By Michelle Anne. P. Soliman, Reporter
A DRAMA about the simple and settled life of an elderly couple that is altered when the old woman’s ex-husband seeks her help, Kung Paano Hinihintay ang Dapithapon (Waiting for Sunset) bagged five awards including Best Film and the NETPAC Award for full-length feature at the 14th Cinemalaya Film Festival on Sunday at the Cultural Center of the Philippines.
Directed by Carlo Enciso Catu, Kung Paano Hinihintay ang Dapithapon was named Best Film “for its general technical excellence, powerful ensemble acting, and sensitive depiction of declining decrepitude” and received the NETPAC Award “for its subtle depiction of an aged woman choosing to forgive her ex-husband when he needs help.”
The film also won the Best Production Design, Best Cinematography, and Best Screenplay awards.
During his acceptance speech, Mr. Catu said that aspiring filmmakers should never stop dreaming and acknowledged the act of loving as an inspiration. “Paano ka makakapagkwento ng pagmamahal kung wala sila (How will you tell a story about love without the people who showed you love?).”
The Best Supporting Actress award for full-length feature was given to Therese Malvar for her performances in two films — School Service (about children who are kidnapped at put to work as beggars) and Distance (about a grieving woman who is helped by her ex-husband). This was the first time an award in the same category was given to a nominated actor for work in two separate films.
In addition to the Special Jury Prizes they received for short and full-length feature respectively, Special Jury Prizes for Acting were awarded to the child actors of Pan De Salawal, Miel Espinosa and JM Salvado, and School Service’s Kenken Nuyad. Kip Oebanda’s Liway — about a child growing up in a military camp where his rebel parents are being held, a story based on the director’s life — bagged the Special Jury Commendation Award.
With the diversity of themes in this year’s film festival, full-length feature directors Che Espiritu and Kip Oebanda agree that fear should not get in the way of storytelling.
“Filipino filmmakers are very talented and have many stories to share not only to the Philippines but the whole world,” Ms. Espiritu, who won Best Director for Pan De Salawal — a film about a community changed after the appearance of a child who can make miracles — told BusinessWorld after the program. “Don’t be afraid to tell the story no matter how simple, even if it’s not deep, [as long as] the theme is genuine, and the heart is in the story. Don’t be afraid to share your story.”
“When we started making the film it was full of fear and anxiety,” Mr. Oebanda said in his acceptance speech. “Minsan [ma]halaga rin na makibaka kahit natatakot (Sometimes it’s important to fight even when in fear).”
“It’s scary, but it had to be done,” Mr. Oebanda told BusinessWorld after the program. “I’m thankful for her (his mother) for everything and [also to] my father. I think it’s also the story of all political detainees, not just our family.”