The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences hasannounced the nine films eligible for Best Foreign Language Film Oscar thisyear. These nine films were chosen from 65 eligible films from differentcountries, including the Philippine's Ploning.
Unfortunately, Ploning—starring Judy Ann Santos and directed by Dante "Nico" Garcia—did not make the cut.
According to a report by Susan King in theenvelope.latimes.com,several hundred Los Angeles-based members of the Academy of Motion Picture Artsand Sciences voted for their six top choices among the 65 eligible films, whilethe three titles were selected by Academy's Foreign Language Film AwardExecutive committee
Golden-Globe winner Waltz With Bashir from Israel isone of the nine films advancing to the next round of voting. The other eight are: Revanche(Austria), The Necessities of Life (Canada), The Class (France), TheBaader Meinhof Complex (Germany), Departures (Japan), Tear ThisHeart Out (Mexico), Everlasting Moments (Sweden), and 3 Monkeys(Turkey).
This short list will be narrowed down to five nominees by specially selectedcommittees, both in Los Angeles and New York, who will spend this weekendscreening three films per day.
The nominations for the 81st annual Academy Awards will be announced on January22.
Judy Ann Santos, also the co-producer of Ploning, hadlobbied arduously for her film's Oscar bid. The actress and her friends held fundraising events—like Damit Para Kay Ploning, Plato Para Kay Ploning,and Laro Para Kay Ploning—to help the film's cause. This Sunday, January 18,ABS-CBN will even air a TV special titled Pangarap ni Ploning on Sunday's Best.
Ploning also got P2.5 million from Pres. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP). Its filmmakers also hired a highly-recommended public relations company, Murray Weissman and Associates, to increase the film's chances.
Juday and Direk Dante's efforts to make Ploning thefirst-ever Filipino film to be nominated in the Best Foreign Language categoryof Oscars is admirable, but it was still not enough for the Academy voters.
The Philippine's quest for that elusiverecognition remains a dream for our filmmakers.