'Aswang' makes FAMAS history as 1st docu named Best Picture

Ratziel San Juan - Philstar.com
'Aswang' makes FAMAS history as 1st docu named Best Picture
A scene from the 2019 documentary film "Aswang"
Aswang via Facebook

MANILA, Philippines — “Aswang” flew away from the 2020 Filipino Academy of Movie Arts and Sciences (FAMAS) Awards held Sunday evening as the first documentary to receive the Best Picture award in the ceremony’s 68-year history.


Posted by FAMAS Digital Philippines on Sunday, December 20, 2020

The Academy awarded its top prize to the documentary “for its painful examination of current realities, and a sober reminder that cinema is a powerful social mirror.”

The film was also the most awarded of the night, hauling in the Best Documentary, Best Cinematography and Best Editing accolades.

“Aswang” exposes the real-life horror under the Duterte administration’s controversial "War on Drugs".

“In 2016, a machinery was set in motion to execute suspected drug peddlers, users, and small-time criminals in the Philippines. ASWANG follows people whose lives entwine with the growing violence,” reads the film’s official synopsis.

The film’s director Alyx Arumpac said the victory was nothing short of timely considering the country’s political situation.

“With so many excellent films nominated, I recognize that giving the award to a film like Aswang is a statement in itself from FAMAS and the Philippine film community, a firm stand on everything that is happening in our country,” Alyx said.

Aswang just won Best Picture, Best Documentary, Best Cinematography, and Best Editing at FAMAS 2020. It’s the first time...

Posted by Alyx Arumpac on Sunday, December 20, 2020

“So we humbly offer this award to every single Filipino who has suffered under this regime of impunity. No one deserves to be murdered in the streets, tortured, kidnapped and held in secret prison cells. No mothers should be separated forcefully from their babies. No one should be arrested and harassed for speaking out and telling the truth. No child should ever have to grow up fearing the police and thinking violence is normal. We all deserve to live our lives in freedom and dignity.”

The filmmaker demanded the release of activist Amanda Echanis, as well as journalist Lady Ann Salem and the rest of the "Human Rights Day 7."

She also said that journalism is not a crime and called to stop the attacks and killings.

Here is the full list of winners during the 68th FAMAS Gabi ng Parangal.

Best Picture: “Aswang,” directed by Alyx Arumpac
Best Director: Raymund Bibay Gutierrez for “Verdict”
Best Actress: Janine Gutierrez in “Babae at Baril”
Best Actor (tie): Elijah Canlas in “Kalel, 15” and Kristofer King in “Verdict”
Best Screenplay: Glenn Barit for “Cleaners”
Best Supporting Actress: Dolly de Leon in “Verdict”
Best Supporting Actor: Ricky Davao in “Fuccbois”
Best Documentary: “Aswang”
Best Short Film: “Tokwifi,” directed by Carla Pulido Ocampo
Special Jury Prize: “Ascending,” directed by Sophia Isip and “Here Here,” directed by Joanne Cesario
Best Cinematography (tie): Alyx Arumpac and Tanya Haurylchyk for “Aswang” and Tey Clamor for “Babae At Baril”
Best Production Design: Eero Francisco for “Babae At Baril”
Best Editing: Fatima Bianchi and Anne Fabini for “Aswang”
Best Sound: Jet Leyco and Brian Gonzales for “My Alien Friend”
Best Film Scoring: Immanuel Verona for “Babae At Baril”

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