Paglisan, Never Tear Us Apart take top prizes at CinemaOne Originals

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THE 14th edition of CinemaOne Originals concluded with two films from its Circle Competition taking home the awards night’s biggest prizes, with Paglisan by Carl Papa winning Best Picture while Never Tear Us Apart by Whammy Alcazaren winning the Best Director and Jury Prize.

The awarding ceremony was held on Oct. 21 at ABS-CBN’s Dolphy Theater in Quezon City.

Carl Joseph Papa’s Paglisan is an animated dramedy musical about a middle-aged movie star who is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and finds himself living in seclusion with his unhappy wife. The film won Best Picture, the Champion Bughaw award, Best Screenplay, Best Sound and Best Music.

“Thank you for believing that we can make an animated film and a musical at that,” Mr. Papa said in his acceptance speech for Best Picture.

The night’s other big winner, Never Tear Us Apart by Whammy Alcazaren — a film which follows a spy who embarks on a final mission to save his family — won the Jury Prize alongside a Best Director win for Mr. Alcazaren and a host of technical awards: Best Music, Best Production Design, and Best Cinematography. The film was shot using iPhones vertically and was formerly called Fisting: Never Tear Us Apart — the title was changed days before the festival started.

“Thank you for watching our film, I know it wasn’t easy to watch but cinema is so big that we can’t put a period on it. And we did this to open the minds that there’s something beyond the simple things. Thank you CinemaOne for letting it happen because it wouldn’t be possible anywhere else,” Mr. Alcazaren said in his acceptance speech for the Jury Prize.

The film was described by the jury as one that “breaks new ground by experimenting with the cinematic language that both offends with its eloquence and stutters with its unflinching honesty.”

Another highlight from the awards night was Iyah Mina’s Best Actress win for Mamu and A Mother Too. Ms. Mina is the first transgender woman to have ever won an acting award.

“Is this real? I offer my award to the trans community and the LGBTQ community. This is for all of us. Let’s celebrate equality. This is it! I am a woman!” a visibly emotional Ms. Mina said in her acceptance speech.

Keith Deligero’s A Short History of a Few Bad Things won a special citation from the jury that described the film as presenting “the city of Cebu with the deep seriousness of crime noir and the knowing levity of cool irony,” during the Special Citation presentation.

“This film gives the Binisaya movement another memorable picture that manages to make us laugh and wonder as it comments on the grim reality of sad history we can’t escape,” the CinemaOne jury added.

Best Picture: Paglisan by Carl Joseph Papa

Champion Bughaw Jury Prize: Never Tear Us Apart by Whammy Alcazaren

Best Director: Whammy Alcazaren for Never Tear Us Apart

Special Citation: A Short History of a Few Bad Things by Keith Deligero

Best Actress: Iyah Mina for Mamu and A Mother Too

Best Actor: Alwin Uytingco for Asuang

Best Supporting Actress: Mary Joy Apostol Hospicio

Best Supporting Actor: Arron Villaflor for Mamu and A Mother Too

Audience Choice: Mamu and A Mother Too by Rod Singh

Best Screenplay: Carl Joseph Papa and Aica Ganhinhin for Paglisan

Best Sound: Jess Carlos for Paglisan

Best Music: Erwin Romulo for Never Tear Us Apart and Teresa Barrozo for Paglisan

Best Editing: Ilsa Malsi for Never Tear Us Apart

Best Production Design: Thesa Tang for Never Tear Us Apart

Best Cinematography: Sasha Palomares for Never Tear Us Apart

Best Short Film: Manila Is Full of Men Named Boy by Andrew Stephen Lee

One-Minute Student Film Competition: Para Kay Tatay by Christlin Conanan from University of the Philippines Diliman — ZBC