The screening of nominated films for the 2011 Luna Awards started on May 31 at the UP Film Center.
This event is for the benefit of the FAP voters, the big group composed of guild members. The participating guilds and categories are Directors, Screenwriters, Actors, Cinematographers, Editors, Production Designers, Sound Technicians and Musical scorers.
FAP Director General Leo Martinez giving a short speech for the voters to be discrete in their selection
FAP Director General Leo G. Martinez gave a short talk. He urged the voters to choose the best based on their taste and discretion. DG Martinez mentioned the Urian Awards which was dominated by the indie films and no mainstream had won a single award.
Some voters agreed that prejudice is quite obvious in the Urian. An example is Rosario, a period film worthy of nomination in the production design category. Emir is also a good one in the musical scoring.
FAP Voters for the Performance category: Bert Vivar, Adiomar Roqueza and Virgie Roqueza. At the back is SGP’s Felix Magat
Since the annual screening also serves as reunion and bonding time for the voters, it is noticeable that the number of voters for each guild had dwindled. “Pakunti na tayo nang pakunti,” said Arnold Alvaro, a veteran cinematographer.
Missed in the screening were guild members who have passed away. Actor Charlie Davao, Cinematographers Serge Lobo, Totoy Jacinto, Roger Estrada and his son Ronnie who perished in a sea tragedy while filming Tanging Ina in Gensan.
The registration with the FAP Secretariat
Also permanently absent were Nonoy Santillan of the Editor’s Guild, Pablo Gomez, Manny Rodriguez, Ric Acacio and Andy Beltran, officers of SGP (Screenwriters Guild of the Philippines).
Inside the theater, the new DVD projector stands in the middle of the audience area. “Bago pa yan,” said Orly Delos Reyes, the UP theater projectionist.
Character actor Dick Israel with cane, talking to Director Jun Posadas
For the movies that were screened, RPG gave an impression that it was fit only for the kids. “Palibhasa matatanda na tayo,” uttered a veteran director in defense of the animated entry of Ambientmeda and Star Cinema.
Muli, a Sid Lucero starrer, received some sneers due to its being gay-themed. To drive home his point, Director Baby Navoa came out of the theater with swaying hips with matching fingers in the air.
Lunch time. Pablo Vergara looking at the camera, beside him is Cloyd Robinson
Director Eddie Mayo commented, “Yan ang hirap sa mga indie,” referring to the gay movies. Cloyd Robinson reasoned that most indies are expressions of art. It was seconded by Enrico Villa who admitted that he is a bi-sexual.
Popular character actor Dick Israel came with a cane. A stroke victim, Dick has difficulty walking but he promises to attend all the viewing days. “Yan ang suporta ko sa movie industry,” he said with seriousness.
Campaigning for an entry (in any category) is strictly prohibited. This is to give a free hand to the voters for their choices. “Yan ang kalamangan natin sa ibang award bodies,” explained composer Pablo Vergara, “marami ang judges sa atin kasi lahat tayo judges.”
Voters from the SGP (Screenwriters Guild of the Philippines), from left: Ianne Oandasan, Mon Orbeta, Gabriel Santos
Another peculiarity of the Luna Award selection process is that the Citer can be a Voter but a Nominator cannot be a Citer nor a Voter. In effect, there are two distinct groups who select the cited movies, the nominees and the winners.
The Voters were a bit surprised with the ample food. The first day lunch was sinigang with fried fish and ripe mango for dessert. For the next day there was bistek coupled with ginisang upo and lakatan banana.
Mar Lopez and his co-members of the UFIMDAP (United Film Musical Directors Association of the Philippines).
The allowance of 250 pesos per viewing day was also much appreciated. “Pambawi na rin sa gasolina,” said Film Editor Rudy Tabotabo who later on confessed that he actually doesn’t bring his car.
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