The Film Desk of the Young Critics Circle is scheduled to recognize outstanding Filipino films of 2012 in a ceremony to be held on 20 August 2013, 3 pm, at the Jorge B. Vargas Museum of the University of the Philippines in Diliman, Quezon City. Dr. Francis Gealogo, a known historian on Philippine nationalism and revolution, is guest speaker.
Best Film for 2012 is Qiyamah, directed by Gutierrez “Teng” Mangansakan II and produced by the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP). A poetic depiction of a Mindanao rural village haunted by the specter of the apocalypse, the film also won Best Editing and Best Sound and Aural Orchestration and was nominated for Best Screenplay and Best Cinematography and Visual Design. It was first shown in Davao City in June of last year as one of the entries to the first Sineng Pambansa Film Festival sponsored by the FDCP.
Interestingly, three films with Mindanao as subject and setting (Thy Womb, Ang Paglalakbay ng mga Bituin sa Gabing Madilim, and Qiyamah) were chosen as among the best in film year 2012, indicating the region’s crucial significance in the continuing imagination and making of the nation.
Two other films were nominated for the Best Film Category: Arnel Mardoquio’s Ang Paglalakbay ng mga Bituin sa Gabing Madilim and Kalayaan by Adolfo Alix, Jr. Aside from the three best film nominees, six other films were included in the short list, a YCC practice that upholds outstanding work in all categories as a precondition for nomination. These are films that made it into the list: Kamera Obskura by Raymond Red, Diablo by Mes de Guzman, Jingle Lang ang Pahina by Chuck Escasa, Oros by Paul Sta. Ana, Aparisyon by Vincent Sandoval, and Thy Womb by Brillante Mendoza,
Nora Aunor will be awarded for her performance as a Bajau midwife in Thy Womb. This is her fifth recognition in the acting category after previously winning in 1990 (Andrea, Paano Ba ang Maging Isang Ina?), 1991 (Ang Totoong Buhay ni Pacita M.), 1993 (Inay), and 1995 (The Flor Contemplacion Story).
Established in 1990, the Young Critics Circle Film Desk is composed of members of Philippine academe, attentive and engaged observers of Philippine cinema. Coming from various disciplines, they bring an interdisciplinary approach into the analysis of film.
The organization departs from the many conventions of other award-giving bodies both here and abroad, in bestowing cinematic honors. For instance, the award for Best Film of the Year is reserved for the director such that no separate prize for direction is needed. The Best Performance award is most coveted as it is conferred on a screen performer whether male or female, adult or child, individual or as part of an ensemble, in leading or supporting role. To uphold a more dynamic and encompassing way of looking at films, technical honors refer to fusion of outstanding efforts in fields otherwise deemed apart. In this case, the Best Cinematography and Visual Design recognition covers both camerawork and art direction. Similarly, Best Sound and Aural Orchestration encompasses not just sound engineering per se but musical score as well.
YCC drew its selection from both regular and non-regular releases comprising the entirety of Philippine cinema output in 2012. Films considered for discussion were those that had three or more screenings before a paying or non-paying audience in any public venue. Thirty-two films were initially long-listed by the group, which was later narrowed down to a shortlist of nine.
Following is the complete list of winners for Film Year 2012.
Winner: Qiyamah, directed by Gutierrez Mangansakan II and produced by Film Development Council of the Philippines.
Ang Paglalakbay ng mga Bituin sa Gabing Madilim, directed by Arnel Mardoquio (Cinema One Originals, Skyweaver Productions, Red Motion Media, Hyde Out Entertainment, Alchemy of Vision and Light; Concrad Cejoco, producer; Fe Virtudazo-Hyde, co-producer; Ronald Arguelles, executive producer)
Kalayaan, directed by Adolfo Alix, Jr. (Cinemalaya Foundation, Hubert Rals Fund, CineMArt, Global Film Initiative, Phoenix Features, Wa Entertainment; Arleen Cuevas, producer; Kosuke Ono and Kiki Sugino, co-producers)
Winner: Nora Aunor, Thy Womb
Kristoffer King, Oros
Ama Quiambao, Diablo
Fides Cuyugan-Asensio, Aparisyon
Kristoffer Martin, Oros
Winner: Ang Paglalakbay ng mga Bituin sa Gabing Madilim, Arnel Mardoquio
Aparisyon, Vincent Sandoval and Jerry Gracio
Kalayaan, Adolfo Alix, Jr.
Oros, Paul Sta. Ana and Obet Villela
Qiyamah, Gutierrez Mangansakan II
Thy Womb, Henry Burgos
Winner: Qiyamah, Arnel Barbarona and Gutierrez Mangansakan II
Aparisyon, Jerrold Tarog and Vincent Sandoval
Jingle Lang ang Pahina, Aimee Apostol-Escasa
Kalayaan, Aleks Castañeda
Thy Womb, Kats Serrano
BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY AND VISUAL DESIGN
Winner: Kalayaan, Albert Banzon (cinematography) and Adolfo Alix, Jr. (production design)
Ang Paglalakbay ng mga Bituin sa Gabing Madilim, Arnel Barbarona and McRobert Nacario (cinematography) and Bagwani Ampalayo (production design)
Diablo, Tristan Salas (cinematography) and Cesar Hernando (production design)
Kamera Obskura, Raymond Red (cinematography), Mikey Red (art direction), Daniel Red and Cesar Hernando (production design), Edrie Ocampo and Pablo Biglang-Awa (visual effects)
Qiyamah, McRobert Nacario (cinematography), and Perry Dizon (production design)
Thy Womb, Odyssey Flores (cinematography) and Brillante Mendoza (production design)
BEST SOUND AND AURAL ORCHESTRATION
Winners: Kalayaan, Teresa Barrozo (music) and Ditoy Aguila (sound design), and Qiyamah, Raphael Pulgar (music) and Arnel Barbarona (sound design)
Ang Paglalakbay ng mga Bituin sa Gabing Madilim, Arbi Barbarona (sound design)