art & design, movies

urian 2008

By Bayani San Diego Jr.
Philippine Daily Inquirer

MANILA, Philippines—For the fourth straight year, independent movies dominate the Urian awards, given by the Manunuri ng Pelikulang Pilipino, the country’s oldest critics’ group.

The Manunuri, now in its 31st year, nominated only five mainstream works: Jinggoy Estrada in “Katas ng Saudi” for Best Actor; Judy Ann Santos in “Sakal, Sakali, Saklolo” and Lorna Tolentino in “Katas” for Best Actress; Jose Javier Reyes’ “Katas ng Saudi” for Best Screenplay; and Liza Lorena in “Katas” for Supporting Actress.

Clean sweep

Since 2003, the Manunuri has picked indie movies for Best Film.

This year, all six nominees for Best Film are indies: Jerrold Tarog and Ruel Dahis Antipuesto’s “Confessional,” Jade Castro’s “Endo,” Dante Mendoza’s “Foster Child” and “Tirador,” Lav Diaz’s “Death in the Land of Encantos” and Jim Libiran’s “Tribu.”

“It’s the first time for indies to have a clean sweep of the Best Film category,” says Lito Zulueta, Manunuri member. Adds National Artist Bienvenido Lumbera, founding member and former chair: “It’s an indication of the enthusiasm of indie directors. It’s a good sign… that the film industry is being revived by new filmmakers.”

Although it can be argued that “Foster Child,” produced by Seiko Films, can fall under the mainstream category, it is directed by Mendoza, known mainly for indie films.

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“Foster” received the most nominations, along with “Tribu” and Adolf Alix Jr.’s “Tambolista” which each got 10 nods. (But “Tambolista” is not in the Best Film race.) “Tirador” got 9 noms; while “Endo” and “Confessional” each has 7.

Mendoza isn’t the only one who scored double nods, for Best Director and Film (“Tirador” and “Foster”). Jiro Manio is nominated for Actor (“Tambolista”) and Supporting Actor (“Foster”); and Sid Lucero is in the race for Actor (“Selda”) and Supporting Actor (“Tambolista”).

Tarog has the most nominations for an individual—six (Sound, Editing, Screenplay, Actor, Director and Film) for a single movie, “Confessional.”

Brave move

“It’s a very brave move for the Manunuri,” says Ronald Arguelles, project head of Cinema One Originals, which produced “Confessional” and “Tambolista.” “I believe the critics cited the indies because these films don’t adhere to formulas.”

Cinema One Originals is a digital film festival mounted by the Filipino movie cable channel of ABS-CBN.

Two more Cinema One films received nominations: Veronica Velasco and Pablo Biglang-awa’s “Maling Akala” with three (Music, Cinematography, Production Design) and Lawrence Fajardo’s “Prinsesa” with one (Actor).

Other nominees for Supporting Actor are Publio Briones, (“Confessional”), Benjamin Fileo (“Tirador”), Alcris Galura (“Endo”), Emilio Garcia (“Selda”) and Coco Martin (“Tambolista”).

Natatanging Gawad

Also vying for Supporting Actress, are Malou Crisologo (“Tribu”), Eugene Domingo (“Foster”), Anita Linda (“Tambolista”), Ara Mina (“Selda”) and Angela Ruiz (“Tirador”).

Others in the Actor race: Jason Abalos (“Endo”), Jerrold Tarog (“Confessional”), Roeder Camañag (“Death in the Land of Encantos”), Romnick Sarmenta (“Prinsesa”) and OG Sacred (“Tribu”).

Also nominated for Actress are Glaiza de Castro (“Still Life”), Ina Feleo (“Endo”) and Cherry Pie Picache (“Foster”).


As if to emphasize indies’ dominance, the recipient of this year’s Natatanging Gawad Urian is pioneering alternative filmmaker Kidlat Tahimik.

Here are the nominees of the 31st Gawad Urian organized by the Manunuri ng Pelikulang Pilipino.

Best Picture
Confessional (Creative Programs, Inc. thru Cinema One Originals and Oddfield Productions),
Endo (UFO Pictures Production),
Foster Child (Seiko Films),
Death in the Land of Encantos (Sine Olivia Pilipinas),
Tirador (Centerstage Productions),
Tribu (8 Glasses Productions)

Best Director
Adolfo Alix Jr. (Tambolista),
Jade Francis Castro (Endo),
Lav Diaz (Death in the Land of Encantos),
Jim Libiran (Tribu),
Brillante Mendoza (Foster Child and Tirador),
Jerrold Tarog and Ruel Dahis Antipuesto (Confessional),
Paolo Villaluna and Ellen Ramos (Selda)

Best Actress
Glaiza de Castro (Still Life),
Ina Feleo (Endo),
Cherry Pie Picache (Foster Child),
Judy Ann Santos (Sakal, Sakali, Saklolo),
Lorna Tolentino (Katas ng Saudi)

Best Actor
Jason Abalos (Endo),
Jerrold Tarog (Confessional),
Roeder Camanag (Death in the Land of Encantos),
Jinggoy Estrada (Katas ng Saudi),
Sid Lucero (Selda),
Jiro Manio (Tambolista),
Romnick Sarmenta (Prinsesa),
O. G. Sacred (Tribu)

Best Supporting Actress
Malou Crisologo (Tribu),
Eugene Domingo (Foster Child),
Anita Linda (Tambolista),
Liza Lorena (Katas ng Saudi),
Ara Mina (Selda),
Angela Ruiz (Tirador)

Best Supporting Actor
Publio Briones III (Confessional),
Benjamin Fileo (Tirador),
Alchris Galura (Endo),
Emilio Garcia (Selda),
Sid Lucero (Tambolista),
Jiro Manio (Foster Child),
Coco Martin (Tambolista)

Best Screenplay
Jade Castro, Michiko Yamamoto, Raymond Lee (Endo);
Lav Diaz (Death in the Land of Encantos);
Joel Jover and Ralston Jover (Foster Child);
Ralston Jover (Tirador);
Jim Libiran (Tribu);
Jose Javier Reyes (Katas ng Saudi);
Ave Regina S. Tayag (Tambolista);
Ramon Ukit a.k.a. Jerrold Tarog (Confessional)


Best Production Design
Harley Alcasid and Deans Habal (Tirador);
Armi Cacanindin (Tribu);
Jhek Cogama (Endo);
Lav Diaz and Dante Perez (Death in the Land of Encantos);
Martin Masadao, Regie Regalado,
Dante Garcia, and Endi “Hai” Balbuena (Pisay);
Benjamin Padero (Foster Child);
Danny Red (Selda);
Baba Velasco and Vilma Velasco (Maling Akala)


Best Cinematography
Rodolfo Aves Jr. (Kadin);
Albert Banzon (Tambolista);
Albert Banzon (Tribu),
Jeffrey dela Cruz, Brillante Mendoza, Gary Tria and Julius Villanueva (Tirador);
Odyssey Flores (Foster Child);
Odyssey Flores (Selda);
Larry Manda (Maling Akala);
Dan Villegas (Still Life)

Best Editing
Lawrence Ang (Tribu),
Aleks Castañeda (Tambolista),
Ray Defante Gibraltar (When Timawa Meets Delgado),
Charliebebs Gohetia (Foster Child),
Pats R. Ranyo a.k.a. Jerrold Tarog (Confessional)

Best Music
Teresa Barrozo (Tirador),
Vince de Jesus (Pisay),
Francis de Veyra (Tribu),
Khavn dela Cruz (Tambolista),
Danny Gil (Maling Akala)

Best Sound

Ditoy Aguila (Tambolista),
Ditoy Aguila and Junel Valencia (Tirador),
Emanuelle Clemente and Arnold Reodica (Foster Child),
Mark Laccay (Tribu),
Jerrold Tarog (Confessional)


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