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A FILM on the effects of childhood trauma as felt by a man without a mouth made history as the first animated film to be part of — and win — the main competition of the Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival, which just concluded its 19th edition.
Carl Joseph Papa’s Iti Mapukpukaw bagged the Best Film award at the festival’s awarding ceremony on Aug. 13 at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC). It also won two more awards: the Network for the Promotion of Asia Pacific (NETPAC) award and Best Supporting Actress for Dolly de Leon.
The Filipino-Ilocano rotoscope animated film follows Eric, a mouthless man who lives a seemingly normal life working as an animator. His story then takes twists and turns upon the arrival of a familiar alien.
“[Iti Mapukpukaw won Best Film] for boldly taking on the challenges of technology in crafting a very engaging narrative of a young man confronting the demons of his past, and for its overall cinematic excellence,” the award citation read.
“Gusto ko ibigay ito sa lahat ng mga Eric na inalisan ng bibig at hindi nakakapag salita. Para sa inyo ito. Nandito kami, nakikinig (I would like to dedicate this to all the Erics who cannot speak because their mouths have been sealed shut. This is for you. We are here, listening),” Mr. Papa said in his acceptance speech.
The other big winner of the night was Samantha Lee’s Rookie, which also received three awards including Best Actress for Pat Tingjuy, Best Editing, and the Audience Choice award.
The romantic comedy follows Ace, who joins the school volleyball team where she falls for the team captain Jana. The film is about “the moments in our life that shape us… about how the lessons and the people from our younger days come together to help make us into a person,” said Ms. Lee.
Ms. Tingjuy won for “her refreshing portrayal of a young girl coming to terms with her sexual identity as she comes of age in the exciting world of volleyball,” the award citation read.
For the short feature film category, Januar Yap’s Sibuyas ni Perfecto took home the Best Short Film prize.
The short follows an aging man who realizes he missed doing one very important thing while delivering his spices and vegetables.
“[Sibuyas ni Perfecto won Best Short Film] for its quiet but coruscating take on social iniquity and how the poor’s exploitation by the rich is driven by their own denigration and self-abasement,” the citation read.
This year’s Cinemalaya was held at the PICC because of the ongoing extensive renovation of its regular venue, the Cultural Center of the Philippines’ main building. The festival showcased 20 films in competition this year, with 10 full-length features and 10 short feature films.
The Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) announced that it will continue to fund the production of new films for next year’s festival. FDCP Chairperson Tirso Cruz III said that the full-length films for next year’s Cinemalaya will receive P1 million each and the short feature films will receive P100,000 each. — Brontë H. Lacsamana
And the winner is….
FULL-LENGTH FEATURE FILMS
• Best Film: Iti Mapukpukaw by Carl Joseph Papa
• Best Direction: Ryan Espinosa Machado for Huling Palabas
• Best Actress: Pat Tingjuy for Rookie
• Best Actor: Mikoy Morales for Tether
• Best Supporting Actress: Dolly de Leon for Iti Mapukpukaw
• Best Supporting Actor: Bon Andrew Lentejas for Huling Palabas
• Best Screenplay: Jopy Arnaldo for Gitling
• Best Cinematography: Martika Ramirez Escobar for When This Is All Over
• Best Production Design: Kaye Banaag for When This Is All Over
• Best Editing: Ilsa Malsi for Rookie
• Best Original Music Score: Kindred for When This Is All Over
• Best Sound: Gian Arre for Tether
• NETPAC Jury Prize: Iti Mapukpukaw by Carl Joseph Papa
• Special Jury Prize: Ang Duyan ng Magiting by Dustin Celestino
• Audience Choice Award: Rookie by Samantha Lee
• Best Short Film: Sibuyas ni Perfecto by Januar Yap
• Best Direction: Mike Cabarles for Makoko sa Baybay
• Best Screenplay: Alvin Belarmino and Kyla Romero for Hinakdal
• NETPAC Jury Prize: Hinakdal by Alvin Belarmino
• Special Jury Prize: Hm Hm Mhm by Sam Villa-Real and Kim Timan
• Audience Choice Award: Hinakdal by Alvin Belarmino