Tag Archives: Brillante Mendoza

A night of the elderly

By Nickie Wang

Independent films now set the standard in local filmmaking as far as the Manunuri ng Pelikulang Pilipino (MPP) is concerned. From nominees to the big winners, independently-produced features dominated all categories in the 33rd edition of the annual Gawad Urian.

Internationally-acclaimed director Brillante Mendoza’s films Kinatay and Lola bagged the top honors in the awards night held at the University of the Philippines Cine Adarna on April 29. Continue reading

Streaming Brillante’s flicks

By Nickie Wang

Brillante MendozaBrillante Mendoza has directed nine films since he started making movies in 2005. Three of these films (Tirador, Foster Child, Masahista) were exhibited at the Cannes Film Festival, and two others (Serbis and Kinatay) were part of the main competition.

To win best director award at Cannes Film Festival, which is considered as one of the oldest and most prestigious film festivals in the world, is not an ordinary achievement. The honor puts his name alongside the best filmmakers in the world like Quentin Tarantino and Ang Lee.

Recently, Brillante’s film Kinatay received two more awards at the Sitges International Film Festival in Spain. The director wanted to receive the Best Director and Best Original Soundtrack trophies but he was in Paris on the day of the awards night. He was having a meeting with a big film outfit that is willing to distribute his film Kinatay commercially. Continue reading

Cinemanila: Haven for young filmmakers

By Nickie Wang

Independently-produced films do not earn much, most of the time they are not even close to breaking even. But why is that” indies” still proliferate in the country? Are we really trying to prove or profile the Philippine cinema as the new mecca of independent films?

Anita Linda in Brillante Mendoza's Lola

Anita Linda in Brillante Mendoza's Lola

Producing “indies” is not about business. To most independent filmmakers, “It’s more of a passion.” Yet, their passion only pays off when their films are recognized abroad, but it is not always the case. Not all “indies” are acknowledged overseas. Continue reading

‘Indies’ dominate Gawad Urian again

By Nickie Wang

The Manunuri ng Pelikulang Pilipino’s Gawad Urian is setting a trend as more independent and lesser-known films are being recognized by the 32-year-old award-giving body.

Brillante Mendoza

Brillante Mendoza

Commercially-exhibited films produced by big production outfits were snubbed at the Gawad Urian’s 32nd edition held on Sept. 22, at the Cultural Center of the Philippines Tanghalang Aurelio Tolentino.

From nominees to winners, “indies” dominated this year’s Gawad Urian. One of the big winners of the annual movie event was Brillante Mendoza who received the Best Director award for Serbis, which also won Best Film.

Meanwhile, the Best Actress trophy went to Mylene Dizon for 100 and the Best Actor award to actor Ronnie Lazaro for his performance in Yanggaw.

Highlights and sidelights

ronnie lazaro

32nd Urian Best Actor Ronnie Lazaro

Ronnie Lazaro was in high spirits when he receive d his very first Gawad trophy. He perked up the crowd by initially delivering his acceptance speech in Ilongo then proceeded in Tagalog. He said that receiving an Urian trophy is just one of his dreams as an actor. He’s been in the business for 27 years now and he’s overwhelmed by his first best actor recognition from Urian.

Actress Mylene Dizon was with Tomas, her eldest son, when she received the highest award given to an actress in a leading role.

Mylene and Tessie Tomas in 100

Mylene and Tessie Tomas in 100

“It might sound a cliché but I didn’t expect to win. And I don’t know, I got all nervous when my son said, ‘Mommy let’s go up on stage.’ Nag-dilang anghel siya kasi I won the Best Actress award,” she told reporters right after the program.

Lazaro and Dizon were fortunate that they were able to accept their respective trophies personally. Most of the winners were either promoting their films abroad or doing out-of-town projects.

Brillante is currently in Brazil for a retrospective of his films. Francis Xavier Pasion, who won Best Screenplay for the multi-awarded film Jay, is in Europe according to the person who accepted the award on his behalf. Coco Martin, who won Best Supporting Actor for his performance in Jay, was not able to accept the award. Instead, hosts Butch Francisco and Boots Anson-Roa accepted the trophy and told the audience that the young actor is currently out of town.

Best Supporting Actress winner Aleera Montalla (Yanggaw) didn’t make it on time because of traffic congestion, but she was able to pose for photographers after the program.

Some celebrities made the night more colorful like Jennica Garcia who was visually attractive in black mini dress and Carlene Aguilar in a stunning black gown. But it was Rustom Padilla aka BB Gandanghari who received the loudest applause. It can be recalled that it was also in last year’s Gawad Urian when he first publicly appeared in drag.

This year’s Natatanging Gawad Urian Lifetime Achievement Award was conferred to Peque Gallaga who has directed 36 films, wrote 22 of them, acted in 13 and produced four full-length films. His most significant achievement in film is Oro, Plata, Mata, which he directed after winning a scriptwriting contest sponsored by the Experimental Cinema of the Philippines. The director delivered a 15-minute speech.

Other winners

Just like the major awards given out, some of the awardees were not able to accept their recognitions but there were some who exerted efforts to grace the program though they did not expect to win.

Other winners were: Odyssey Flores, Serbis (Best Cinematography); Benjamin Padero and Carlo Tabije, Serbis (Best Production Design); Francis Pasion, Kats Serraon, and Chuck Gutierrez, Jay (Best Editing); Popong Landero, Hunghong Sa Yuta (Best Music); Joey Santos and Von De Guzman, Yanggaw (Best Sound); and Milo Tolentino for Andong (Best Short Film).

The night was made entertaining by performances of Bayang Barrios and her ethnic band and Cookie Chua who sang the movie theme song of Yanggaw in a cappella.

(Note from my editor: I told one of the members of the Manunuri to rename their annual awards into Gawad Urian Para sa Mga Hindi Pelikula. … who vehemently defended the group’s decision to embrace the video features as fitm)

Indies dominate 31st Gawad Urian

By Nickie Wang/Manila Standard Today

Brillante's Tirador went home with five major awards including Best Picture and Best Director.

Brillante's Tirador went home with five major awards including Best Picture and Best Director.

When young actor Jason Abalos said that winning an Urian trophy is a dream come true for him, he was actually speaking in behalf of every nominee who was present at the Cultural Center of the Philippines Tanghalang Aurelio Tolentino on Oct. 1 for the 31st Gawad Urian.

Alternative or independent films that have been viewed as the creative avenues where political and social issues are extensively depicted were overwhelmingly recognized and dominated the awards from technical to creative categories.

This year’s Gawad Urian is a triumph of independent films because they received majority of the nominations and bagged all the awards making movies produced by big production outfits leaving the venue empty handed.

Tirador, a film by Brillante Mendoza, went home with five awards including Best Picture,  Best Director, Best Supporting Actress (Angela Ruiz), Best Cinematography (Jeffrey dela Cruz, Brillante Mendoza, Gary Tria and Julius Villanueva), and Best Sound Editing (Ditoy Aguila and Junel Valencia). Mendoza was not present during the awards night to accept his award because he was in Pusan, South Korea serving as an instructor at the Asian Film Academy.

Mendoza’s film Tirador was regarded by the Manunuri ng Pelikulang Pilipino (MPP) as a film that utilized hyperrealism to sincerely document the aggravating poverty in Manila. With an English title Slingshot, Tirador (slang for petty thieves), had already been screened and received accolades in various international film festivals such as the Berlin and Singapore international film festivals.

Gawad Urian is famous for awarding ties, and this year is no exception. Best Actor award was split between Jayson Abalos for the film Endo and Sid Lucero for Selda.

The Best Actress trophy was given to Cherry Pie Picache for her role as a surrogate mother in Foster Child (a film also by Brillante Mendoza).Meanwhile, the Best Supporting Actor that was presented by Rustom Padilla, who graced the event in drag, handed the trophy to Emilio Garcia for his role in Selda.

Other winners of the Urian trophy include: Jade Castro, Michiko Yamamoto, Raymond Lee for Best Screenplay (Endo); Lav Diaz and Dante Perez, Best Production Design (Death in the Land of the Encantos); Aleks Castaneda, Best Editing (Tambolista); Francis de Veyra, Best Music (Tribu); and Alvin Yapan for Best Short Film (Rolyo).

The annual critics’ lifetime achievement award that honors filmmakers who made notable contributions to local cinema paid tribute to world-renowned Kidlat Tahimik. He is famed for his internationally acclaimed 1977 film, Mababangong Bangungot (Perfumed Nightmare).

Gawad Urian is considered the most prestigious award-giving body in the country. For more than three decades, it has been known for honoring those who are most deserving winners based on the criteria of the MPP.

The MPP, which gives out the Gawad Urian, is a society of film critics. It is currently chaired by Mike Rapatan of the communications department of De La Salle University. Other members of the society are Nicanor Tiongson, former artistic director of the Cultural Center of the Philippines and chairman of the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board; Bienvenido Lumbera, 1993 Ramon Magsaysay Award laureate; Gigi Alfonso, chancellor of the UP Open University; Mario Hernando, Sunday Malaya editor; columnist and television personality Butch Francisco; Roland Tolentino, professor at the UP College of Mass Communications; and Lito Zulueta, Inquirer editor and professor at the University of Santo Tomas.