After naming Himala as one of the Top 18 Asian Films, CNN has now shortlisted the Nora Aunor starrer as one of the ten films vying for its APSA Viewers Choice Award. (Click here for related article)
In the online poll of CNN, the public can vote for the 1982 Filipino movie directed by the National Artist for Film Ishmael Bernal and written by Ricky Lee. Voting is ongoing until October 31, and the results will be announced during the Asia Pacific Screen Awards to be held on November 11.
Directed by the late Ishmael Bernal, Himala (Miracle) is about a young girl who claims to have seen apparitions of the Virgin Mary. Her tragic story is witnessed by a cynical filmmaker who makes a documentary about the faith healer who brings life to her sleepy town. This movie from the Experimental Cinema of the Philippines is described by CNN as having "austere camera work and a haunting score that underline the harsh conditions that her people endure."
Himala is facing tough competition because it is up against other noteworthy films, namely Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon from China, The Seven Samurai from Japan, Gabbeh from Iran, Gallipoli from Australia, Pather Panchali from India, Spirited Away from Japan, Oldboy from South Korea, Infernal Affairs from Hong Kong/China, and Chungking Express from China.
Another Filipino film, Pisay (Philippine Science) has been nominated in the Best Children's Feature Film category of the Asia Pacific Screen Awards. Written and directed by Auraeus Solito, this Cinemalaya 2007 entry is topbilled by a young cast ably supported by Eugene Domingo. It tells the different stories of young students studying at Philippine Science High School during the Martial Law years.
Pisay will compete against The Black Balloon from Australia, Mahek from India, Siri Raja Siri (King Siri) from Sri Lanka, and Taare Zameen Par also from India.
The APSAs is an international cultural initiative to honor films that best reflect their cultural origins and demonstrate cinematic excellence. The 2008 Asia Pacific Screen Awards will be held on November 11 at Australia's Gold Coast. This award-giving body was instituted last year to honor cinematic excellence in the Asia Pacific region. The nominees for this year's official selection were chosen from over 180 films from 43 countries.