MANILA, Philippines - With no single mainstream film included in this year’s list of nominees for the 36th Gawad Urian, it may appear that the members of the Manunuri ng Pelikulang Pilipino (MPP) solely gave their nod to independent films. Not even last year’s box-office top-grossers or the one that was named Best Picture secured a spot in any of the categories.
“Nangibabaw lang talaga yung mga pelikulang nilabas outside the studio houses,” said National Artist for Literature and MPP member Bienvenido Lumbera during a presscon held recently at the 14th floor of ELJ building of ABS-CBN. Also present were MPP president Tito Genova Valiente, Beni Santos, Mario Hernando and Butch Francisco.
Baybayin, directed by Aureaus Solito, bagged the most number of nominations with nine including Best Director and Best Film. Mater Dolorosa and the Nora Aunor starrer Thy Womb each received eight nods while Posas and Oros followed with seven.
Sisters Assunta and Alessandra de Rossi for Baybayin will be competing for the Best Actress plum with Nora, Gina Alajar (Mater Dolorosa), Jodi Sta. Maria (Aparisyon), Liza Diño (In Nomine Matris) and Shamaine Centenera-Buencamino (Requieme).
And compared to previous years, the number of nominees under each category in this year’s list has noticeably increased. Sixteen nominees made it to the Best Cinematography category, 14 in Best Screenplay and 13 in Best Director.
Valiente shared that he and the rest of MPP members had a hard time trimming the number down during the discussion. “Actually, sa dami ng napanood namin ang hirap i-trim down because at a certain point parang nasayangan kami i-drop yung ibang entries. On the one hand, maganda din kasi andaming pagpipilian during the process of selecting the winners.”
Santos, for her part, said, “Sa lahat ng meeting namin, I don’t think we had the impression that these are many. From the start, I thought we were just fine with the numbers we got; there’s no magic number. I think the process itself is evolutionary. It means we can change (the number of nominees) depending on the number of films we have. Kaya sa tingin ko nung nagpasya kami at naibigan yung mga pelikula na yun, wala sa usapan na mag-eight, seven o 10 lang tayo. It depends on the kind of harvest we get per year and I think we have a good harvest this year.”
Here’s the official list of nominees for this year’s Gawad Urian:
Best Film — Ang Paglalakbay ng mga Bituin sa Gabing Madilim; Baybayin; Bwakaw; Colossal; Diablo; Florentina Ubaldo, CTE;Mater Dolorosa; Oros; Posas; and Thy Womb
Best Director — Arnel Mardoquio (Ang Paglalakbay ng mga Bituin sa Gabing Madilim), Aureaus Solito (Baybayin), Ian Loreños (Alagwa), Whammy Alcazaren (Colossal), Mes de Guzman (Diablo), Lav Diaz (Florentina Ubaldo, CTE), Sigfreid Barros Sanchez/Racquel Zaballero-Sanchez (Huling Biyahe), Adolfo Alix Jr. (Mater Dolorosa), Maribel Legarda/Maria Isabel Legarda (Melodrama Negra), Paul Sta. Ana (Oros), Lawrence Fajardo (Posas), Emmanuel Quindo Palo (Sta. Niña) and Brillante Mendoza (Thy Womb)
Best Actor — JM de Guzman (Intoy Syokoy ng Kalye Marino), Nico Antonio (Posas), Kristoffer King (Oros), Dominic Roco (Ang Nawawala), Eddie Garcia (Bwakaw), Coco Martin (Sta. Nina), Joem Bascon (Qwerty), Jericho Rosales (Alagwa), Bembol Roco (Thy Womb), Adrian Sebastian (Baybayin), Ananda Everingham (Kalayaan), Anthony Falcon (Requieme) and Deuel Raynon Ladia (Anac ti Pating)
Best Actress — Assunta and Alessandra (Baybayin), Nora (Thy Womb), Gina (Mater Dolorosa), Shamaine (Requieme), Jodi (Aparisyon),Liza (In Nomine Matris), Ama Quiambao (Diablo) and Olga Natividad (Mga Dayo)
Best Supporting Actor — Joross Gamboa (Intoy Syokoy), Carlo Aquino (Mater Dolorosa), Art Acuña (Posas) and Dax Alejandro (Qwerty)
Best Supporting Actress — Alessandra (Mater Dolorosa and Sta. Niña), Mylene Dizon and Raquel Villavicencio (Aparisyon), Joy Viado (MNL 143), Clara Ramona (In Nomine Matris) and Annika Dolonius (Ang Nawawala)
Best Cinematography — McRobert Nacario and Arnel Barbarona (Ang Paglalakbay ng mga Bituin sa Gabing Madilim), Jun Pereira (Intoy Syokoy), Louie Quirino (Baybayin), Carlo Mendoza (Bwakaw), Albert Banzon (Kalayaan), Whammy Alcazaren (Colossal), Tristan Salas (Diablo), Lav Diaz (Florentina Ubaldo, CTE), Albert Banzon (Mater Dolorosa), Rommel Sales (Oros), Louie Quirino (Posas), Ming Kai Leung (Ang Nawawala), McRobert Nacario (Qiyama), Alex Espartero (The Animals), Odyssey Flores (Thy Womb) and Nor Domingo (Sta. Niña)
Best Screenplay — Layette Bucoy and Allan Lopez (Melodrama Negra), Jerry Gracio (Mater Dolorosa), Zig Dulay (Posas), Paul Sta. Ana and Obet Villela (Oros), Mes de Guzman (Diablo), Jun Lana (Bwakaw), Sigfreid Barros Sanchez (Huling Byahe), Whammy Alcazaren (Colossal), Ian Loreños (Alagwa), Henry Burgos (Thy Womb), Lav Diaz (Florentina Ubaldo, CTE), Emerson Reyes (MNL 143), Jeff Stelton (The Animals) and Arnel Mardoquio (Ang Paglalakbay ng mga Bituin sa Gabing Madilim)
Best Sound — Diwa de Leon (Baybayin), Addis Tabong and Wildsound Ami (Posas), Wildsound Ami (Oros), Ditoy Aguila (Kalayaan), John Barredo (Qiyamah), Jonathan Hee Kai Chung (Colossal), Mark McCullie (MNL 143) and Willy Fernandez, Bong Sungcang and Ferdinand Marcos Sabarongis (Florentina Ubaldo, CTE)
Best Music — Diwa de Leon (Baybayin), Mikey Amistoso, Diego Mapa and Jazz Nicolas (Ang Nawawala), Diwa de Leon with OST-Nix Damn P! (The Animals) and Teresa Barrozo (Thy Womb)
Best Editing — Mikael Angelo Pestaño (Baybayin), Benjamin Gonzales Tolentino (Mater Dolorosa), Lawrence Fajardo (Oros), Marie Jamora and Edsel Abesames (Ang Nawawala), Aleks Castañeda (Kalayaan), Dempster Samarista (Alagwa), Chuck Gutierrez (MNL 143), Lav Diaz (Florentina Ubaldo, CTE) and Kats Serraon (Thy Womb)
The 36th Gawad Urian awarding ceremonies will be held on June 18 at the Rockwell Tent, Makati City and will be aired on Cinema One shortly thereafter. The cable channel has been the award-giving body’s partner since 2011.
“Cinema One and the Manunuri ng Pelikulang Pilipino both espouse progressive filmmaking, highlight emerging and intelligent cinema talent and desire to move Philippine cinema forward,” Ronald Arguelles, Cinema One Channel head stated in the press release.