LIVE events may have been put to a halt for almost a year now, but the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) continues its annual tradition of recognizing those whose works and artistry have brought honor to the country from different awards-giving organizations overseas.
On its fifth year, the FDCP is making do with what it can and the resources that it has to make sure the Film Ambassadors Night (FAN) live steam event scheduled on February 28 on FDCPchannel.ph will be a memorable event.
FDCP Chairman Liza Diño said it will be a most fitting finale activity for the National Arts Months, with all the recipients and honorees already informed about the details and procedures that have to be followed for this special event.
From the list we got, there are certainly the more deserving ones like filmmaker Rafael Manuel who bagged the Berlinale Silver Bear Jury Prize for Short Films for his outstanding work in Filipiñana at the 70th Berlin International Film Festival in Germany.
There’s also the Kim Tai Sik’s movie Sunshine Family that won the Best Drama Film at the Korea UHD Drama Awards. The movie, a collaboration between Spring Films Manila and Korea’s Film Line Productions, featured local actors Nonie and Shamaine Buencamino in lead roles. We are also happy that Isabel Sandoval’s Lingua Franca is also recognized for winning top awards for the film and lead actress in festivals in the US, Israel, Ukraine, France and Russia. Our US-based friend Jhett Tolentino is a coproducer for this film that continues to make a big splash in festivals internationally.
Sandoval wrote, directed, produced and acted in Lingua Franca, which was shot in New York in only half a month. In 2019, she made cinema history as the first-ever trans woman of color to direct and star in a competition film at the Venice International Film Festival. The film is now streaming on Netflix.
We are also elated that Alyx Arumpac’s celebrated documentary feature Aswang, produced by another friend Armi Rae Cacanindin, will be up there among the honorees, having won 8 awards in 2020 in Korea, Greece, Indonesia, Canada and the Netherlands.
Other artists to be honored in the acting category are Elijah Canlas (Kalel, 15), who won in Rome; Louise Abuel (Edward), who won in Bangladesh; and Cristine Reyes (Untrue), who bagged the best actress plum in Portugal.
Also to be honored are movers and shakers of Philippine cinema like Pangasinan Congressman Toff de Venecia and Nick Lizaso, who incidentally holds two important posts: chairman of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) and president of the Cultural Center of the Philippines.
Golden veteran Gloria Romero and cinematographer Romy Vitug are also slated to receive special awards. A most celebrated cinematographer, Vitug will turn 84 after hurdling a medical scare last year. With Romero still queenly at 87, her fans are hoping to catch a glimpse of the actress during the event. Diño said it will be a privilege for her to hand the award to Romero herself.
Lope (Jun) Juban of Philippine Film Studios will be honored for his contributions in the audiovisual industry, while Teddy Co, a staunch supporter of regional films, and also a much respected curator and archivist, will also receive a special award.
Diño and her team at the FDCP continue to go that extra mile not only in bringing Philippine cinema to the world, but also in ensuring that those who make up the industry get the recognition, help, assistance, appreciation and support they all need, especially during times when they need it most.