Filipino Filmmakers Tell Public to Support Local: “I cannot stress this enough—watch Filipino films”

Written by Clarissa Li
Photos by Zoie Sy

Last November 20, 2019, the Film Academy of the Philippines (FAP) and the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FCDP) held their Nominee’s Night in line with the awarding set to happen the following weekend.

But what are the Luna Awards? The Luna Awards have been given to deserving films ever since 1983. Dubbed as the Philippines’ version of the Oscars, the awards also have several categories including: Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Screenplay, Best Cinematography, and more. And get this, they also have a Hall of Fame for individuals who’ve won awards for five years!

Glaiza De Castro with Chairperson Liza Diño

Max Collins and Pancho Magno

This year, the event was held in Delgado 112, Tomas Morato. Multiple directors, editors, actors, actresses and cinematographers showed up to mingle with fellow artists. Brief introductions were given; the place buzzed with energy. I could’ve sworn the whole restaurant was trembling with excitement.

And when I say everyone, I do mean everyone.

The press and media were given the chance to personally speak to the nominees, giving us so much more insight into the behind-the-scenes work they do. We got to meet the contributors of movies like ‘Signal Rock,’ ‘Gusto Kita with All My Hypothalamus,’ and ‘Liway.’

Nicco Manalo

Some of the nominees who attended were Epy Quizon (nominee for Best Supporting Actor), Nicco Manalo (nominee for Best Actor), Max Collins (nominee for Best Supporting Actress), Dwein Baltazar (nominee for Best Director), Glaiza de Castro (nominee for Best Actress), and Kip Oebanda (nominee for Best Director). Nova Villa (nominee for Best Supporting Actress) was also nominated for the Manuel De Leon Award for Exemplary Achievement.

Nova Villa

In line with this, we also got to snag interviews with Liza Diño, Chairman of the FDCP and Edlyn Tallada-Abuel, one of the nominees for Best Editing.

Here’s how our chat with Edlyn Tallada-Abuel went: How does it feel like to get nominated for the role of Best Editor?

Edlyn Tallada-Abuel: “Actually, I feel really honored. I’ve been in the industry for around 20 years; and in the field of editing for [at least] 2 years. After working on [more or less] 4 films, this is the first time I’ve been nominated for the Luna Awards!”

WIM: What were your inspirations for your film? What inspired you to take up the role of being editor?

Abuel: “It’s been a passion of mine since 1997. I was always part of post-production and being able to supervise editing helped me ‘practice my creativity.’ I really loved the way editing and directing productions impacted the movie.”

WIM: What exactly did you do on the set of ‘Ang Dalawang Mrs. Reyes’?

Abuel: “I was a line producer! I mostly supervised with the editor and edited alongside them. At some points I was also an instructor. It was really a fun experience and the ability for me to see [how much my work could impact] the movie after editing was [truly what I aimed for].”

And lastly, with Liza Diño:

WIM: What is the goal of the Luna Awards?

Liza Diño: “To promote camaraderie, and gather all the nominees together. It’s a way for all of us to show appreciation for the work they do, and since its’ a peer nomination (basically, fellow filmmakers vote for each other!) it’s really a wonderful way of showing their support for one another.”

WIM: You mentioned that you have six upcoming projects coming up, can we have a sneak peek?

Diño: “We’re starting up a program called the Film Philippines Incentive Program (FLIP) to attract foreign productions to shoot in the Philippines. This will promote the skills of local film workers and foreign productions who choose to use the Philippines as a filming destination get 20% cash rebate from this! We’ll also be launching Full Circle Lab (a film lab) to discover and develop different film projects. We’re currently looking for international co-productions and bringing in mentors from Europe and Asia in order to help us formulate an extensive workshop program.”

WIM: What do you think we can do to preserve the film industry?

Diño: “I cannot stress this enough: watch Filipino films. Support local, love local because this is an integral part of audience development. This will really show our Filipino filmmakers and artists the support and recognition that they deserve.”

Liza Diño

The 37th Luna Awards Awarding Ceremony happened last November 30, 2019 at the Maybank Performing Arts Theater.

Support the Philippine film industry. Follow and support the Film Development Council of the Philippines here and the Film Academy of the Philippines here

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