Martial law film bags four awards from Cinema One
Filmmaker Sari Lluch Dalena says she was surprised that her work, “Ka Oryang,” about female political detainees during martial law in the Philippines, won best picture at the 7th Cinema One Originals Film Festival.
The awards night was held on Sunday at the RCBC Theater in Makati City.
Dalena, known for her short films and documentaries, also won best director.
“The other entries were equally excellent,” Dalena told Inquirer Entertainment shortly after the awards show. “It’s very hard to create a historical film, especially for someone like me who is not used to making narratives. I’m lucky that the Cinema One team allowed experimentation.”
In 2005, Dalena codirected with her husband Keith Sicat the film “Rigodon,” about the spiritual journey of three immigrant Filipinos in New York. Her other works include the 2001 docu “Memories of a Forgotten War” and the 2011 short film “Pangako.”
Dalena said she made “Ka Oryang” to coincide with the 40th anniversary of martial law next year. “It’s just now that I’m discovering the atrocities done to a lot of women at that time. Some of them were even my mother’s friends.”
“Ka Oryang,” with Alessandra de Rossi in the lead role, won a total of four awards, including best cinematography for Neil Daza and Kiri Dalena. Another member of “Ka Oryang’s” production team, Teresa Barrozo, shared the best musical score award with Ronald de Asis, who was honored for his work on Earl Bontuyan’s “Sa Ilalim ng Tulay.”
But it was Antoinette Jadaone’s mockumentary, “Six Degrees of Separation from Lilia Cuntapay,” which brought home the most number of awards at six, including audience choice, which came with a P100,000 cash prize.
The story of a bit player who gets nominated for an acting award for the first time in her 30-year show biz career, “Six Degress” stars Lilia Cuntapay who won best actress along with Maricar Reyes, who was cited for her performance in Dennis Marasigan’s “Anatomiya ng Korupsiyon.”
Typecast as ghost
Often cast as a witch or a ghost in horror films, Cuntapay pointed out that she has also acted in war movies and even appeared in nude scenes in the past. At age 75, she said she’s ecstatic to have finally received an award. “I hope to receive more movie and TV offers after this,” she quipped.
“Six Degrees” also won best screenplay for Jadaone and best supporting actress for Geraldine Villamil. It also shared the special jury prize with Ivy Universe Baldoza’s “Mga Anino sa Tanghaling Tapat.”
Leo Valencia (“Six Degrees”) shared the best editing award with Ruben Aquino, who was recognized for his work on Victor Villanueva’s “My Paranormal Romance.”
A horror-comedy film about a teenage girl who possesses the mystical third eye, “My Paranormal Romance” also got a special citation for first-time director Villanueva. The film, featuring Phoebe Kaye Fernandez and Van Roxas, also won best production design for Kaloy Uypangco.
Bong Cabrera won best actor for “Sa Ilalim ng Tulay,” where he played an Aeta who is uprooted from his simple life after the Mt. Pinatubo eruption.
Cabrera said: “I had a major makeover for this part. I had to darken my skin color and perm my hair to look like an Aeta. But the most challenging part was learning the language. It helped that I had a language coach. I didn’t want to appear like an actor who was merely hired to speak and look like an Aeta. ”
First-time actor Michael Bonapos, who plays Cabrera’s son in the film, won best supporting actor. The jury also found Jojit Lorenzo deserving of the same award for his work on “Anatomiya ng Korupsiyon.”
The jury was composed of filmmakers Chito Roño and Chris Martinez, critics Nicanor Tiongson and Dr. Benilda Santos, Hong Kong filmfest program consultant Raymond Phatanaviarangoon and Cannes International Film Festival executive director (for film) Christian Jeune.
Special citations were also given to young actors John Paul Escobedo, Jeremie Cercenia, Zanderson Vicente and Alfredo Ubera Jr. for their ensemble performance in the Mes de Guzman drama “Sa Kanto ng Langit at Lupa.”
Standing ovations greeted the country’s superstar Nora Aunor and writer-director Mario O’Hara who received their Originals in Philippine Cinema (lifetime achievement award) trophies for their contributions to local independent cinema.
The weeklong festival at Shangri-La Cineplex in Mandaluyong City ended on Tuesday.
The awards show airs on Cinema One channel tonight at 11, Nov. 19 at 11 p.m. and Nov. 27 at 10 p.m.
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