Wednesday, November 13, 2019

First Philippine Film Festival in Singapore to be held by PH Embassy in SG

Wazzup Pilipinas!

In celebration of the 50 years of diplomatic relations between Singapore and the Philippines, as well as the 100 Years of Philippine Cinema, the Philippine Embassy in Singapore has mounted the inaugural Philippine Film Festival. Pinoy and foreign cinephiles are in for a treat from November 12 to 15 as there is a special screening of “Mr. and Mrs. Cruz” as well as free screenings of “Seven Sundays,” “Bakwit Boys” and “Siargao” at the Shaw Foundation Alumni House of National University of Singapore (NUS).

The Philippine Embassy in Singapore, headed by Ambassador Joseph Del Mar Yap, has partnered with the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP), NUS Office of Alumni Relations, and film production company Star Cinema to make the maiden film event happen. The lineup of the Philippine Film Festival 2019 was specially curated with the assistance of FDCP to capture the Filipino way of life. Other Philippine Embassies that have partnered with FDCP to hold full-fledged Filipino film festivals this year are Portugal and Rome, Italy.

Holding Philippine Embassy-led film fests has helped propagate the richness and uniqueness of Filipino culture to Pinoys and foreigners alike. This is made possible through FDCP’s Philippine Embassies Assistance Program (PEAP) which has been running for over two years. Through PEAP, the FDCP helps Philippine Embassies and Consulates hold film-related activities in partnership with the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and DFA Cultural Diplomacy Unit.

Kicking off the PEAP initiative in Singapore on November 12 is the Reception Night which features the invitational screening of Sigrid Andrea P. Bernardo’s “Mr. and Mrs. Cruz” (2018). Bernardo, who is the film’s screenwriter and director, will introduce her movie and give a brief discussion during the Reception Night. The film is about two strangers with the same surname whose lives intertwine upon their serendipitous meeting in Palawan. It won the Yakushi Pearl (Most Brilliant Performer) Award for Ryza Cenon at the 2018 Osaka Asian Film Festival.

The free screenings of the first-ever Philippine Film Festival, meanwhile, will take place from November 13 to 15, starting off with Cathy Garcia-Molina’s “Seven Sundays” (2017) from Star Cinema under ABS-CBN Film Productions, Inc. The family drama is about how four siblings come together when they find out that their father has cancer. “Seven Sundays” won Best Editing, Best Screenplay, and Best Actor for Aga Muhlach at the 36th Luna Awards.

On November 14, the 2018 musical “Bakwit Boys” by writer-director Jason Paul Laxamana will take center stage. It is about four musically talented brothers who band together after their home was destroyed by a super typhoon. “Bakwit Boys” bagged the 2018 Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino (PPP) Audience Choice Award.

Moviegoers will be in for a splash when they watch Paul Soriano’s “Siargao” (2017) on the last day. A winner of seven Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) Awards, the movie revolves around a man and woman who cross paths in the surfing island of Siargao in Surigao del Norte province. The MMFF citations for “Siargao” are Second Best Picture, Best Director for Soriano, Best Supporting Actress for Jasmine Curtis-Smith, Best Cinematography, Best Editing, Best Sound, and Best Original Theme Song for “Alon” by Hale.

FDCP Chairperson and CEO Liza Diño shared, "In the Philippines, FDCP supports around 25 foreign embassy film festivals each year through our Film Cultural Exchange Program. This includes the Korean Film Festival, Spanish Film Festival, Cine Europa, Eiga Sai Japan Film Festival, and French Film Festival which are some of the longest-running and most successful foreign embassy-led festivals in the country and have captured thousands of local audiences who are getting more exposed to their cinemas and their culture."

Diño continued, "In the same vein and this time for our own Cinema, through PEAP, we are encouraging our own Philippine embassies to do the same in their respective posts. Through Filipino film festivals, these countries get to experience our culture and our stories, and discover our commonalities."

All Embassies and Consulates can apply for the PEAP at least two months before the event by contacting the FDCP International Relations Division. The all-out support that FDCP gives via PEAP involves the sending of film ambassadors to give lectures, coordination with producers, securing of discounted screening fees, coverage of subtitling fees, and curation of films.

The Philippine Film Festival 2019 screenings will be held at 7:30 p.m. at the Auditorium of the Shaw Foundation Alumni House, NUS located at 11 Kent Ridge Drive, Singapore 119244

2019 Luna Awards: 'Signal Rock,' 'Liway,' ‘Buy Bust’ and 'Goyo' are Top Nominees

Wazzup Pilipinas!

For the first time in 37 years, the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) joins the Film Academy of the Philippines (FAP) in co-organizing the prestigious Luna Awards, which is regarded as the Philippine counterpart of the Academy Awards. The partnership between FDCP and FAP shows their commitment to work hand-in-hand in ensuring competence and excellence in the Philippine movie industry. The Luna Awards has a distinct voting process because nominees are voted for by their peers—nominees per category are voted for by industry professionals from the same sector.

On November 12, Tuesday, FDCP and FAP have recognized a total of 16 movies as nominees for the 37th Luna Awards. Leading the pack with nine nominations apiece are “Signal Rock” by Chito Roño and “Liway” by Kip Oebanda.

The nominations earned by “Signal Rock” are Best Picture, Best Director for Roño, Best Actor for Christian Bables, Best Supporting Actor for Mon Confiado, Best Supporting Actress for Daria Ramirez, Best Screenplay for Rodolfo Vera, Best Sound for Albert Michael Idioma and Alex Tomboc, Best Production Design for Mark Sabas, and Best Cinematography for Neil Daza. Based on a true story in the 1990s, “Signal Rock” is about Bables’ character, Intoy, who looks after his family in Biri, Samar. He communicates with his sister who is overseas by going to unusual rock formations in an island. “Signal Rock” won the 2018 Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino Special Jury Prize, Critics’ Choice, and Best Performance by an Actor for Bables.

“Liway” garnered nine nominations in the categories of Best Motion Picture, Best Director for Oebanda, Best Actress for Glaiza de Castro, Best Supporting Actor for Soliman Cruz, Best Screenplay for Oebanda and Zig Dulay, Best Production Design for Aped Santos, Best Cinematography for Pong Ignacio, Best Musical Score for Nhick Ramiro Pacis, and Best Editing for Chuck Gutierrez. Like “Signal Rock,” “Liway” is based on a true story, but dating back earlier to the Martial Law era. It tells the story of a boy named Dakip who was born in a detention cell because his parents are political detainees. Dakip’s world is a prison camp which houses other political prisoners as well as criminals. In the 2018 Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival, “Liway” won the Audience Award in the Main Competition, Special Jury Commendation, and Special Jury Prize for Acting for Kenken Nuyad who portrayed Dakip.

Other top contenders for this year’s Luna Awards are Erik Matti’s “Buy Bust” and Jerrold Tarog’s “Goyo: Ang Batang Heneral” with eight nominations each. Among the nominations of “Buy Bust” are Best Motion Picture, Best Director for Matti, and Best Supporting Actor for Arjo Atayde. The nominations for “Goyo: Ang Batang Heneral” include Best Motion Picture, Best Supporting Actor for Carlo Aquino, and Best Supporting Actor for Epy Quizon. The Luna Awards Board of Governors have also selected two late directors, a veteran actress, and a longtime producer to be recipients of Special Awards. These are Wenn Deramas and Soxie Topacio for the Lamberto Avellana Memorial Award (Posthumous Award), Best Supporting Actress nominee Nova Villa for the Manuel de Leon Exemplary Award, and Regal Films matriarch Lily Monteverde, widely known as “Mother Lily,” for the Fernando Poe, Jr. (FPJ) Lifetime Achievement Award.

The distinguished personalities and professionals in the nominations list are expected to come together during the Nominees’ Night on November 20, Wednesday. The celebration continues at the 2019 Luna Awards Night on November 30, Saturday, at the Maybank Performing Arts Theater in Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City. Among the many things to watch out for at the Luna Awards Night is the special "Sine Sandaan" feature on the 100 Years of Philippine Cinema, which is being celebrated from September 12, 2019 to September 11, 2020, pursuant to Presidential Proclamation 622, Series of 2018. Through the Luna Awards and their future joint endeavors, FDCP and FAP vow to continue to promote Philippine Cinema so that it may further flourish in its Centennial celebration.

Below is the official list of nominees for the 37th Luna Awards:


Liway (Exquisite Aspect Ventures, VY/AC Productions, and Cinemalaya)
Buy Bust (Viva Films and Reality Entertainment)
Signal Rock (CSR Productions)
Goyo: Ang Batang Heneral (TBA Studios and Globe Studios)
Gusto Kita with All My Hypothalamus (Epicmedia Productions, CineFilipino, Unitel, and Cignal Entertainment)


Chito Roño (Signal Rock)
Dwein Baltazar (Gusto Kita with All My Hypothalamus)
Erik Matti (Buy Bust)
Kip Oebanda (Liway)
Irene Villamor (Meet Me in St. Gallen)


Eddie Garcia (Rainbow’s Sunset)
Christian Bables (Signal Rock)
Nicco Manalo (Gusto Kita with All My Hypothalamus)
Daniel Padilla (The Hows of Us)
Dingdong Dantes (Sid & Aya)


Angelica Panganiban (Exes Baggage)
Glaiza de Castro (Liway)
Ai Ai delas Alas (School Service)
Anne Curtis (Sid & Aya)
Agot Isidro (Changing Partners)


Arjo Atayde (Buy Bust)
Soliman Cruz (Liway)
Carlo Aquino (Goyo: Ang Batang Heneral)
Epy Quizon (Goyo: Ang Batang Heneral)
Mon Confiado (Signal Rock)


Aiko Melendez (Rainbow’s Sunset)
Daria Ramirez (Signal Rock)
Max Collins (Citizen Jake)
Nova Villa (Miss Granny)
Sunshine Dizon (Rainbow’s Sunset)


Carmi Raymundo, Gillian Ebreo, Crystal San Miguel, and Cathy Garcia-Molina (The Hows of Us)
Rodolfo Vera (Signal Rock)
Rodolfo Vera and Jerrold Tarog (Goyo: Ang Batang Heneral)
Irene Villamor (Meet Me in St. Gallen)
Zig Dulay and Kip Oebanda (Liway)


Albert Michael Idioma and Alex Tomboc (Goyo: Ang Batang Heneral)
Albert Michael Idioma and Alex Tomboc (Signal Rock)
Whannie Dellosa and Steven Vesagas (Buy Bust)
Axel Fernandez (Gusto Kita with All My Hypothalamus)
Jason Conanan, Mikko Quizon, and Kat Salinas (Meet Me in St. Gallen)


Michael Español and Roma Regala (Buy Bust)
Aped Santos (Liway)
Mark Sabas (Signal Rock)
Roy Lachica (Goyo: Ang Batang Heneral)
Maolen Fadul (Gusto Kita with All My Hypothalamus)


Neil Derrick Bion (Buy Bust)
Neil Daza (Gusto Kita with All My Hypothalamus)
Pong Ignacio (Liway)
Neil Daza (Signal Rock)
Tey Clamor (Ang Babaeng Allergic sa WiFi)


Jerrold Tarog (Goyo: Ang Batang Heneral)
Malek Lopez and Erwin Romulo (Buy Bust)
Emerzon Texon (Meet Me in St. Gallen)
Nhick Ramiro Pacis (Liway)
Emerzon Texon (Ang Babaeng Allergic sa WiFi)


Jay Halili (Buy Bust)
Marya Ignacio and Noemi Paguiligan (The Hows of Us)
Maynard Pattaui and Edlyn Tallada-Abuel (Ang Dalawang Mrs. Reyes)
Chuck Gutierrez (Liway)
Jerrold Tarog (Goyo: Ang Batang Heneral)
Special Awards:

Fernando Poe, Jr. (FPJ) Lifetime Achievement Award
Ms. Lily Monteverde

Manuel de Leon Award for Exemplary Achievements
Ms. Nova Villa

Lamberto Avellana Memorial Award
Director Wenn Deramas
Director Soxie Topacio

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Qatar Airways Sponsorship To Help Revive Philippines Football League

Wazzup Pilipinas!

Philippines was one of the soccer powerhouses before the hoops took over the nation. However, the attempts to revive the game in the country with the most active efforts coming from the Philippines Football Federation (PPF) chief Mariano “Nonong” Araneta.

The reigning President of PFF who is seeking a fresh mandate as the chief is looking to sustain the development of football in the country. Philippines has a long association with the sport that dates back to more than 100 years when Paulino Alcántara Riestra became the first Filipino player to play for a European club. 

Since then football teams started to form in the country with some of the oldest names including the Manila Sporting Club (1906), the Bohemian Sporting Club (1909), and the Sandow Athletic Club (1910). But over the years, the game lost its lustre and is overtaken by basketball.

PFF revival efforts could be soon getting a major boost as talks with Qatar Airways are underway to sponsor the Philippines Football League for the next three years. The financial details of the deal are yet not made public but Araneta believes that the sponsorship will provide enough funding to host junior-level tournaments in the league.

Interestingly, the news is coming around the period when PPF Congress event is to be held on November 28. During the event voting for the new PFF president will be held in which representatives from 32 provincial football associations will be participating. 

Araneta is already backed by representatives of 25 provincial football associations and expects that development of the PFF over the last eight years will be enough to earn him another term.

First elected in 2011, Araneta who is on his second term is happy to see Qatar Airways is there to support soccer in the country. He believes it is the performance of the team that gained recognition. He states, “I think they realized that although there are some things that are lacking, but overall football (in the country) has improved.”

Philippines national teams (men and women) has gained during the tenure of Araneta as the PPF president. The men’s national team qualified for AFC Asian Cup for the first time and reached its highest global ranking of 111. 

The women’s national team also made to the AFC Asian Cup. The popularity of the sport in the country is one the rise that is garnering interest from the global fan community. 

Most sportsbooks now list Philippines football odds which is a sign of increasing global interest in the country’s play. The grassroots programs of the PFF are considered to be a reason behind the improved and are praised by the AFC.

The PPF chief is optimistic that the Philippines Football League that had a difficult first couple of years will be benefited from the Qatar Airways sponsorship that will run for three years.

But the tough times are not yet over for the Philippines football as the Araneta’s running mate Ricky Yanson who is also the Negros Occidental Football Association president is in a company dispute with his other siblings including younger brother Leo Rey, who owns Ceres-Negros, Philippine’s top football club.

This makes it important that Araneta wins the election who was captured quoting, “I was thinking of not running anymore as I have served football for a long time.”

“But because of the circumstances right now, then I am forced to run again to protect football from infighting.”

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