"It took us four hours to deliberate this year. We did not fight, it's only because we discussed the films very seriously," said Max Tessier to PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal) right after the awarding ceremony of Cinemalaya held last July 20. This is the second time that the French critic has been included in the jury of the Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival competition.
The chairman of the five-panel jury of Cinemalaya 2008 revealed that he and the other members unanimously decided to give the Best Film Award to Jay in the full-length category.
The movie directed by Francis Xavier Pasion won "for its sheer originality, its energetic storytelling, its mastery of digital technology in order to tell a story that is a trenchant commentary on the technology itself, and its very revealing take on the media and the uses and abuses of the truth..." Aside from earning the Best Actor plum for Baron Geisler, it also won for Best Editing.
Jay, which was shot in Bacolor, Pampanga, tells the story of Jay Mercado, a homosexual teacher who was brutally murdered in his home. Jay Santiago (played by Baron) produces a documentary on the slain teacher and helps bring the criminal to justice.
When Baron received the Best Actor award, he tearfully thanked the people who reserved judgment on him. "Para sa lahat ng mga naglaan ng pawis, panahon at pagmamahal para magawa ang pelikulang ito. Para sa lahat ng mga nanood, sumuporta, at hindi humusga. Para sa mga tunay na kaibigan ko, sa pamilya ko at amang Diyos natin...mabuhay ang pelikulang Pilipino!"
The other jury members who selected this year's winners were film actor Cesar Montano; film critic and writer Lito Zulueta; Ansgar Vogt, Berlin International Film Festival programmer; and Kim Ji-Seok, co-founder and program director of the Pusan International Film Festival.
Cinemalaya is an all-digital film festival and competition with the objective of discovering, encouraging and honoring the cinematic works of Filipino filmmakers that boldly articulate and freely interpret the Filipino experience with fresh insight and artistic integrity.
Cinemalaya 2008 winners
Best Film: Jay
Special Jury Award: Brutus for depicting culture collisions in the context of environmental exploitation
Best Director: Chris Martinez for 100
Best Actress: Mylene Dizon for 100
Best Actor: Baron Geisler for Jay
Best Supporting Actress: Eugene Domingo for 100
Best Supporting Actor: Yul Servo for Brutus
Audience Choice (Full Length): 100
Best Short Film: Andong
Special Jury Award: My Pet for the brave use animation as a medium of storytelling
Special Jury Citation: Angan-Angan for its depiction of the Mindanao culture and their people's desire for education
Best Director (Shorts): Mark Reyes for God Only Knows
Best Screenplay (Shorts): Andong
Audience Choice (Shorts): God Only Knows
Best Screenplay (Full Length): 100
Best Cinematography: Brutus and Huling Pasada
Best Production Design: Baby Angelo
Best Editing: Jay
Best Musical Score: Joey Ayala for Brutus
Best Sound Recording: Ranchero