Edwin (Indonesia, Blindpig Who Wants to Fly), Arlene Cuevas (Philippines, Producer) and myself watched 12 hours of Philippine films at Cinemanila. It wasn’t too difficult to decide the winners. We gave the awards to the following films. The prize giving ceremony was at the Malacanang Palace, the the filmmakers were given the awards by the President Gloria Arroyo herself. Will post pictures of that ceremony soon. Don’t mind the citations, they were written to be read slowly.
ISHMAEL BERNAL AWARD Surreal random MMS Texts Para Ed Ina, Agui, Tan Kaamong Ya Makaiiliw Ed Sika: Gurgurlis Ed Banua
We found Christopher Gozum’s flm inspiring. He was able to combine the beauty of Carlos Bulasan’s poetry with minimalist and random images of LCD screens, daily life, creating rhythm light and sound from them to convey the longing and displacement of a Filipino working in the Middle East. Revelatory and humbling, we hope this award will encourage the director to continue his quest of mapping the Pinoy heart through film.
BEST SHORT FILM Tumbang Preso
We applaud the film Tumbang Preso for the clever use of one set of dialogue to contrast and parallel the world of Estong as a child and Estong as a grown-up. The director understands the short film medium and has the discipline to work within the limitations of it to produce a fun and very watchable short film.
BEST DOCUMENTARY Marlon
We award the Best Documentary award to Marlon for giving a fresh look on the subject of blindness.
We applaud the directors or their sharp eye for details, their patience and their restraint. They let the mundane details of the daily life of a poor blind boy speak to the audience directly but quietly. For trusting these details to resonate with the audience universally and…for not exploiting a subject that could be easily exploited.