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07 August 2014

Brun Critics' Choice for the 2014 Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival (Year 2): Nominees and Recipients

Updated: Aug. 8, 2014
(7:00 PM)
Brun Philippines announces our choices for the 2014 Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival. This is our second year of selecting which among the film entries deserve recognition.  In 2013, Brun Philippines chose “Transit” as Best Film (New Breed). This year, we decided to forgo the distinction between New Breed and Directors Showcase entries. All films were evaluated equally. We also merged the awards for best male and female actor in leading and supporting roles to promote gender equality.

We will announce announced our final choices on August 8, 2014 (7:00 P.M.) Do you agree with our critics? 



Mariquina” is good artisanship at work. All the pieces fell into their proper places: a tight screenplay, music that highlights a scene than drown it, appropriate production design, fluid editing, good cinematography and a powerful ensemble cast. Its ambition may not be as grandiose or as philosophically lofty as some independent films, but the beauty of “Mariquina” is in its smallness. The problem of one family adeptly encapsulates Philippine society in the last twenty years. The only stain in this polished work is Imelda Marcos. Fortunately, director Milo Sogueco can easily edit Imelda Marcos out of the film, and he should. No one likes stain on his or her masterfully made Marikina shoes. (Read full review, click this)


BEST FILM
  • 1st Ko si 3rd 
  • Bwaya
  • Children’s Show (Runner-up)
  • * Mariquina
  • Sundalong Kanin
Cinemalaya Winner (New Breed): Bwaya
Cinemalaya Winner (Directors Showcase): Kasal

BEST DIRECTOR
  • Roderick Cabrido, (Children’s Show) Runner-up
  • Real Florido, (1st Ko si 3rd)
  • Janice O’Hara, (Sundalong Kanin)
  • * Milo Sogueco, (Mariquina)
  • Francis Xavier Pasion, (Bwaya)
Cinemalaya Winner (New Breed): Giancarlo Abrahan V for Dagitab
Cinemalaya Winner (Directors Showcase): Michael Tuviera for The Janitor

BEST SCREENPLAY
  • Giancarlo Abrahan V, (Dagitab) Runner-up
  • Ralston Jover, (Children’s Show)
  • Jerry O’Hara, (Sundalong Kanin)
  • * Jerrold Tarog, (Mariquina)
  • Francis Xavier Pasion, (Bwaya)
Cinemalaya Winner (New Breed): Giancarlo Abrahan V for Dagitab
Cinemalaya Winner (Directors Showcase): Aloy Adlawan and Micheal Tuviera for The Janitor



 BEST PERFORMANCE IN A LEADING ROLE
  • * Nora Aunor in “Hustisya”
  • Angeli Bayani in “Bwaya”
  • Ricky Davao in “Mariquina”
  • Eula Valdes in “Dagitab” (Runner-up)
  • Nova Villa in “1st ko si 3rd”
The Nora Aunor persona sometimes gets in the way of her characters. Aunor has become so iconic that this sometimes blindsides some viewers in acknowledging her characterization. Many comedians have mimicked the iconic Aunor delivery, and so this turns off many non-Noranians who are more interested in the characters that she plays than her public persona. Luckily, she has proven repeatedly that there is more to the Aunor signature acting style. She was successful in playing Sheleha in Brillante Mendoza’s “Thy Womb.” Her commitment to authenticity was apparent down to the small act of making a mattress. If she had spoken in Sheleha’s Badjao dialect, her character design would have been more complete. In “Hustisya,” she replicated this success. Biring is unlike many of Aunor’s recent characters. She is foul-mouthed, crass, contradictory but stubbornly clings to her moral values despite being an active participant in a crime.  Even if her role was handicapped with misdirection, Aunor still kept Biring interesting. Scene by scene, she draws in the audience sympathy.  In the end, she did indeed have the last laugh, bittersweet it may be. It all works because Aunor has become even more skillful in her craft as she matures.


Cinemalaya Winner (New Breed):
Dante Rivero in "1st Ko Si 3rd" for best actor
Eula Valdes in "Dagitab" for best actress

Cinemalaya Winner (Directors Showcase):
Robert Arevalo in "Hari ng Tondo" for best actor
Nora Aunor in "Hustisya" for best actress



BEST PERFORMANCE IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
  • Marc Abaya in “Sundalong Kanin”
  • Miggs Cuaderno in “Children’s Show”
  • Bing Pimentel in “Mariquina” (Runner-up)
  • * Che Ramos in “Mariquina”
  • Dante Rivero in “The Janitor” (and ““1st ko si 3rd”)
Che Ramos’ performance defines subtlety and nuance. She underplays Leonor quite appropriately to match her character's personality. Just one look at Leonor, her entire history is revealed: her upbringing, her background, and clues about her marriage.  Ramos’s character design is complete, from the surface and deep within, from the clothes, the stance, the voice inflection, the hair, the way she moves. All of these may be under the guidance of director Milo Soguecio, even still, Ramos apparently did her homework. Most importantly, Ramos provided us a glimpse of Leonor’s internal life during her most somber and mundane scenes. Those silences only magnifies Leonor’s final slow breakdown towards the middle of the film. Long before her character has left the movie, we still feel her presence, and that what defines a great supporting performance.


Cinemalaya Winner (New Breed): 
Barbie Fortaleza in "Mariquina" for best supporting actress. 
Miggs Cuaderno in "Children's Show" for best supporting actor

Cinemalaya Winner (Directors Showcase): 
Nicco Manalo in "The Janitor" for best supporting actor
Cris Villonco in "Hari ng Tondo" for best supporting actress



BEST EDITING
  • Bwaya (Carlo Manatad)
  • Children’s Show (Gerone Centeno)
  • The Janitor (Tara Illenberger)
  • * Mariquina (Benjamin Tolentino)
  • Sundalong Kanin (*1)
Cinemalaya Winner (New Breed): Children's Show
Cinemalaya Winner (Directors Showcase): The Janitor

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
  • Bwaya (Neil Daza)
  • * Children’s Show (Mycko David)
  • Dagitab (Rommel Sales)
  • K’na, the Dreamweaver (Lee Briones)
  • Mariquina (Sasha Polmenares)
Cinemalaya Winner (New Breed): Children's Show
Cinemalaya Winner (Directors Showcase): Kasal

BEST MUSIC
  • Bwaya (Erwin Fajardo)
  • * Children’s Show (*1)
  • * Dagitab (Mon Espia)
  • Mariquina (Jerrold Tarog)
  • Sundalong Kanin (*1)
Cinemalaya Winner (New Breed): Bwaya
Cinemalaya Winner (Directors Showcase): Kasal

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN   
  • Bwaya (Mau Fudul)
  • Children’s Show (Stefanie Dereja)
  • K’na, the Dreamweaver (Toym Imao)
  • Mariquina (Aped Santos)
  • * Sundalong Kanin
Cinemalaya Winner (New Breed): K'na, the Dreamweaver
Cinemalaya Winner (Directors Showcase): Kasal

BEST SOUND
  • * Bwaya (Mike Idioma)
  • Children’s Show (Jonathan Hee/Bryan Dimaguina)
  • The Janitor (Mike Idioma)
  • Sundalong Kanin (*1)
Cinemalaya Winner (New Breed): Children's Show
Cinemalaya Winner (Directors Showcase): The Janitor

____________________

* Brun referred to the Cinemalaya 2014 official website for information regarding production credits. If some of the credits listed below are incorrect, please inform us. 

(*1) No credits cited in the Cinemalaya 2014 Official website. 
(*2) For Best Music. I would like to apologize because I forgot to highlight "Children's Show." I was reminded by one of our member critics that we had a tie in that category. 

OSCARS 2015: BEST FOREIGN
LANGUAGE FILM
Which film will be our entry? 
Click This

RELATED POSTS
Which Films Should You Watch in this Year's Cinemalaya (2014)
Critics' Awards
Post-Analysis Essay (soon) 

2014 Entries

2013 Cinemalaya Essays
What is a Critic?
Our Choices: 2013 Cinemalaya



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