The winners for Cinemalaya 2019 has been finally revealed at the 15th Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival Awards, with the film John Denver Trending bagging the award for Best Film.
The winning title by director Arden Rod Cortez tells the tale of a 14-year old farm boy whose life was torn apart through social media after a video of him attacking a classmate went viral.
In the awards night held this August 11 at the Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo at the Cultural Center of The Philippines, the film also bagged five more awards. These include: Best Actor for lead actor Jansen Magpusao who made his debut in the film; Best Original Music Score by Len Calvo; Best Editing by Benjo Ferrer III; Best Cinematography by Rommel Sales; and the NETPAC Award for the Full-Length Category.
John Denver Trending was cited “for its highly relevant subject matter, its highly convincing characters and effective ensemble acting by a cast of non-professional actors; for its nearly epic sweep of its masterful use of the resources of cinema to depict a boy’s entrapment and doom; and for its coruscating critique of the social media as an engine of lies, hate, and destruction.”
Here are the other winners for the 15th Cinemalaya film festival:
The Special Jury Prize went to Thop Nazareno’s Edward, whose lead character comes of age as he is left alone to take care of his father in a public hospital. Nazareno’s film also bagged the awards for Best Actress (Ella Cruz) and Best Production Design (Alvin Francisco).
The Best Direction award went to Eduardo Roy Jr. for F#*@ BOIS. The film also gave Ricky Davao the Best Supporting Actor award for his portrayal of a libidinous politician with a fondness for young men. Davao was cited for “for lending the weight of his artistic acclaim and professional reputation to independent cinema, and for taking on a very daring role and effectively playing it without lapsing into parody or cliché.
Theodor Boborol’s Iska, the story of an impoverished woman who lovingly cares for her autistic grandson, won Best Actress for Ruby Ruiz who played the lead role. The film also won Best Screenplay (Mary Rose Colindres) and Best Sound (Immanuel Verona).
In the Short Feature Category, the animated ‘Wag Mo Akong Kausapin by Josef Dielle Gacutan grabbed the Best Film plum “for its very unique depiction of the universal rift between generations and for its craftsmanship” while Special Jury Prize went to Shaira Advincula’s Tembong “for its poignant take on grieving and loss and its incisive character study of a man challenging culture and tradition.”
Also in the short Feature category, the Best Direction award went to Don Madula Senoc for Sa Among Agwat while Best Screenplay went to Gilb Baldoza for Kontrolado ni Girly ang Buhay Niya. Special Mention for Subject Matter went to the film Hele ng Maharlika by Norvin De Los Santos for its “timely but sensitive handling of the trenchant reality of juvenile warriors.”
Disconnection Notice by Glenn Lowell Forneste Averia won the NETPAC award in the Short Feature category.
Audience Choice awards went to Joji Villanueva Alonso’s Belle Douleur in the full length feature category and Julius Renomeron Jr.’s Heist School in the short feature category.
Now on its 15th year, Cinemalaya has supported and promoted the production of Filipino full feature independent films and short films. Many of these films have won awards in local and international competitions and festivals. Through the annual festival, Cinemalaya has showcased over 1,000 works by independent filmmakers including full feature films, shorts, documentaries, Filipino film classics, and art films.
This year, Cinemalaya went nationwide. It was held at the CCP from August 2-11 and at selected Ayala Cinemas and Vista Malls in Manila, Pampanga, Naga and Legaspi in Bicol, Bacolod, Iloilo and Davao from August 7-13.