‘Heneral Luna’ picked as PH’s 2016 Oscars bet
Jerrold Tarog’s “Heneral Luna” is the country’s bet to the 2016 Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film category, Film Academy of the Philippines (FAP) director general Leo Martinez announced on Monday afternoon.
The committee tasked to pick the Philippine representative to the Oscars is headed by filmmaker Mel Chionglo. Its members are actors Lorna Tolentino and Michael de Mesa, cinematographer Lee Meiley, directors Joe Carreon and Boy Vinarao, and academician Rolando Tolentino.
The award is handed out annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to full-length feature films produced outside the United States that contains primarily non-English dialogue.
Chionglo said six films were shortlisted and among the top contenders were Brillante Ma. Mendoza’s “Taklub” and Carlitos Siguinon-Reyna’s “Hari ng Tondo.”
Chionglo said that while there were others considered “equally worthy of being our Oscar representative,” he pointed out that the committee members were “almost unanimous” in choosing “Heneral Luna” because “it is very good—very well directed and acted,” Chionglo stressed.
John Arcilla plays General Antonio Luna who led the fight against Spanish colonizers under the revolutionary government of Emilio Aguinaldo.
“We looked beyond the infighting of a people while under foreign rule. We commended the Filipinos’ struggle to be brave,” Chionglo told the Inquirer. “Never mind the alleged aggressive personality of Luna, this film shows the courage of Filipinos to fight for their freedom. This shows a positive picture of the Filipino. It depicts values that we think should appeal internationally.”
Chionglo added: “Luna was supposed to have been a great general. What the film is telling its viewers is that it is also important to look at our past, especially those of our real-life heroes and of what they have done for the country.”
“Heneral Luna,” produced by Artikulo Uno Productions, reportedly cost a whopping P80 million. It premiered in local theaters on Sept. 9. “If the producers were able to come up with a film that costs this much to make, then they should be able to have at least a good fighting chance at being nominated. This could be our shot at winning an Academy award.” With AJH/INQUIRER.net
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