The Singkuwento (5Kuwento) International Film Festival 2015 Awards Night was held on Saturday, February 28, with ceremonies at the Tanghalang Leandro V. Locsin Auditorium, National Commission for Culture and the Arts Bldg., Intramuros, Manila.
Hosted by journalist Jordan Brigala, the second year of the Singkuwento (5Kuwento) International Film Festival has become a bigger shorts and documentary films competition, with awards in various arts and technical categories and special awards for the Most Gender Sensitive Film, the Audience Choice Award, and the Best Cultural and Documentary Films.
Martika Ramirez Escobar's Pusong Bato won the top prize as Best Short Film, among other awards in major categories: Best Actress for Miles Kanapi, Best Costume Design, Best Production Design, Best Editing, and Best Original Song ("Some Cold Eyes" by composer Arlei Dormiendo).
Another short film entry, Mis Da Ka (I Miss You) by Carlo Catu, and a documentary, My Revolutionary Mother by Jethro Patalinghug, were adjudged 1st and 2nd Honorable Mention, respectively.
The Best Actor award was given to indie theater-actor Soliman Cruz for his performance in Imahe by Kristofer Ted Navarro.
The Best Supporting Actor Award were shared by Alchris Galura for Kalaw and Christian Lat for #Justlanded.
Indie actress Estella Sarmiento won the Best Supporting Actress award for Mis Da Ka (I Miss You); her award was accepted by her daughter.
The Best Director award was given to Petersen Vargas for the short film entry Lisyun Qng. Geografia (Lessons In Geography), a gay coming of age film (in Pampango) starred in by theater-indie actor Ross Pesigan and Earl Policarpio.
Lisyun Qng. Geografia was exhibited late last year at the 10th Cinema One Originals Film Festival.
Another short film entry, The Ordinary Things We Do by David Corpus, was previously screened in competition at the 10th Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival 2014.
The Most Gender Sensitive Film Award was given to My Revolutionary Mother by Jethro Patalinghug, who is currently abroad.
Patalinghug's Facebook friend, Jonathan Ang, volunteered to present via his laptop the director's online acceptance speech.
The Audience Choice Award was given to Chloe Veloso's tearjerker Pahiyom Alang Kang Evelyn (A Smile For Evelyn).
LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD. For his invaluable contribution to Philippine independent Cinema, 2009 Cannes Filmfest Best Director Brillante Ma. Mendoza was given a Lifetime Achievement Award by the 5Kuwento International Film Festival 2015.
Mendoza, in his acceptance speech, thanked everyone who has been a part of his career as filmmaker; starting in 2005 (as indie filmmaker, with his first film, Masahista, a Golden Leopard Best Film awardee in Locarno, Switzerland, and as the award-winning production designer of William Pascual's Takaw Tukso in 1987).
Mendoza gave special thanks to one of his illustrious mentors, director Peque Gallaga, who was at the venue with his partner Lore Reyes.
Gallaga helmed Virgin Forest in 1985, Brillante's first film as art director.
Meanwhile, Perry Escaño, the film festival's director, and his co-organizers congratulated this year's winners and thanked the audience, presenters, sponsors for making the indie fest a success, and most especially the filmmakers who participated in the festival.
"We hope that you will keep on making meaningful yet entertaining films.
"We would also like to show our heartfelt appreciation to the Singkuwento International Team , we could not have pulled it off without your help," he said in his speech.
Escaño further expressed hoped that the 5Kuwento Int'l. Filmfest will be a yearly event during the National Arts Month in February of the National Commission for Culture and Arts.
THE WINNERS. Here's the complete list of winners:
Best Short Film (Top Prize) - Pusong Bato by Martika Ramirez Escobar
1st Honorable Mention - Mis Da Ka (I Miss You) by Carlo Catu
2nd Honorable Mention) - My Revolutionary Mother by Jethro Patalinghug
Best Cultural Film - #Justlanded by Christian Lat
Best Documentary Film - My Revolutionary Mother by Jethro Patalinghug tied with Mga Bulong Sa Bituka Ng Sta. Mesa by Hector Barretto Calma
Best Director - Petersen Vargas, Lisyun Qng. Geografia (Geography Lessons)
Best Screenplay - Christian Lat and Bjorn Lundqvist, #Justlanded
Best Actress - Miles Kanapi, Pusong Bato
Best Actor - Soliman Cruz, Imahe
Best Supporting Actress - Estella Sarmiento, Mis Da Ka (I Miss You)
Best Supporting Actor - Alchris Galura, Kalaw, tied with Christian Lat, #Justlanded
Best in Make-Up and Hairstyle - Roselle Cadaves and Ninianne Sojor, Dag-Um
Best in Costume Design - Joey Singh and Alvin Francisco, Pusong Bato
Best Original Song - "Some Cold Eyes" by Arlei Dormiendo, Pusong Bato
Best Original Score - Migo Matas, Kalaw
Best Sound Design - Derek Delgado, Kalaw
Best Production Design - Alvin Francisco and Rita Escobar, Pusong Bato
Best Visual Effects - Vicente Lagtag and Emmanuel Sambayan, Andre la
Best Editing - Sari Estrada and Martika Escobar, Pusong Bato
Best Cinematography - Migo Matas, Kalaw
Most Gender Sensitive Film - My Revolutionary Mother by Jethro Patalinghug
Audience Choice Award - Pahiyom Alang Kang Evelyn (A Smile For Evelyn) by Chloe Veloso
Lifetime Achievement Award - Brillante Ma. Mendoza, Cannes Filmfest Best Director 2009
Performers: Aiza Seguerra, who sang "Minsan Ang Minahal Ay Ako," and Miai Fadol of the Tanghalang Batingaw, Lyceum of the Philippines
Presenters: Ronnie Martinez; Dyna Padilla Jose; Malou Cansara; Noel Amata; KC Halili; Albert Michael Idioma; Diana Dayo; Abel Napuran; Kiko Matos; BJ Forbes; Mara Lopez; Nick Olanka; Liza Diño; Aiza Seguerra; directors Peque Gallaga and Lore Reyes; Ma. Isabel Lopez; Jocelyn Dimaculangan of PEP.ph; director Jay Altarejos, and entertainment editors Crispina Martinez-Belen of the Manila Bulletin and Emmie Velarde of the Philippine Daily Inquirer.
The Board of Jurors of this year's 5Kuwento International Filmfest Awards is composed of Roberto Reyes Ang (Jury Head), with members Sigrid Andrea Bernardo and Will Fredo.