Gina Pareño and Jaclyn Jose nominated in 2009 Asian Film Awards

Gina Pareño (left) and Jaclyn Jose (right) are competing against each other in the Best Supporting Actress category of the 2009 Asian Film Awards. The awarding ceremony will be held on March 23, 2009 at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Gina PareƱo and Jaclyn Jose will be competing against each other for the Best Supporting Actress category in the 2009 Asian Film Awards, which will beheld in Hong Kong. Both veteran actresses were nominated for the film Serbis (Service), which is the third Filipino film to enter the competition category of the 61st Cannes International Film Fest.

Other nominees for Best Supporting Actress are Yu Aoi for Sex Is No Laughing Matter (Japan), Kirin Kiki for Still Walking (Japan), and Kim Ji-yeong for Forever the Moment (South Korea).

Serbis director Brillante "Dante" Mendoza is also nominated in the Best Director category, pitting him against John Woo who is also nominated for Red Cliff. The Hong Kong-based director is best known for directing Hollywood blockbuster Mission: Impossible II.

The other nominees are Feng Xiaogang for If You Are the One, China Kim Jee-woon for The Good, the Bad, the Weird (South Korea), Hirokazu Koreeda for Still Walking, (Japan), and Hayao Miyazaki / Frank Marshall for Ponyo on the Cliff (Japan).

The Asian Film Awards are presented annually by the Hong Kong International Film Festival Society to recognize excellence of film professionals in the film industries of Asia. Launched in 2007, AFA honors filmmakers with outstanding achievements in the field of Asian cinema.

The winners will be chosen by a 13-member jury headed by Michelle Yeoh, the Chinese actress who starred in the James Bond movie Tomorrow Never Dies. A total of 36 Asian films were selected from hundreds of entries for 13 categories. The awarding ceremony will be held on March 23, 2009 at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Direk Dante says that he plans to attend the awarding ceremony of the 3rd Asian Film Awards.

He will be leaving this weekend to attend the 2009 International Film Festival Rotterdam where his film Serbis will be screened. Aside from Serbis, Lav Diaz's Melancholia will also be screened in Germany this January.

Serbis will also be screened in Los Angeles theaters starting January 30, 2009.

HONG KONG FUNDING. Direk Dante is one of three Filipino directors chosen to participate in the Asia Film Financing Forum, which is the project market arm of the Hong Kong International Film Festival. The HKIFF will run from March 22 to April 13, 2009.

The group has selected 27 film projects for the event's seventh edition in March 2009. Three of them are from Filipino directors Dante Mendoza, Adolfo Alix Jr. and Francis Xavier Pasion.

Chop Chop is about people who are executed and whose bodies are then cut into pieces while Sampaguita depicts children who work as flower gatherers and vendors. According to Direk Adolf, Porno deals with the "intersecting lives of people related to pornography: the one who works in the porn industry, the one who is seen in the porn and the one who works in the porn industry."

Here are the three Filipino films chosen from 11 territories including Australia, Chinese mainland, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam.

Chop Chop (Philippines)

Director: Brillante Mendoza
Producer: Ferdinand Lapuz, Didier Costet
Production Company: Centerstage Productions Inc.

Porno (Philippines)

Director: Adolfo Alix Jr.
Producer: Arleen Cuevas
Production Company: Bicycle Pictures

Sampaguita (Our National Flower's Journal to Decay) (Philippines)

Director: Francis Xavier Pasion
Producer: Ferdinand Lapuz
Production Company: Pasion Para Pelikula Productions






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