Alagwa intended for the 2015 Oscars
FUNFARE - Ricky Lo (The Philippine Star) - October 8, 2013 - 12:00am

After making the rounds of various international film festivals, and winning awards along the way, Alagwa will open nationwide tomorrow released by Star Cinema as part of its 20th-anniversary celebration.

“I’m glad that our kababayan will have a chance to watch the movie,” Jericho Rosales, who plays the lead role, said during a lunch presscon a few days ago.

No less than the US government through Ambassador Harry Thomas has endorsed the movie (titled Breakaway for the world market) which was described by The Hollywood Reporter as “a low-budget standout…not only a powerful film about human trafficking; it is also a small gem portraying a father-son relationship with nothing fake or sentimental about it,” while at the same time commending Jericho (as the father) and Bugoy Cariño (as the son) for their topnotch performance, especially Jericho’s which was “nagging, brusque and critical, Rosales expertly conveys the over-compensation of their single-parent in the tough love Robert (Rosales’ character) shows his son.”

Ambassador Thomas personally went to the presscon (but left early…before Jericho arrived) to extend his appreciation and endorsement for Alagwa. The US Embassy refers to the film as “an important and thought-provoking movie that realistically depicts the horrors of human trafficking” and further describes it as “an eye-opener that reminds us that human trafficking is a serious crime against humanity that we as a society must defeat and eliminate.”

So far, Alagwa has won the following awards: Outstanding Achievement in Acting (for Jericho) at the 2013 Newport Beach Film Festival, Best Indie Film Of The Year at the 2013 Third World International Film Festival, and Best Narrative Feature Film/Outstanding Achievement In Acting (for Jericho) at the recent Guam International Film Festival. Jericho was also named Best Actor at the 2013 Gawad Urian.

Asked which of the awards (and previous ones) was he most proud of, Jericho said without batting an eyelash, “The Gawad Urian because I’ve waited many years for it.”

Bugoy himself won Best Supporting Actor at the ASEAN International Film Festival.

“The film dramatizes the father’s deep love for his son,” said Jericho who, for sure, identifies with the role because in real life he’s the father of a boy as old (11 years) as Bugoy whom Jericho described as “an excellent actor.”

How come Alagwa, directed by Ian Lorenos (Best Indie Director/Best Screenwriter in the 2013 PMPC Star Awards For Movies), wasn’t submitted as Philippine entry in the Best Foreign Language Film category of next year’s Oscars?

Leo Martinez, head of the Film Academy of the Philippines (FAP) and also in the cast of Alagwa (Transit is the country’s official entry at the Oscars next year), said that, in fact, Alagwa is intended for the 2015 Oscars (Best Foreign Language Film category). Deadline for the submission of entries to the 2014 Oscars was a few weeks ago.

“One of the requirements for a film to qualify as entry is for it to complete a seven-day run in (mainstream) theaters,” explained Leo.

That’s why one of those beaten by Transit, even if highly qualified, didn’t make it because it was pulled out of moviehouses after only three days of showing, and the relentless efforts of the director didn’t help even if he asked some politicians to endorse his film. “Kulang na nga lang ipa-endorse niya kay Janet Napoles, eh,” joked an award-winning director.

Presscon sidelight: Asked why he’s playing serious (dramatic) when he’s noted for being an ace comedian, Leo quipped, “Ang comedy kasi nasa gobyerno ngayon, so seryoso muna tayo.”

Seriously now, it’s no laughing matter, is it?

What’s up?

• In line with the celebration of the Masskara Festival, the Bacolod Kadughan Foundation for Breast Care in Negros Occidental, together with the Philippine Society of General Surgeons-Negros Occidental Chapter and the Occidental Negros (host) Lions Club, are spearheading a Pink Run (D’Feeting Breast Cancer) on Oct. 13, starting at 4 a.m. at the Capitol Lagoon. According to singer Token, children, students, doctors, nurses, friends and professionals are joining the run coinciding with the World Health Organization’s (WHO) proclamation of October of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. For inquiries, call Dr. Bingo Torre (0922-7476799), Jo Hannah Chua (0933-1745130) or Dr. Menchie Sarrosa (0922-8865383).

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