Two Filipino directors almost did not make it to the
awarding ceremony of Dekada Cinemanila because of the strict dress code at
Malacañang Palace. Carnivore director Ato Bautista and Brillante "Dante"
Mendoza were initially forbidden to enter the Rizal Hall although they were in Barong Tagalog and a formal suit. Direk Ato was wearing blue maong pants while Direk
Dante was wearing rubber shoes that day. After some discussion, they were given
permission to enter and Direk Ato's film ended up receiving two awards that
President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo handed out the bulol
trophies during the awarding ceremonies of Dekada Cinemanila yesterday,
The President was joined by Cinemanila International Film Festival
(CIFF) festival director Amable "Tikoy" Aguiluz VI, National Commission for
Culture and the Arts (NCCA) chairperson and Department of Education
Undersecretary Vilma Labrador, and NCCA executive director Cecile Guidote
In her speech, Usec. Labrador pointed out that workshops of
Cinemanila will become the basis of media arts modules that will benefit media
Direk Tikoy also gave a speech wherein he reminisced about
the early days of Cinemanila, when they were still having difficulty choosing
locally-produced films that could compete with international filmmakers.
"Our aim was to show films from all over the world and at
the same time, we plan to show Filipino films to the world. That has been our
mission from the very beginning: to promote Philippine cinema to the world
audience and promote world cinema to the Philippine audience. The face of
Filipino cinema has changed dramatically over the years. Now, we have ten films
and it is so hard to choose which to include in the international competition.
"In 2001, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo graced our awarding ceremony in
Makati and for the last three years, she has been hosting the awarding ceremony
in Malacañang. And that's a statement—it's telling everyone that there is support
for the young filmmakers. Our objective is really to help young filmmakers and
create an environment so they can grow and fulfill their destiny of reviving
the stature of the Philippines as the center of Southeast Asian cinema."
Most of the winners were unable to
personally receive their awards. Among those who attended were Kenneth
Moraleda, winner of Vic Silayan Best Actor award for Lucky Miles and
Sherad Anthony Sanchez, recipient of the Lino Brocka Grand Prize for his film Imburnal.
Direk Ato's film Carnivore earned for him the Best Director Award. His
lead actor, Carlo Aquino, bagged the Best Actor award in the Digital Lokal
competition while Jodi Sta. Maria of the period film Sisa bagged the
Best Actress award. Both Carlo and Jodi were not present at the awarding.
Despite experiencing delays when the movie was rated X by
the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board, Next Attraction bagged
the Lino Brocka Grand Jury Prize in the Digital Lokal competition. Directed by
Raya Martin, this indie film starring Coco Martin and Paolo Rivera was deemed
unfit for public viewing because of the kissing scene between the two men. The
producers of the film appealed the decision of the MTRCB.
Adela, directed by Adolf Alix Jr., bested six other
entries for the Best Actress category of the Southeast Asian competition. PEP
(Philippine Entertainment Portal) was able to interview the lead star Ms. Anita
Linda on the phone right after the awarding ceremony. (Click here for related article)
"I don't know what to say...Nagbiro pa ako kay Arleen Cuevas
[producer of the film] na kapag nanalo ako, siya ang kumuha ng award," said the
"I am proud na kahit maraming kalaban, akalain mo
yun...international pa ang mga kalaban. Salamat at kahit na tumatanda na ako,
then suddenly this happened...It's like being reborn again, it's like a rebirth.
I'm proud as a Filipino to be chosen for our country."
Later, she added with a chuckle: "Pagbaba ko ng telepono, ibabalita ko sa lahat ng
kamag-anak ko na nanalo ako!"
Ang Manghuhula star Glaiza de Castro and Ana Capri also attended the
hour-long awarding ceremony that marks the tenth anniversary of Cinemanila.