Which Pinoy movies are being considered for the Oscars?

by Jocelyn Dimaculangan
Sep 6, 2016
Which movie will represent the Philippines in the Best Foreign Language Film category of the 2017 Academy Awards?

Which Filipino movie will represent the Philippines in vying for an Oscar nomination?

There are nine movies being considered to become the PH official entry to the 2017 Academy Awards' Best Foreign Language film category.

Director Edgardo "Boy" Vinarao serves as the head of the selection committee while the members include Director Jose Carreon, Director Mike Sandejas, actor/scriptwriter Ed Rocha, cinematographer Lee Meily, actor Michael de Mesa and actress Cherie Gil as members.

The Philippine film entry should have been exhibited for at least one week commercial run during the period October 2015 to September 2016.

The 89th Academy Awards is scheduled to take place on February 26, 2017.

According to the Film Academy of the Philippines, a seven-man special committee of the FAP will select the RP film entry from this list:

1. Felix Manalo
(shown on October 9, 2015)

Director: Joel Lamangan
Producer: Viva Films
Cast: Dennis Trillo and Bela Padilla

This biographical film depicts how Felix Manalo grew up as a Catholic but ended up forming his own church and registering it in July 27, 1914. He became Iglesia Ni Cristo's first executive minister, a position that Ka Felix held for almost 50 years.

REVIEW: Felix Manalo, through the eyes of an Iglesia ni Cristo member

2. Anino sa Likod ng Buwan (Shadow Behind the Moon)
(shown on October 23, 2015)

Director: Jun Lana
Producer: Octobertrain Films/IdealFirst Company
Cast: LJ Reyes, Luis Alandy and Anthony Falcon

Set in the early 1990s in Marag Valley, this political thriller depicts the plight of "internal" refugees who are caught between the skirmishes of the military and insurgents.

REVIEW: Compelling performances from LJ, Luis, and Anthony plus innovative direction make Anino Sa Likod ng Buwan a must-see

3. Honor Thy Father
(shown on December 25, 2015)

Director: Erik Matti
Producer: Reality Entertainment
Cast: John Lloyd Cruz, Meryll Soriano and Tirso Cruz III

In this action-drama film, John Lloyd Cruz is cast as a father who will do anything to protect his family, including resorting to his dark past as an acetylene gang member.

MMFF 2015 REVIEW: John Lloyd Cruz shows sinister side in Honor Thy Father

4. Hele sa Hiwagang Hapis (A Lullaby to the Sorrowful Mystery)
(shown March 26, 2016)

Director: Lav Diaz
Producer: Ten17 Productions, Epicmedia, Sine Olivia Philippines and Potocol Akanga Film Productions
Cast: John Lloyd Cruz, Piolo Pascual, Angel Aquino, Cherie Gil

The 8-hour epic film weaves together Philippine revolution, literature, and mythology presented in two stories. One story shows the desperate 30-day search of Andres Bonifacio’s widow, Gregoria de Jesus, for the body of her slain husband while the other follows the journey of Crisostomo Ibarra/Simoun (Piolo Pascual) and Isagani (John Lloyd Cruz), characters from Jose Rizal’s Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo.

REVIEW: Lav Diaz's Hele sa Hiwagang Hapis holds a mirror up to Filipinos

5. Ma'Rosa
(shown July 6, 2016)

Director: Brillante Mendoza
Producer: Centerstage Productions
Cast: Jaclyn Jose, Andi Eigenmann, Julio Diaz

Rosa (Jaclyn Jose) owns a small community convenience store connected to their home in the slums of Metropolitan Manila. Together with her husband, Nestor (Julio Diaz) they use their sari-sari store as cover-up for selling illegal narcotics, methamphetamines. Their fate changes when their neighbor sets them up for a police raid leading to the couple’s arrest; a ploy for extortion. Backed against the wall, Rosa seeks help from her children, Jackson (Felix Roco), Raquel (Andi Eigenmann), and Kerwin (Jomari Angeles) as they do the daunting task to buy their parent’s freedom.

REVIEW: Jaclyn Jose offers heart-wrenching ending for Ma' Rosa

6. Dukot
(shown on July 13, 2016)

Director: Paul Soriano
Producer: Ten17Productions and Star Cinema Productions
Cast: Enrique Gil, Ricky Davao, Shaina Magdayao and Christopher de Leon

Enrique Gil is cast as Carlo, a young man rebelling against his father who has been accused of corruption in government. When armed men robs his sister’s yoga studio, Carlo convinces them to kidnap him instead of his sister, owner and manager of the place. This starts the frightening saga of Carlo as he faces a life-and-death situation while the ruthless gang of criminals deals with his father and the police who try to rescue him.

REVIEW: Enrique Gil delivers powerful performance in Dukot

7. Pamilya Ordinaryo
(shown on August 23, 2016)

Director: Eduardo Roy Jr.
Producer: Cinemalaya
Cast: Ronwaldo Martin, Hasmine Killip and Maria Isabel Lopez

This drama film is a compelling portrait of teenage street dwellers and their desperate search for

their kidnapped baby.

CINEMALAYA REVIEW: Ronwaldo Martin shows extraordinary acting skills in Pamilya Ordinaryo

8. Ang Hapis at Himagsik ni Hermano Puli (The Agony and Fury of Hermano Puli)
(will be shown this September 2016)

Director: Gil Portes
Producer: Cinemalaya
Cast: Aljur Arbrenica

This historical drama is based on the life and times of Apolinario de la Cruz, who led a revolt in 1841 against the Spanish colonial government in the Philippines in the name of religious freedom.

9. Tuos (the Pact)
(will be shown this September 2016)

Director: Roderick Cabrido
Producer: Cinemalaya
Cast: Nora Aunor and Barbie Forteza

Pinailog (Nora Aunor) is a binukot or the gatekeeper of her culture's oral tradition. Her granddaughter, Dowokan (Barbie Forteza) is being groomed to take her place but she refuses to take the role as the new Binukot. Pinailog has to choose between keeping the century old beliefs that shackled her into solitary confinement or theliberty and freedom of her granddaughter.

CINEMALAYA 2016 REVIEW: Nora Aunor and Barbie Forteza have exemplary performances in Tuos

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Which movie will represent the Philippines in the Best Foreign Language Film category of the 2017 Academy Awards?
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