It was almost instinctive. Every one said yes right away. Each jury member believes FAMAS is a tradition worth saving. “Pang-FAMAS ang acting. Pang-FAMAS ang pelikula. (Acting deserving of the FAMAS. A film worthy of the FAMAS)” It used to be the generic for cinematic excellence.
Ricky Lee was approached by Madonna Sanchez, Megavision and Famas 2018 Awards producer, to head the FAMAS jury. The mandate was to instill change. He said yes on several conditions: that the jury be independent; that he be given a free hand in the selection of all jury members; that awards be given to short and documentary films; that the award for best story be eliminated and awards be given instead for original and adapted screenplay; that the award for best child performer be scrapped.
The conditions were met. The three handpicked sets of jury for the three section– full-length documentary, short film, and full-length feature– composed of film practitioners, academicians, and film reviewers were completed. Rules were crafted. And, thus, began the screening of over a hundred movies.
Ricky’s philosophy was clear. There is only one Philippine cinema and this is not divided into mainstream or indie, commercial or artistic. The present landscape has grown so vast that it is imperative that all forces that define Philippine cinema be included. Inclusivity is a must. And there is only one major criterion — cinematic excellence. And cinematic excellence is driven by craft, substance, and the manner by which the medium is used to achieve a vision or how the parameters of the medium are stretched to find new or innovative ways of expressing a filmmaker’s message.
There are 10 jury members for full-length feature, four members for documentary, and four members for short films. Ricky heads all three sections. Votes are tabulated to help determine the shortlist for each category, but all voting is superseded by the outcome of the deliberation. Therefore, it is not surprising if a film that may not figure well in the tabulation can land in the final list after a thorough deliberation.
Ricky doesn’t vote. In principle, he may, in case of a tie. But he encourages all jury members to deliberate. He joins in the discussion. He leads and arbitrates. In the end, the jury members make the final choices.
WHY LEND YOUR NAME TO FAMAS?
“Why not? Famas is a tradition. We grew up with Famas. Whatever happened along the way, we were asked to help, and we want to help,” Ricky states.
“Malaki ang utang na loob ko sa awards dahil malaking bahagi ng pagkakakilala sa akin ay dahil sa mga award na natanggap ko. Pero hindi ako naniniwala sa awards dahil para nitong pinagboboksing ang mga pelikula. But this is a tradition na siguro ay nakakatulong para mabuhay ang interes sa pelikula. I can recognize that pero gusto ko i-share ang aking pananaw. (I owe a lot to awards because a large measure of why I became known was because of the awards I received. But I don’t believe in awards that pit films against each other like boxers in a ring. But this is a tradition that may help revive interest in films. I can recognize that but I want to share my views.) There were a lot of exceptional movies in 2017 and that should be celebrated. Perhaps equal to awarding the FAMAS trophy is the recognition that the past year was a golden harvest of cinematic gems,” Ricky emphasizes.
FAMAS 2018 is a celebration of the cinematic achivements of all the filmmakers and the list of nominees is proof that there is an abundance of outstanding films: films that move and inspire, films that make a statement on our present realities, films that create a new reality and share new insights on events that happened decades ago, films that go inside the mind of the young and allow us to take a peek at points-of-view we may have sometimes ignored.
Ricky emphasizes; “We celebrate achievements in the technical and creative aspects of filmmaking. We celebrate performances. We cannot say this actor is better that the other actor or this director is better than the other director. I would like to think that we are recognizing achievements by awarding them with nominations and we give the FAMAS trophy to the one who we think gave the most remarkable achievement.”
THE NOMINEES LIST
How can one define the spectrum of a list that purports to include only the best?
Balangiga: Howling Wilderness is a period piece of visual poetry set in the aftermath of the Balangiga massacre. It stars three non-actors– a grandfather and two children. One of the children is a toddler. All three give powerful performances and help define the world the movie created with messages on patriotism, the savagery of war, children as victims and many more.
On the other hand, Love You To The Stars and Back is a big studio movie that uses the rom-com genre as a springboard. But the filmmaker brilliantly traverses and breaks formulaic elements to come up with a film that is sincere and affecting as it poses questions on love, mortality, and relationships. Needless to say, the performances in this film are highly commendable.
Yield is a powerful documentary that follows the lives of a number of children over a span of a couple of years. The cinema veritedocumentary derives its power not only from its subjects but also from the use of cinematic elements to drive home its statement on the helplessness of children and the physically afflicted in the midst of poverty.
Yield is nominated in several categories including achievement in directing and best picture. This may look new to some but a documentary is a non-fiction narrative and, for all intents and purposes, is eligible for recognition in the full-length feature section.
“Lines are blurred among cinematic formats and genre. At tama yon. Ang isang documentary, hindi man singlakas ng hatak sa mga manonood tulad ng isang commercial film, ay isang narrative na ang intent at power ay walang ipinagkaiba sa kinikilala nating feature films. Ang kakulangan ng hatak sa manonood ay hindi batayan upang isantabi ang halaga niya sa cinematic landsacape. Mas dapat ngang matulungan ang mga manonood na makilala ang documentary films dahil ang saysay nito ay mahalaga. Ginagawa na ito sa mga malalaking international film festival, sa Oscar awards, eligible ang mga documentary film para sa best picture award, ang rebolusyonaryong MMFF noong 2016 ay ginawa na ito. (And that is correct. A documentary, even if does not pull in audiences as much as a commercial film, is a narrative whose intent and power are no different from the feature films we are familiar with. This lack of audience pull is not a basis to set aside their importance in the cinematic landscape. We should popularize documentary films even more because their relevance is important. This practice is already being done in major international festivals. In the Oscars, documentary films are eligible for the best picture award. This was also done in the revolutionary MMFF in 2016.),” Ricky explains.
The short films list comprises of 10 titles that use various genres. Despite their short runtime of three to 25 minutes, these films deliver stories that punch at one’s sensibility and consciousness and push the limits of the short medium. This is an important section. As technology has democratized film production, each one has the power to tell his story in a cinematic language he may desire.
Ricky stresses; “Films contribute to our collective consciousness and awareness. They are a great part of our culture. The value of a film is not dictated by the number of viewers but by the message and vision the film imparts.”
“Every film, whatever genre it uses, carries with it a statement. And a good film carries a statement that is true and just. The artists who worked in the nominated films bears the truth that gives value to the meaning of life and humanity. They not only give voice to truth and justice but they serve the underprivileged whose voices, dreams and desires are drowned in the murky sea of untruth and injustice. In the end, films may entertain, educate, or stir emotions. But a good film serves a greater purpose of questioning the human condition. The nominated films do this and more. This is a great reason to cheer them on.“
DO AWARDS MATTER?
For some, an award is a validation of their truth. For others, awards encourage them to produce more movies that, they perceive, matter. For the FAMAS jury, the 66th FAMAS Awards serves as a platform to celebrate the good movies of the past year, informing the public about what the jury feels are the values one should look for in appreciating a worthy work. It is an occasion where filmmakers can interact with each other and revel in the celebration that in 2017 their films are a testament to a job well done.
The 66th FAMAS Awards will be held on June 10, Sunday at The Theater at Solaire.
After 90 nights of bringing good vibes to televiewers, GMA 7’s The One That Got Away is all set to deliver a kilig-filled finale tomorrow, (May 18), on GMA Telebabad.
The sexy rom-com series is undeniably a hit among netizens and Kapuso viewers who have consistently followed the extraordinary and crazy lives of Rhian Ramos as “Zoe”, Max Collins as “Darcy” and Kapuso Premier Actress Lovi Poe as “Alex” who formed an unlikely but strong friendship after discovering that in different times in their lives, they were romantically linked with the same guy “Liam” played by Dennis Trillo during different times in their lives.
Lovi reveals it’s an honor for her to play the role of Alex and she will miss working with her co-stars most especially Dennis. “He is very tahimik but very giving. Pag kaeksena mo siya, wow nagshi-shift siya. Ang galing. I’m very happy kasi first time namin ni Dennis na magkaroon ng TV project. Everything is fresh and brand new.”
The Kapuso Premier Actress will definitely treasure this show since they’ve grown as a family on set. “I will also miss everyone’s craziness sa set which is a good thing. Sila Zoe and Darcy especially sila Direk Mark (Sicat Dela Cruz), makukulit lahat talaga.”
Max shares she’s happy she got to work with an amazing cast. “The friendship and the “family” we created on set are really special. We have a great bond and chemistry that’s hard to find in show business.”
She also has many memorable moments portraying the role of Darcy including “our fight scenes because they were pretty wild and fun to do. We were all like kids just playing around.”
Rhian enjoyed portraying her character very much. She’s glad that people loved her character, Zoe, as much as she did. “Sobrang enjoy ako. Sinasabi ko nga sa sarili ko, “Girl, kelan ka pa makakakuha ng ganito, enjoyin mo na siya!” Kasi characters like Zoe don’t just drop on your lap all the time.”
She definitely loved doing the soap because it’s very light and she had a great time working with everyone. “I’m really happy and flattered and natutuwa ako na naeenjoy ng mga tao kasi this is a very different kind of show, medyo experimental siya for us to do. Pero nung tinanggap nila parang, “Ah okay, ready na pala yung audience for this.” Nakakatuwa kasi mas nakaka inspire na maging creative kasi nga out-of-the-box siya, kung saan-saan mo siya pwedeng dalhin,” she said.
Dennis shares that the love and support of the fans and viewers have been their source of strength and inspiration since their pilot airing. “Masarap ang pakiramdam na marami ang nakapanood at hindi nabalewala ang pagod namin. Masaya kami kasi going strong ang The One That Got Away. Nakakatuwa kasi kahit nasa ibang bansa ako, “Liam”, ang tawag sa akin, “he said.
The One That Got Away has a stellar cast including Kapuso heartthrobs Ivan Dorschner, Migo Adecer and Jason Abalos. The series also features Snooky Serna, Bembol Roco; Luz Valdez; Ervic Vijandre; Nar Cabico; Jason Francisco; Patricia Ismael; Kelley Day; Euwenn Aleta with guest stars Renz Fernandez, Sophie Albert and Solenn Heusaff.
“The One That Got Away” is a product of the visionary mind of Angeli ‘Geng’ Delgado (concept creator), Palanca Awardee Renei Dimla (head writer); under the tutelage of the Creative Team headed by Roy Iglesias (Creative Director), Agnes Gagelonia-Uligan (Senior Creative Consultant), under the capable supervision of the Production team of GMA Entertainment Content Group headed by Ms. Lilybeth G. Rasonable (SVP For ECG), Ms. Redgie Magno (VP For Drama), Ms. Cheryl Ching-Sy (AVP for Drama), Ms. Hazel Felizmenio Abonita (Senior Program Manager) and Ms. Michelle Borja (Executive Producer).
Under the helm of Mark Sicat Dela Cruz, don’t miss the exciting finale episode of The One That Got Away tomorrow, May 18, after Kambal, Karibal on GMA Telebabad.
Myx TV, the leading English-language Asian American entertainment network, continued its winning season this year when its show, Mom vs. Matchmaker, won the Platinum Remi Award at 51st annual WorldFest for Best Reality-Based Program in Houston, Texas.
Mom vs. Matchmaker is a series focused on finding the perfect match for millennials. Matchmaking professional Carmelia Raychallenges the mothers of the contestants in finding a suitable date for their kid. Each will set up a date in the hopes that their pick will be chosen. The singles find out at the end of the episode who prepared which date.
Founded over 50 years ago as an international film society, WorldFest became the third competitive international film festival in North America, following San Francisco and New York. It is also the oldest independent film and video festival in the world. As one of the oldest and largest film and video competitions globally, it drew over 4,500 entries from over 43 countries this year. Only 10 to 15 percent of entries were awarded a Remi.
Festival winners have at least passed what WorldFest founder and organizer Hunter Todd called as the “egg timer test”. Long films were given a 10-minute view test, shorter works a five-minute test. Some entries didn’t even make the one-minute mark.
Mom vs Matchmaker is produced by Go Button Media with Daniel Oron and Natasha Ryan as executive producers. Myx TV General Manager Miguel Santos is executive producer for Myx TV. The show is distributed by Electus International. It is nowseen in 84 countries.
Earlier this year, Myx TV nabbed finalist nods for its shows, Discovering Routes and My Motto: Veterans Edition at the 2018 Cynopsis Short Form Video Festival & Conference, and for My Motto: Veterans Edition, another finalist slot in the Digital Media-Short Form category at the 2018 National Association for Multi-Ethnicity in Communications (NAMIC) Vision Awards, presented in partnership with NAMIC Southern California.
Placing importance on Filipino documentary films and its impact on not just Philippine cinema but in society, theFilm Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP), through the SineSaysay Documentary Film Lab and Showcase announced its documentary film finalists during a Press Conference last May 7, 2018 in Quezon City.
SineSaysay has two categories: 1.Bagong Sibol Documentary Lab which caters to filmmakers on their first and second full length documentary films, and 2. the Feature Documentary Showcase for filmmakers who have produced at least two (2) full length films to their credits. This year, the FDCP is in partnership with the National Historical Commission of the Philippines for the themes of the films to focus on often-unvisited moments and events in Philippine history.
“This first year of SineSaysay is an important step for us to expand the empowerment and appreciation of other types of filmmaking. Documentary films have form part of our collective consciousness, highlighting very relevant social issues and even inspiring real change, and it is high time that we actively support the production of more of these types of films,” said FDCP Chairperson Liza Dino.
The finalists for both categories of SineSaysay were selected through a blind selection type with the following members: Mr. Tito Valiente, former Chairman of the Gawad Urian and a lecturer in Ateneo de Manila University and Ateneo de Naga University, Mr. Teddy Co, the Commissioner for the Arts at the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) and an active member of the Society of Filipino Archivists for film, Mr. Doy del Mundo Jr., an award-winning film director, writer and producer, known for his works in Pepot Superstar (2005), Manila Sa Mga Kuko Ng Liwanag (1975) and the documentaries, and Mr. Rene R. Escalante, Chairperson of the National Historical Commission Of The Philippines and a known historian and author of numerous books on Philippine history and FDCP Chairperson and CEO Ms. Liza Diño, whose main goal is to continue to holistically empower the local film industry on all fronts, not just to uplift the quality of Philippine Cinema but to take a leap for our films to go international through film festivals and distribution.
Sinesaysay also introduced the mentors for the Bagong Sibol Category – producer, writer and cinematographer Ditsi Carolino, journalist and independent filmmaker Joseph Israel Laban, Screenwriter director and producer of the film, “Respeto” and “Apocalypse Child,”Monster Jimenez and Award-winning director of “Women of the Weeping River” Sheron Dayoc.
The Bagong Sibol finalists will be given One Hundred Thousand Pesos (P100,000.00) as seed money to develop their 10-20-minute version of their project. The shortlisted projects will undergo the lab program which will culminate with an industry pitch showcase where they will be presenting their pitches and short film treatments of their projects. Of these, two (2) selected projects will be granted the Bagong Sibol Production Fund (BSPF) in the amount of Seven Hundred Thousand Pesos (P700,000.00) to produce the feature versions of their project. The shortlisted finalists for Bagong Sibol are:
- “Ang Huling Kaharian” by Bryan Kristoffer Brazil
- “Mga Bayaning Aeta” by Donnie Sacueza
- “El Caudillo” by Khalil Joseph Bañares
- “Patay Na Riles” by John Christian Samoy
- “A Memory Of Empire” by Jean Claire Dy
- “Dr. Jose N. Rodriguez – A Filipino Leprologists’ Journey” by Micaela Fransesca Rodriguez
- “Noong, Sa Aming Pagkabata” by Darlene Joanna Young
- “Kachangyan Wedding Redux” by Lester Valle & Carla Ocampo
For the Feature Documentary Showcase, four (4) filmmakers will be awarded a 1 Million Peso (P1,000,000.00) co-production grant to produce their creative documentary film projects and these are:
- “Untitled Project” by Cha Escala
- “Daan Patungong Tawaya” by Kevin Piamonte
- “Looter” by Jayson Bernard Santos
- “Heneral Asyong” by Victor Acedillo
SineSaysay films will have its premiere screenings in Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino 2019.
Experience a mix of emotions this May! Four living legends travel together anew to enjoy the time of their lives in the latest season of the hilarious travelogue series Better Late Than Never; the medical staff of Angels Memorial are back to continue the business of saving lives in the new season of the emotionally-charged medical drama Code Black – both premiering this May on Sony Channel.
Better Late Than Never Season 2
The celebrated cast is back for season two with more fun, comedy and adventure as the five globe-trotting stars – Henry Winkler, William Shatner, George Foreman, Terry Bradshaw and comedian Jeff Dye – set off on a wildly entertaining journey to Munich, Berlin, Lithuania, Sweden, Barcelona, Madrid and Morocco.
In the new season, the five take on a new round of unusual adventures – and misadventures – as they travel to iconic cities across Europe, trying their best to immerse themselves in their cultures, communicating with the locals, and having a taste of well-loved traditions.
Better Late Than Never Season 2 premieres on May 16, and airs every Wednesday at 8.50PM.
Code Black Season 3
The doctors and interns of Angels Memorial Hospital deal with more changes in the hospital ranks, new residents, and more emergency cases as the hospital copes with a full-scale quarantine with big guns and bigger panic.
In the season premiere, first-year residents Diego Avila (Tyler Perez) and Pepper Russo (Chaley Rose) join the team. Willis (Rob Lowe) trades the hospital walls for field duty; Leighton (Harry Ford) accepts the O.R. residency position offered by Campbell (Boris Kodjoe); and Mario (Benjamin Hollingsworth) is taking the death of ex-fling Heather (Jillian Murray) particularly hard.
Code Black Season 3 premieres on May 31, and airs every Thursday at 8:50pm.
Sony Channel is available on Cablelink Channel 39, Cignal Channel 120, Destiny Cable Channel 35, G Sat Channel 48, and SKYCable Channel 35.
Song/Single Title: NASA DULO
Artist: Top One Project (T.O.P.)
Lyrics by: LOUIE PEDROSO
Music by: LOUIE PEDROSO & JOSHUA JACOBE
Arranged, mixed and produced by: MIKO MANGUBA
Publisher: GMA Music Publishing
Release date: Apr. 25, 2018
Available for downloading and streaming on iTunes, Spotify and over 180 digital stores worldwide!