The screening of nominated movies for this year’s Luna Awards was held at the UP Film Institute theater from September 8 to 19. The voting was held in the same venue right after showing the last movie on the last screening day, a Friday.
Now, let us all look back for some interesting tidbits during the screening process for the 26th Luna Awards voters…
On the opening day, Monday (Sept. 8), the showing of the first movie—The Promise—was delayed by more than 30 minutes because the projectionist of the UP Film Institute couldn’t be found. When, at last, the movie was finally shown, the voters complained of the airconditioning… it was too cold for comfort.
Another delay was the showing of Banal because it was delivered late by the Comguild personnel who reasoned that he lost his way inside the UP compound. And when the movie was finished, the reels were neatly placed near the table of the FAP secretariat. No one noticed that the reels were already taken by the Comguild personnel. There’s no truth to the rumor that Comguild’s next project would be The Invisible Delivery Boy.
The Sound Technicians with their perfect attendance: Greg Ella, Nolet Clemente, Tony Benavidez
Worth to note was the perfect attendance by the Sound Technicians for the first day of screening. Also noteworthy was the fact that there were only 3 in their official list of voters: Greg Ella, Tony Benavidez and Nolet Clemente.
The voters were sort of divided on GMA Films’ Batanes. Some liked the story but there were some who had no kind words for the movie. “Hindi pareho nung Donsol, di ba si Alix din ang sumulat nun?” Some even hurled an insult, “Mas bagay kung ang title nun ay Batangas.” An insider offered some info, “35 million ang budget sa Batanes kasi ang daming equipment na inarkila, yung HMI lang 6 agad tapos 4 na genset na puro 16 kva. Eh 20 days ang location kaya talagang malaki ang gastos. Pero in fairness, ang ganda ng photography.” Fortunately for Batanes, it has a nomination in the cinematography category for Ramoncito Redoble.
A veteran scriptwriter delved on the Philippines’ entry to the Oscars. “Mabuti nga at Ploning ang naipadala natin, malay mo, baka makatisod. Eh kung yung Caregiver… naku, ha! Singer si Sharon, hindi siya artista noh!”
Mayor ER Ejercito with Vanessa and Lorna of the FAP secretariat
Mayor ER Ejercito, currently the president of the KAPPT (Kapisanan ng mga Artista sa Pelikulang Pilipino at Telebisyon) dropped by on the second day of the screening. As expected, he was deluged with requests for pictorial – mostly from the cinematographers and scriptwriters.
On the fourth day, Mayor ER made another visit and even had lunch with the FAP voters. Another pictorial with him, from the FAP secretariat this time. With Director Nards Garcia, the good mayor talked about his present and future projects in Laguna. Heard that Mayor ER is deadset on running for Laguna governor come the 2010 elections.
Atty. Laxa also made a show of support by coming to the voter screening venue on the 3rd day. The amiable FAP Chairman watched the second movie in full.
Arnold Molina, a perennial voter of SGP (Screenwriters Guild of the Philippines), had a heart bypass a month ago. “Wala naman akong nararamdaman. Kaya lang nung nagpa-physical ako sa Canadian embassy eh dapat daw magpa-bypass ako. Naka-petition ako ng anak ko para maging immigrant sa Canada eh hindi raw ako bibigyan ng visa hangga’t hindi ako nagpapa-bypass.” That’s loving Canada with all his heart.
A veteran movie industry worker was reminiscing the olden days. “Papasok pa lang ako sa venue ng botohan, eto na agad, may nag-abot na sa akin ng 300 (pesos). Syempre bumulong, iboto ko raw sa best actress si… (a popular singer/actress at that time and now a tv host). Aba, maya-maya eto na naman ang isa pang tao, 300 ulit. Iboto ko naman daw si… (former wife of a comedian/tv host). Syempre ibinoto ko yung gusto ko. Pero siguro kaya tayo nasira noon dahil sa mga ganoon.” Those were the days, my friend.
A guild member was wondering why his request for additional voter the other day was rejected but on the third day there was an additional voter in the list. The FAP secretariat had to explain that only guild presidents have the authority to infuse changes in the official list of voters for their particular guild. “Ah, kailangan ko pala talagang maging presidente. Hindi bale, election na namin sa December.”
Caridad Sanchez arrived just in time for the second movie. But she decided to just stay in the FAP secretariat table to learn free lessons on the technology regarding the movie industry. She asked about the cost of the digital camera and its peculiarities vis-à-vis the traditional camera with the film. Caridad also wanted some insights on video editing and the conversion involved so the digital movie could be in the 35 mm format. She was thinking of a way on how the veterans could make a crossover from the old technique to the new one. “Siguro nga we need an honest to goodness workshop para kahit para sa mga cameraman at editors lang.”
Upon learning the predicament of the Film Academy (diminished budget), Caridad said emphatically, “What we need in the industry is a leader who has got some influence and a little bit of money. And most of all, dapat may puso para sa industriya. Pambihira kasi, puro pulitika na lang lagi.” She shook her head in reference to the showbiz politicians who seemed to have forgotten their roots. “Wala naman silang ginawa para sa industriya, di ba? O, tingnan mo ang Mowelfund, ni hindi nga tapos ang building.”
The short food queue
A former stuntman and not so popular comedian who is currently an officer of their guild was complaining that he wasn’t served food. This stuntman actually arrived during lunch time when the meal stubs were already exhausted. But since no one gets hungry in the jurisdiction of the Film Academy so the stuntman was advised to just join the queue without the need for the meal stub. But the stuntman bided his time until the food line dwindled. Someone remarked that it seemed the stuntman was waiting for someone to serve him food. That’s eating in style, for free, only here at the FAP voter screening.
In the screening of the gay movie Ang Lalake Sa Parola, majority of the male voters got out of the theater just after 30 minutes as if their stomachs couldn’t handle the scenes. “Masyado kasing pam-bakla, sobra ang kabaklaan,” was the common remark. You can guess who were left inside the theater to finish the entirety of the movie which got a nomination in the Production Design category.
Another gay story. A veteran writer noticed that a gay moviemaker has a chaperone who was tall, dark but not handsome. On the next day, the veteran writer noticed that the gay moviemaker was not around (and so was the chaperone). On the following day, the veteran writer called my attention to say that the gay moviemaker was not around (for the second day in a row). So I issued a joke, “Bayaan nyo ho, pag dumating yung mag-sweetheart, ituturo ko agad sa inyo at kukunan ko pa ng litrato.” The veteran writer smiled and motioned for me to get nearer so he could whisper, “Sige, kunan mo ng litrato tapos bulungan mo, ituro mo ako, sabihin mo, ayun, mas malaking magbigay yun!”
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