Like the intrepid prospectors who panned for gold during that famous rush in the West, Film Academy voters now sift through 15 films to decide the biggest nuggets for the year 2005. They will be choosing winners in 12 categories of the 24th Luna Awards and they will be doing their panning in the dark confines of the UP Film Institute cinema beginning Monday, August 14.
The work of the citers and the nominators—the first two tiers in the intricate system to choose the best performances and works in films for the year 2005—has already culminated in the announcement of the nominees last Saturday (August 12). It is the voters’ turn to buckle down to work and finish the academy’ mandated annual task to recognize and honor the best of the year.
For seven screening days, the voters will be previewing 15 films which received nominations in 12 award categories. The highest number of nominations was amassed by Nasaan Ka Man, by first time director Cholo Laurel for ABS-CBN Star Cinema Films. Four films were nominated for one category each.
Therefore, voters must view all films inasmuch as they will be deciding winners in all 12 categories–unlike the citers and nominators who exclusively rated the categories they were assigned to. For the first two stages, directors from the DGPI and the KDPP rated the directors, screenwriters from the SGP rated their peers, and so on and so forth.
The five-man nominator groups cut down the citers’ list (from 10 to 15 possible nominees) to the final five nominees in their assigned category. These are the films the voters will now screen for their final decision.
The final voting will be held at the UP Film Institute cinema lobby after the screening of the 15th film on August 24 (Thursday). The ballots will then be forwarded to an accounting firm which will tabulate the results to be finally announced during the FAP Luna Awards night on September 16.
Going through the final list of nominees, we uncover the interesting trivia that eight out of the 12 winners last year (for works rendered in 2004) were also nominated this year—in effect to defend their titles.
Regal Entertainment Incorporated, which won the best picture last year with Aishite Imasu 1941, is nominated this year for Blue Moon. Interestingly, both films have flashbacks on the Japanese era of the 1940s.
Best actor Dennis Trillo (Blue Moon) and best actress Claudine Barretto were re-nominated with Claudine getting nominations for her performances in two films, Dubai and Nasaan Ka Man, both produced by ABS-CBN Star Cinema Films. Dennis won last year’s award for Aishite Imasu 1941 while Claudine won for Milan.
Supporting Actor and Actress winners Jay Manalo (for Aishite Imasu 1941) and Jaclyn Jose (for Naglalayag) failed to bag nominations this year. Expect new winners for the two categories.
Best Director Joel Lamangan, who won for Aishite Imasu 1941, is again nominated for Blue Moon. Aishite Imasu 1941 best production design winner Joey Luna and best editor Marya Ignacio garnered nominations this year too—Joey for Blue Moon and Marya for two films, Ako Legal Wife and Nasaan Ka Man.
Last year’s best cinematographer Ely Cruz (for Panaghoy sa Suba) is nominated for Enteng Kabisote 2. Best sound winner Albert Michael Idioma (for Feng Shui) is nominated for another horror-suspense thriller Kutob of Canary Films.
The other winners last year—aside from Jay and Jaclyn– who failed to defend their titles are best screenwriter Cris Vertido and best scorer Nonong Buencamino, both for Panaghoy sa Suba.
Let me share with you other interesting trivia about the Luna Awards during its first 23 years.
Do you know that the winner of the most number of trophies is Willy Cruz who won best scoring four times and best original song nine times?
Do you know that cinematographer Romy Vitug has already won eight best cinematography trophies while scriptwriter Ricky Lee has won seven awards, five for original screenplays and two for adaptations?
Do you know that six-time winners are Philip Salvador for best actor, the late George Canseco for best musical score and best original song, Edgardo ‘Boy’ Vinarao and Augusto Salvador for best editing and sound engineer Ramon Reyes Jr. for best sound?
Do you know that the longest consecutive wins were chalked up by sound engineer Rolly Ruta from 1984 to 1988, a total of five years?
Do you know that in 1986, Gabi na, Kumander of Viva Films won the best picture award and did not win in any other category?
Do you know that in the best sound category, only four sound engineers or craftsmen—Reyes, Ruta, the late Vic Macamay and Gaudencio Barredo– snared 18 out of the 23 trophies among themselves?
We’ll be giving you other interesting trivia about the Luna awards later on. For the time being, let’s concentrate on the screening of the 15 films by the academy voters. There is a time to wean out the best and there is a time for trivia.