Monday, August 04, 2008

Young Critics Circle honors 'Foster Child,' Jason Abalos

The Film Desk of the Young Critics Circle formally declares its choices for distinguished achievement in films of 2007. The awards rite is slated on August 7 (Thursday), 1-5 p.m., at the Pulungang Recto, Bulwagang Rizal (formerly Faculty Center), College of Arts and Letters, UP Diliman, Quezon City.

Voted Best Film of the Year is Brillante Mendoza’s "Foster Child." The Seiko Films production--about an urban-poor family who makes a living by providing for a fee a temporary home and care to abandoned babies pending their adoption--also won Best Screenplay.

"Foster Child" is joined by Jade Francis Castro’s "Endo" from ufo Pictures as the only two films to slug it out for the topmost award. But in contrast to two major honors for "Foster Child," "Endo" bagged a greater booty of triple plums: Best Editing. Best Sound and Aural Orchestration and the much coveted Best Performance for Jason Abalos.

In what some may deem as an upset win, the heartthrob lead of "Endo" bested "Foster Child" stars Cherrie Pie Picache and Eugene Domingo and one other surprise nominee, Ron Capinding, lead actor of "Still Life" (Sining Ko Ito Productions) .

Best Cinematography and Visual Design went to Lav Diaz’s nine-hour digipic, "Death in the Land of Encantos" (Sine Olivia). The dramatic film won for the only category for which it was nominated, beating "Foster Child," "Still Life" and "Tirador" (Centerstage Productions). The last--another megger from Brillante Mendoza--with strong nominations for three technical categories, completed the elite roster of limited titles to figure in this year’s derby.

Established in 1990, YCC is the academe-based critics group with members coming from various disciplines. Through the years, they have become attentive observers of Philippine cinema constantly bringing into the analysis of film an interdisciplinary approach.

The organization departs from many conventions of other award-giving bodies both here and abroad in bestowing cinematic honors. For instance, the award for Best Film of the Year is reserved for the director such that no separate prize for direction is needed. The Best Performance award is most coveted as it is conferred on a screen performer whether male or female, adult or child, individual or as part of an ensemble, in leading or supporting role. To uphold a more dynamic and encompassing way of looking at films, technical honors refer to fusion of outstanding efforts in fields otherwise deemed apart. In this case, the Best Cinematography and Visual Design recognition covers both camerawork and art direction. Similarly, Best Sound and Aural Orchestration encompasses not just sound engineering per se but musical score as well.

The awarding ceremony is open to the public. For details, call or text 09082579211 or email

The following is the roundup of complete winners and nominees for this year’s YCC film awards, officially billed as the 18th Annual Circle Citations for Distinguished Achievement in Film for 2007:

Best Film of the Year
Winner: "Foster Child," directed by Brillante Mendoza (Seiko Films; Robbie Tan, Executive Producer)

Nominee: "Endo," directed by Jade Francis Castro (ufo Pictures; Ned Trespeces, Michiko Yamamoto, Emmanuel de la Cruz and Raymond Lee, Producers)

Best Screenplay
Winner: "Foster Child" (Seiko Films)--Ralston Jover

Nominee: "Endo" (ufo Pictures)--Jade Francis Castro, Michiko Yamamoto and Raymond Lee

Best Achievement in Cinematography and Visual Design
Winner: "Death in the Land of Encantos" (Sine Olivia)--Lav Diaz, Director of Photography; Dante Perez, Production Designer

Nominees: "Foster Child" (Seiko Films)--Odyssey Flores, Director of Photography; Ben Padero, Production Designer; "Still Life" (Sining Ko Ito Productions)--Dan Villegas, Director of Photography; Cris Silva, Production Designer; "Tirador" (Centerstage)-- Brillante Mendoza, Julius Villanueva, Jeffrey de la Cruz, Gary Tria, Directors of Photography; Deans Habal, Harley Alcasid, Production Designers

Best Achievement in Film Editing
Winner: "Endo" (ufo Pictures)--JD Domingo

Nominee: "Tirador" (Centerstage)--Charliebebs Gohetia

Best Achievement in Sound and Aural Orchestration
Winner: "Endo" (ufo Pictures)--Corinne de San Jose Cruz and Mark Locsin, Sound Engineers; Owel Alvero, Musical Director

Nominees: "Still Life" (Sining Ko Ito Productions)--Joey Santos, Sound Engineer; Wincy Ong, Musical Director; "Tirador" (Centerstage)--Ditoy Aguila and Junel Valencia , Sound Engineers; Tere Barrozo, Musical Director

Best Performance by Male or Female, Adult or Child, Individual or Ensemble in Leading or Supporting Role
Winner: Jason Abalos in "Endo" (ufo Pictures)

Nominees: Cherry Pie Picache in "Foster Child" (Seiko Films); Eugene Domingo in "Foster Child" (Seiko Films); Ron Capinding in "Still Life" (Sining Ko Ito Productions)

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