Best Documentary: Marlon (Philippines) by Ralston Jover and James Amparo
Best Short Film: Tumbang Preso (Philippines) by Antoinette Jadaone
Ishmael Bernal Award: Surreal Random MMS Texts Para Ed Ina, Agui, Tan Kaamong Ya Makaiiliw Ed Sika: Gurgurlis Ed Banua [Surreal Random MMS Texts for a Mother, a Sister, and a Wife Who Longs For You: Landscape with Figures] (Philippines), by Christopher Gozum
Lino Brocka Award-Grand Prize: The Band's Visit (Israel), by Eran Kolirin
Grand Jury Prize: The Amazing Truth About Queen Raquela (Iceland/Philippines/France), by Olaf De Fleur Johannesson
Vic Silayan Award for Best Actor: Kenneth Moraleda for Lucky Miles (Australia)
Vic Silayan Award for Best Actress: Angeli Bayani for Melancholia (Philippines)
SOUTHEAST ASIA (SEA) FILM COMPETITION
Best SEA Short: Frou Frou... Shh, Wag Mong Sabihin Kay Itay (Philippines), by Michael Juat
Best SEA Film: Confessional (Philippines), by Jerrold Tarog and Ruel Dahis Antipuesto
Best Actor: Mario Maurer for The Love of Siam (Thailand)
Best Actress: Anita Linda for Adela (Philippines)
Lino Grand Prize: Imburnal, by Sherad Anthony Sanchez
Lino Grand Jury Prize: Next Attraction, by Raya Martin
Best Actor: Carlo Aquino for Carnivore
Best Actress: Jodi Sta. Maria for Sisa
Best Director: Ato Bautista for Carnivore
UN MILLENNIUM DEV'T GOALS PRIZE
Lay-An, Candles Burning on Still Water, by Milo Tolentino
LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
Pete Lacaba, who wrote many of Lino Brocka's best-known works: Jaguar (1979), Bayan Ko (My Country, 1984) and Orapronobis (Fight for Us, 1989).
[The Cinemanila International Film Festival website here. For ticket reservations and updated screening schedules, call 9115555 or visit http://www.blogger.com/www.gatewaycineplex10.com]
Congratulations to all the winners! But especially to Angeli Bayani (Vic Silayan Best Actress awardee for Melancholia), a talented theater actress who's now making her mark in movies as well. Angeli, for some years a mainstay in Tanghalang Pilipino productions, has not been seen onstage lately; her last major role was as Queen Gertrude in Tony Mabesa's Hamlet Redux for Dulaang UP in 2006; last year, she also had a lead part in Ogie Braga's Virgin Labfest entry, Sa Pagdating ng Barbaro. It's clear that her recent focus on indie movies is paying off. Her subtle, unsettling portrayal of a woman torn apart by unrequited love in the 2006 full-length Cinemalaya entry, Ang Huling Araw ng Linggo, was praised by Nestor Torre and other critics. Angelí's gone from strength to strength with parts in other well-received indie releases (including Lav Diaz's latest film-a-thon, Death in the Land of Encantos), and now this--Cinemanila 2008 Best Actress, no less. Brava.
Call me biased, but another notable name in the winners' list: Mario Maurer, SEA Best Actor for the gay coming-of-age film from Thailand, The Love of Siam (directed by Chukiat Sakweerakul). What a hottie, and quite a sensitive actor, too. Have you seen this film? Aysus, go, look for it in your favorite DVD stalls, or, failing that, in Torrent. Restrained, bittersweet and moving, and the two young leads--Maurer and Thai pop star Witwisit Hirunwongkul--are beautifully cast (trailer here). Saw this film on DVD while on a long-weekend outing with friends not too long ago, which meant it wasn't the usual staid movie-watching experience. At each of the film's high points we hooted and whooped it up, and, by the end credits, we were on our feet in a raucous ovation. Ah, nothing like watching faggy movies--good faggy movies--with fellow fags. But, really, you'd enjoy The Love of Siam, too, even if you are straight (or think you are--grin). You'd thank me for the recommendation.
A note on Cinemanila: On its 10th year, still as chaotic and ad hoc as ever, from the press events to the screenings and even its website. But, as film critic Noel Vera points out, “It's still hands down the best buffets of films, local and otherwise, available in Manila.” So we keep watching. Early rumors had it this edition would have Martin Scorsese as special guest. Not an impossibility, since Quentin Tarantino came by last year and rocked the town. But there was no Mr. Scorsese. Maybe Tikoy Aguiluz and company should have invited Mario Maurer instead. That woulda been da bomb, eh?