August 11, 2019
ARDEN ROD CONDEZ’ John Denver Trending was named the Best Film at the 15th Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival Awards held August 11, 2019 at the Cultural Center of the Philippines Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo.
A film about a 14 year old farm boy whose life is upended when a video of him brutally attacking a classmate went viral, John Denver Trending also scooped up five awards, namely, Best Actor for Jansen Magpusao who made his debut in the film in the lead role, Best Original Music Score (Len Calvo), Best Editing (Benjo Ferrer III), Best Cinematography (Rommel Sales) and the NETPAC Award for the Full-Length Category.
John Denver Trending was cited “for its highly relevant subject matter, its highly convincing characters and effective ensemble acting by a cast of non-professional actors; for its nearly epic sweep of its masterful use of the resources of cinema to depict a boy’s entrapment and doom; and for its coruscating critique of the social media as an engine of lies, hate, and destruction.”
The Special Jury Prize went to Thop Nazareno’s Edward, whose lead character comes of age as he is left alone to take care of his father in a public hospital. Nazareno’s film also bagged the awards for Best Actress (Ella Cruz) and Best Production Design (Alvin Francisco).
The Best Direction award went to Eduardo Roy Jr. for F#*@ BOIS. The film also gave Ricky Davao the Best Supporting Actor award for his portrayal of a libidinous politician with a fondness for young men. Davao was cited for “for lending the weight of his artistic acclaim and professional reputation to independent cinema, and for taking on a very daring role and effectively playing it without lapsing into parody or cliché.
Theodor Boborol’s Iska, the story of an impoverished woman who lovingly cares for her autistic grandson, won Best Actress for Ruby Ruiz who played the lead role. The film also won Best Screenplay (Mary Rose Colindres) and Best Sound (Immanuel Verona).
In the Short Feature Category, the animated ‘Wag Mo Akong Kausapin by Josef Dielle Gacutan grabbed the Best Film plum “for its very unique depiction of the universal rift between generations and for its craftsmanship” while Special Jury Prize went to Shaira Advincula’s Tembong “for its poignant take on grieving and loss and its incisive character study of a man challenging culture and tradition.”
Also in the short Feature category,the Best Direction award went to Don Madula Senoc for Sa Among Agwat while Best Screenplay went to Gilb Baldoza for Kontrolado ni Girly ang Buhay Niya. Special Mention for Subject Matter went to the film Hele ng Maharlika by Norvin De Los Santos for its “timely but sensitive handling of the trenchant reality of juvenile warriors.”
Disconnection Notice by Glenn Lowell Forneste Averia won the NETPAC award in the Short Feature category.
Audience Choice awards went to Joji Villanueva Alonso’s Belle Douleur in the full length feature category and Julius Renomeron Jr.’s Heist School in the short feature category.
Now on its 15th year, Cinemalaya has supported and promoted the production of Filipino full feature independent films and short films. Many of these films have won awards in local and international competitions and festivals. Through the annual festival, Cinemalaya has showcased over 1,000 works by independent filmmakers including full feature films, shorts, documentaries, Filipino film classics, and art films.
This year, Cinemalaya went nationwide. It was held at the CCP from August 2-11 and at selected Ayala Cinemas and Vista Malls in Manila, Pampanga, Naga and Legaspi in Bicol, Bacolod, Iloilo and Davao from August 7-13.
Cinemalaya was established in 2005 with the aim to discover, encourage and support the cinematic works of upcoming and veteran Filipino filmmakers who boldly articulate and freely interpret the Philippine experience with fresh insight and artistic integrity.
For more information about Cinemalaya, visit www.cinemalaya.org, www.culturalcenter.gov.ph and the Cinemalaya Facebook page.
Special Mention for Subject Matter
For its unique take on the proverbial coming-of-age story, and for its timely but sensitive handling of the trenchant reality of juvenile warriors, the Special Mention for Subject Matter is given to
HELE NG MAHARLIKA
by NORVIN DE LOS SANTOS
For its compelling character study of a jobless young man weighed down by poverty and domestic abuse, who finally asserts his identity and takes control of his life, the Best Screenplay goes to
for KONTROLADO NI GIRLY ANG BUHAY NIYA
For creatively orchestrating the resources of cinema in depicting the unspoken but very warm relations between two brothers, the Best Director goes to
DON MADULA SENOC
for SA AMONG AGWAT
SPECIAL JURY PRIZE
For its poignant take on grieving and loss, for its richly woven narrative that deftly moves between reality and enchantment, and for its incisive character study of a man challenging culture and tradition, Special Jury Prize goes to
by SHAIRA ADVINCULA
BEST SHORT FILM
For its very unique depiction of the universal rift between the generations, and for its craftsmanship and excellence that represent the inexhaustible creative resources of cinema, Best Short Film goes to
‘WAG MO AKONG KAUSAPIN
by JOSEF DIELLE GACUTAN
FEATURE LENGTH FILM 2019
For creatively capturing the noise and discord of the urban ghetto in portraying the struggles of the poor, the Best Sound goes to
Best Original Music Score
For its highly effective use of music in enhancing the tension and the deepening atmosphere of disaster engulfing a young boy unfairly attacked on the social media, the Best Original Music Score goes to
for JOHN DENVER TRENDING
For its consummate montage of images and scenes that psychologically intensify a young boy’s deepening sense of gloom as he is driven to a corner where there may be no escape, the Best Editing goes to
BENJO FERRER III
for JOHN DENVER TRENDING
For its highly cogent melding of the resources of art direction in effectively depicting the cramp wards, decrepit equipment, daily struggles, and life-and-death situations in public hospitals, the Best Production Design goes to
For its expert use of the resources of photography in successfully pitting geography versus individual, society versus the person, to tell the very riveting story of a boy’s growing sense of entrapment, the Best Cinematography goes to
for JOHN DENVER TRENDING
For its compelling character study of a woman facing up to the challenges of poverty, abuse, media sensationalism, and social discrimination, the Best Screenplay goes to
MARY ROSE COLINDRES
For his craftsmanship and expert summoning of the resources of cinema to tell the gripping story of two young men and one night that goes very, very wrong, Best Director goes to
EDUARDO ROY JR.
Best Supporting Actress
For her totally winning portrayal of a street smart girl who toughens up but without bitterness amid the oppressive conditions of society, the Best Supporting Actress goes to
Best Supporting Actor
For lending the weight of his artistic acclaim and professional reputation to independent cinema,
For taking on a very daring role and effectively playing it without lapsing into parody or cliché, the Best Supporting Actor goes to
for FUCC BOIS
For her gritty portrayal of a poor but lighthearted woman defying the odds to take care of her profoundly autistic grandson, Best Actress goes to
For his very sensitive and utterly convincing portrayal of a young boy who suffers a baptism of fire and gets consumed by its deadly lies and hate, the Best Actor goes to
for JOHN DENVER TRENDING
Special Jury Prize
For its highly absorbing and poignant tale of a boy where he learns lessons on family and friendship, and lessons of love, life, and death, the Special Jury Prize goes to
by THOP NAZARENO
For its highly relevant subject matter, its highly convincing characters and effective ensemble acting by a cast of non-professional actors;
For its nearly epic sweep of its masterful use of the resources of cinema to depict a boy’s entrapment and doom;
And for its coruscating critique of the social media as an engine of lies, hate, and destruction, the Best Film goes to
JOHN DENVER TRENDING
by ARDEN ROD CONDEZ