THE story of an old maid whose luck changes when she comes across a mysterious corpse at her family owned funeral parlor, Dwein Baltazar’s Oda sa Wala bagged five awards at the 6th QCinema International Film Festival awards night, held on Oct. 26 at Novotel in Araneta Center, Quezon City.
It won Best Film, according to the organizers, “for its keen and artistic blending of the mundane and grotesque to sensitively examine the fragile mind, soul, and heart of a forlorn woman whose bizarre pursuit for a semblance of completeness renders her even more broken.”
The film also bagged the Pylon awards for Best Director, Screenplay, Actress, and the Artistic Achievement Award.
Ms. Baltazar, who was both director and screenwriter for Oda, leaves it up to her audience to appreciate the film. “Their in for a ride,” she told BusinessWorld, shortly after the program.
The Circle Competition Audience Choice Award went to Hintayan ng Langit by Dan Villegas, while Billie and Emma by Samantha Lee bagged the Gender Sensitivity award.
Meanwhile, Dog Days by Timmy Harn won the Circle Competition NETPAC Jury Prize “for his imaginative take on the strange world that is ours,” according to the citation given during the awards night.
Film program manager Hock Doong Ho; film critic and historian Max Tessier; curator, researcher and writer Samuel Ho; film critic Oggs Cruz; and Singapore Films Commission director Joachim Ng served as jurors for the Circle Competition. Filmmaker Paolo Villaluna; producer and writer Bianca Balbuena; and film curator and scholar Dr. Anne Démy-Geroe served as jurors for the Asian Next Wave section while Cambodian International Film Festival programmer Sung Ho Park, film director Jay Altarejos, and filmmaker Paolo Villaluna served as jurors for the Rainbow QC section.
Festival director Eduardo J. Lejano, Jr. told BusinessWorld shortly after the program that they hope to be able to produce short films, documentaries, and full-length feature films all in one year in the future. Currently the festival produces short films and documentaries on alternate years.
Mr. Lejano also said that the festival hopes to increase the budget given for the film entries, and target international co-productions.
Today is the final day of the 6th QCinema International Film Festival, with films showing at the Gateway Mall (Cineplex 10), Robinsons Galleria (Robinsons Movieworld), and Ayala Malls Cinemas in TriNoma, UP Town Center, SM Fairview, SM Megamall, SM Manila, and SM Southmall.
Some of the entries are expected to get commercial runs in the future. — Michelle Anne P. Soliman