s Lifetime Achievement awards (posthumous).

The same honor was also bestowed upon the Malaysian production firm Sahamongkol Film International. Malaysian Panu Aree, a jury member for the international competition category, accepted the award in behalf of the film outfit.

EDUARDO Alajar. Photo by Rodel Rotoni

Other members of the international competition jury board were Arlyn dela Cruz and Eduardo Alajar. Jury members for the Digital Lokal category were Jo Ji-hoon, Mike Rapatan and Prabda Yoon. The jury board for the Young Cinema category was composed of Aki Isoyama, Antoinette Jadaone and Raymond Lee.

‘Harana-inspired’

AKI Isoyama. Photo by Rodel Rotoni

“The jury members have traveled from different parts of the world just to participate in this festival because for the past 14 years, we have shown the kind of movies they all like to see—works of young filmmakers who we think are ground-breaking,” Aguiluz said.

The awards show was a “harana-inspired” red carpet event, hosted by actor Archie Adamos and Miss World 2011 first runner-up Gwendolyn Ruais. Benito Bautista’s documentary “Harana,” about the dying Filipino tradition of serenading, was screened after the ceremony. Filipino folk singer and composer Noel Cabangon was one of the performers.

Thomrangrattanarit’s “36,” this year’s closing film, was screened at the Market! Market! Cinemas on Dec. 10.

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