"Donsol" to represent the Philippines at the Oscars

Sid Lucero and Angel Aquino star in the Grade "A" movie Donsol,which will vie for a slot in theForeign Language Film category of the 80th AnnualAcademy Awards.

A love story set in the picturesque province of Donsol,Sorsogon, is the official Philippine entry to the 80th Annual Academy Awards tobe held in February 2008. Starring Angel Aquino and Sid Lucero, Donsol hasbeen chosen to vie for the Oscar award in the Best Foreign Language Filmcategory.

The directorial debut of Adolf Alix, Jr. premiered duringthe 2006 Cinemalaya PhilippineIndependent Film Festival where it won Best Cinematography and Best Actress forAngel Aquino.

Donsol tells the story of two people who meet andfall in love at a time when the butanding (whale sharks) visit Sorsogon, whichis located at the southeasternpart of the Bicol Peninsula. Teresa (Angel) is abreast cancer patient who becomes attracted to Daniel (Sid), a ButandingInteraction Officer who guides tourists in the province.

Thisindie film features the parallelisms between the two characters'love story and the migration patterns of the whale sharks. Locally known asbutanding, whale sharks are migratory animals that frequent the turquoisewaters of this province from November to May.

During the story conference of his latest film Nars heldlast night, September 20, at the Thompson Square in Tomas Morato Ave, Quezon City, Adolf gladlytold PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal) the good news.

"Nalaman ko lang yesterday na ang official submission ngPhilippines for the Academy Awards for the Foreign Language Film is Donsol.Actually, nakakatuwa. Hindi ko in-expect. Medyo in the middle nga ako of twofilms, nagpo-post-production ako ng Tambolista [for Cinema OneOriginals] and itong Nars mag-i-start na sa Saturday so in between maymagandang news lang," says an overwhelmed Adolf.

"Ang daming films na magaganda last year and worthy rin silapero noong nalaman ko na Donsol ang ipapadala, tuwang-tuwa ako. It's along shot pero wala namang mawawala, e," says the director with optimism. "Maymga requirements na kailangan munang i-submit. Aayusin ko muna."


Adolf said that his film was able to passthe preliminary requirements for short-listing. "Actually, may 35mm ang Donsol,which is one of the requisites for the Oscars. Kailangan rin at least one weekka nag-run sa theaters," he says. In fact, Star Cinema screened Donsolfor two weeks starting November 29, 2006. ABS-CBN's film production company isthe local distributor of the film and Adolf is in the middle of negotiatingwith a U.S. distributor.

"For Donsol, which is first film ko, nakakatuwa kasione year ago na pero nakakatuwa na napapansin pa rin nila," he gushes. Thedirector doesn't know how many entries were considered for the Oscars but hedid point out that Eddie Romero, the National Artist for Film headed theselection committee.

"Nagbuo sila ng selection committee, I think yung head siEddie Romero. Nagbuo sila ng selection committee to choose the Filipino entryto the Oscars. Then sa Oscars, yung voting members. Medyo long shot kasimadaming members yun and you have to send promotional materials," he explains.

Last year, a total of 61 countries submitted films forconsideration in the Foreign Language Film category for the 79th AcademyAwards, including the country's Ang Pagdadalaga ni Maximo Oliveros (TheBlossoming of Maximo Oliveros) directed by Auraeus Solito.

On January 22, the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts andSciences will select the five nominees for the 2008 Foreign Language Oscar. TheAcademy Awards will be presented February 24, 2008.





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