Three films about Pinoys vie for Oscars

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Filipino-inspired films seem to be the rage this year as far as fielding entries to the Oscars goes.


After the Film Academy of the Philippines (FAP) announced Hannah Espia’s “Transit” as the country’s entry to the 86th Academy Awards, the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) has selected Sean Ellis’ “Metro Manila” as United Kingdom’s submission to the prestigious awards’ Best Foreign Language Film category.

Set in Manila, the action-crime-drama opus is about the dilemmas of being metrocentric, told from the perspective of protagonist Oscar Ramirez (Macapagal) and his family in Baguio.

“Metro Manila,” starring Filipino actors Jake Macapagal, John Arcilla and actress Althea Vega, had its international premiere at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival in Utah, where it won the Audience Award for Best World Dramatic Film. It is set for screening in the Philippines on Oct. 9.

This year’s winner of the Camera d’Or award at the Cannes Film Festival “Ilo Ilo” has also been picked by the Singapore Film Commission (SFC) to represent the island city-state. Loosely based on the real-life relationship of its director Anthony Chen and his Filipina nanny, Teresita Sajonia, “Ilo Ilo” chronicles the life of the domestic helper played by Angeli Bayani, as she strives to break relationship barriers in her Singaporean household during the country’s financial crisis in the ’90s.

Aside from the numerous positive reviews, the Singaporean film received a 15-minute standing ovation at Cannes.

The deadline for submission to the Oscars’ Best Foreign Language Film category is Oct. 1. with the Academy releasing a list of eligible entries a few weeks after. The entries will again be trimmed to nine finalists in January, then to the final five nominees that will compete at the awards ceremony on March 2 at the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles, California. (Manila Bulletin)