FILIPINA filmmakers took the majority of the awards at the 16th Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival with Carla Pulido Ocampo’s Tokwifi winning Best Film.
Tokwifi, a short film about a Bontoc Igorot meeting and falling in love with an actress from the 1950s stuck inside an old TV set, won not only the Best Film award but also the NETPAC Jury Prize.
The film’s Best Film citation read that it had won “For its highly original take on love between two persons coming from different areas and worlds, and how identity and tradition could best be bridged by common humanity.”
The decision was unanimous according to filmmaker and film producer Jeannette Paulson Hereniko, chairman of this year’s Cinemalaya jury, during the awarding ceremonies held via Zoom on Aug. 12.
The jurors also lauded the film’s “magical but very convincing depiction of how women are boxed into stereotypes by television and how cultural communities are reduced into backward primitivism by the media.”
Joanna Vasquez Arong’s contemplative take on the destruction brought upon by Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda in 2013, Ang Papakalma sa Unos (To Calm the Pig Inside), won the Special Jury Prize in this year’s Cinemalaya.
The film won “For its moving account through the eyes of a child of the ravages wrought by the strongest typhoon ever recorded in human history,” the film’s citation read. The jury also took note of the film’s “poignant poetry.”
The Best Direction award was given to Martika Ramirez Escobar who directed Living Things, for being able to weave a “whimsical, convincing tale of how two people in love [face] the challenges of change [with] even more love and devotion.”
Aside from it being a big night for women filmmakers, it was also a big night for filmmakers from the regions outside the National Capital Region. Tokwifi is from Bontoc, Mountain Province; Ang Papakalma sa Unos is from Cebu and featured Tacloban, Leyte, and Guian, Eastern Samar; Quing Lalam Ning Aldo (Under the Sun) by Reeden Fajardo, which won the Audience Choice Award, is from Pampanga; and Pabasa kan Pasyon by Hubert Tibi, which won Best Screenplay, is from Albay.
This year’s Cinemalaya jury was headed by Ms. Hereniko with filmmakers Sari Dalena and Raymond Red as members.
Cinemalaya continues its run until Aug. 16 online via Vimeo. For tickets and access to the films, visit cinemalaya.org/tickets. Tickets are priced from P75 for a film bundle to a P350 premium pass.
Below is the complete list of winners:
Best Film: Tokwifi by Carla Pulido Ocampo
Special Jury Prize: Ang Papakalma sa Unos (To Calm the Pig Inside) by Joanna Vasquez Arong
Best Direction: Martika Ramirez Escobar for Living Things
NETPAC Jury Prize: Tokwifi by Carla Pulido Ocampo
Best Screenplay: Pabasa Kan Pasyon by Hubert Tibi
Audience Choice Award: Quing Lalam Ning Aldo (Under the Sun) by Reeden Fajardo. — Z.B. Chua