The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has announced the nine films eligible for Best Foreign Language Film Oscar this year. These nine films were chosen from 65 eligible films from different countries, 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 Arts and Sciences voted for their six top choices among the 65 eligible films, while the three titles were selected by Academy's Foreign Language Film Award Executive committee
Golden-Globe winner Waltz With Bashir from Israel is one 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), The Baader Meinhof Complex (Germany), Departures (Japan), Tear This Heart Out (Mexico), Everlasting Moments (Sweden), and 3 Monkeys (Turkey).
This short list will be narrowed down to five nominees by specially selected committees, both in Los Angeles and New York, who will spend this weekend screening three films per day.
The nominations for the 81st annual Academy Awards will be announced on January 22.
Judy Ann Santos, also the co-producer of Ploning, had lobbied 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 the first-ever Filipino film to be nominated in the Best Foreign Language category of Oscars is admirable, but it was still not enough for the Academy voters.
The Philippine's quest for that elusive recognition remains a dream for our filmmakers.