Barely a month from now, the whole process of choosing the winners of the 2005 FAP Luna Awards will move into full throttle. The new awards system, called the cite-nominate-vote process, was initially implemented last year (though the Academy had a dry-run of the system in 2004). In retrospect, Academy leaders were encouraged by last year’s results. The FAP had finally crafted a mechanism wherein all eligible Filipino films produced within a year are given the opportunity to be viewed and reviewed by three groups of Academy members.
The FAP wanted a process that will ensure that winners are really the most deserving of the awards, in the process eliminating subjective ratings by voters and lobbying, which certainly have no place in an industry awards.
For this year, Academy members will be winnowing their selections from more or less 70 eligible films, some of which were shot digitally or by video cameras. Three groups are tasked to provide a three-tiered process for weaning out the best of the year. These are the citers, the nominators and the voters.
The groups will recognize outstanding achievements in 11 categories with the 12 th category being for the year’s best picture. The categories are: direction, screenplay, cinematography, production design, editing, musical scoring, sound, and performances (sub-divided further into lead actor, lead actress, supporting actor and supporting actress).
Once again for this year, the citers will come up with their list of possible nominees in the various categories. The nominators (who qualify only if they had been winners or nominees in any film industry award) will come up with the final list of nominees. Nominators cannot be citers or voters too. The nominations will then be submitted to the final arbiters of the year’s awards—the voters, who will number 30 for each eight category guilds and one non-category guild.
To guide the citers in drafting their lists of possible nominees, the FAP secretariat has drawn up a list of the films already shown up to November this year. The list of films which received an A or B rating from the Cinema Evaluation Board of the Film Development Council of the Philippines is, likewise, provided to the different groups of citers.
FAP Director General Leo Martinez says that the digital films made headway this year with some of them getting an A or B rating. Because some of these digital films were exhibited commercially (either in digital or 35 mm. prints), they can be eligible for consideration.
As of November 30, a total of 42 films were shown in theaters nationwide. Five of them were originally in video or digital format but were dubbed into 35 mm. prints through kinescoping before exhibited in theaters. Four other digital firms were shown in commercial theaters in their original video format. There were, therefore, a total of 46 films shown commercially up to November this year.
Of these 46 films, eleven films received CEB ratings—three rated A and eight rated B.
The A rated films were La Visa Loca of Unitel Pictures, Ilusyon of Viva Films and Ang Pagdadalaga ni Maximo Oliveros , a Cinemalaya winner. Both Ilusyon and Ang Pagdadalaga… were digital films.
The B rated films were: Dreamboy of Star Cinema; Let the Love Begin of GMA Films/Regal Entertainment Inc.; Can This Be Love? of Star Cinema; Bikini Open of Seiko Films; Nasaan Ka Man of Star Cinema; Pinoy Blonde of Unitel Pictures; Mga Pusang Gala of MLR Films; and Dubai of Star Cinema. Pinoy Blonde and Mga Pusang Gala were originally digital films.
But according to the CEB, another digital film had already been rated A and three others rated B though they have not yet been shown in theaters. The digital film which was rated A was Big Time , another Cinemalaya winner which won the best screenplay award during the independent film festival.
Rated B are:
– Sa North Diversion Road , directed by Dennis Marasigan, starring John Arcilla and Irma Adlawan. A Cinema One Original digital film.
– Sandalang Bahay , directed by Denisa Reyes and Mark Gary, starring Albert Martinez, Mads Nicholas, Hermie Concepcion, Gilleth Sandico and Sharmaine Centenera-Buencamino. A Cinema One Original digital film.
– ICU Bed #7 , another Cinemalaya winner which won the best director award for Rica Arevalo and the best actor award for Eddie Garcia during the independent film festival.
The Academy will also discuss whether the digital films which entered the Cinemanila International Film Festival are eligible for consideration for this year’s Luna Awards. At least seven of these films were shown during the said festival. Another entry, Ilusyon , was already exhibited in commercial theaters by Viva Films last November 9.
The digital films include Ala Verde, Ala Pobre ; Ang Daan Patungong Kalimugtong; Cut ; Dilim ; Matthew, Mark, Luke and John ; Trabaho ; and Tuli .