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.”

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