Heneral Luna, one of the most-talked about films released this year, is the Philippines' official entry to the Best Foreign Language category of the 2016 Academy Awards.
According to Hollywood reports, nine finalists will be shortlisted in mid-January. The final five nominees will be named on January 14, 2016. The 88th Academy Awards will take place on February 28, 2016 in Hollywood, Los Angeles.
John Arcilla stars as General Antonio Luna in this period film set during the Philippine-American war.
The Film Academy of the Philippines chose Heneral Luna over five other Pinoy films for the distinction of competing in Oscars 2016.
The other films that vied for the slot were: English Only, Please; Hari ng Tondo; Taklub; That Thing Called Tadhana; and The Janitor.
These movies were chosen from local films that were screened between October 2014 to September 2015.
Directed by Jerrold Tarog, Heneral Luna began its commercial run last September 9.
The FAP's seven-man committee was headed by Mel Chionglo as chairman with the following as members: Edgardo Vinarao, director-editor; Jose Carreon, director-scriptwriter; Lee Briones-Meily, cinematographer; Lorna Tolentino, actress; Michael de Mesa, actor; and Ronaldo Tolentino, scriptwriter-film educator.
The family drama Hari ng Tondo was directed by Carlitos Siguion-Reyna with Robert Arevalo, Cris Villonco, and Rafael Siguion-Reyna as lead stars.
The drama featuring Yolanda victims, Taklub, was directed by Brillante Mendoza with Nora Aunor in the lead role.
Action-crime thriller The Janitor, directed by by Michael Tuviera, features an ensemble cast led by Dennis Trillo.
The romantic comedy That Thing Called Tadhana, written and directed by Antoinette Jadaone, was topbilled by Angelica Panganiban and JM de Guzman.
Another rom-com, English Only, Please, was helmed by Dan Villegas with Jennylyn Mercado and Derek Ramsay in the lead roles.
Since the Best Foreign Language Film award was introduced by the Oscars in 1953, no entry from the Philippines has become an official nominee.
The Philippines has submitted a total of 24 films for consideration, the latest of which was Lav Diaz's Norte, Hangganan ng Kasaysayan.
Will Heneral Luna finally make history as the first Filipino film to clinch an Oscars nomination?
Let us wait and see.
In the meantime, Pinoys can still watch Heneral Luna in cinemas nationwide.
The announcement of the film being chosen for the 2016 Oscars coincides with the upcoming theatrical release of Heneral Luna in the United States in October/November 2015.