Aug 28
LUNA AWARDS VOTERS’ VIEWING SIDELIGHTS by Alex J. Socorro  |  Posted in Articles  |  on Tue, Aug 28, 2012

The viewing of nominated films for the Luna Award Voters started on August 3, 2012 at the UP Film Center to last until August 10. But due to the inclement weather, the schedule of viewing was revised and actually ended on August 15.

The event officially started with the short speech of FAP Director General Leo Martinez. He advised the Luna Award Voters to observe independence and fairness in choosing their winners in the 12 categories.

The Director General of the Film Academy in his opening remarks for the Luna Award Voters in UP Film Center

As the Director General usually says, the Luna Award is unique because it is a peer award, the equivalent of the Oscars where the movie workers are the ones who choose the best of the best in all categories.

There were few who attended the screening on the opening day. But the 3rd day saw a marked increase of Voters despite the relentless rain. Some of them forgot to take note (that the first day was last Friday… talk of old age).

As in the past years, film director Bert Ortega again voiced out his concerns for the Voters. That the dwindling number is an indication of lack of interest. “Bakit pakunti ng pakunti ang umaatend?” Direk Bert asked.

Film Director Bert Ortega at right with Composer Pablo Vergara at left and Director William Mayo at center

There are varied reasons why the voters are getting fewer. Foremost of this is the fact that previous votings allowed up to 20 voters per guild but for this year the list said only 10 per guild. Direk Bert is suggesting to increase the honorarium.

The producers of Manila Kingpin provided their own projector to assure the clarity of their movie. Ironically, the said movie was not shortlisted by the citers and did not reach the nominators in the category of cinematography.

There was the observation that dark scenes are getting to be common in indie movies. A logical opinion said that it may be due to the lack of budget which affected the lighting equipment. But it is actually just a style of directing.

Some women voters: Jaybee Ramos in green, former bold star Lyn Madrigal and Lorna Balmes of the FAP Secretariat. Standing is Virgie Roqueza

Speaking of directing, a sound technician noticed the unusual directing of Presa. There was no camera movement and the frames were not accurate, although seemingly intentional, it definitely did not appeal to the viewers.

Many noticed that the character Lizardo of Panday looked very much like Joker of Batman. Also, the countless animated characters that appeared did not serve its purpose as one Voter said, “Nakakasawa sa sobrang dami.”

Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow showed the vintage Maricel with her katarayan. However, the movie lost its logic when her ex-husband played by Gabby Concepcion reconciled and even got Maricel pregnant just because of his guilt resulting from a tragedy.

Thelma got good reviews particularly in the point of the story’s climax. If the tears of the Voters would be converted to votes, Thelma would definitely be the hands down choice for Best Picture.

Comparing Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow with Thelma, Maja had the edge because she has the story all for herself while Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow has actually 3 stories woven into one movie.

Inside the UP Film Center: Cinematographers Jun Dalawis, Arnold Alvaro and Oscar Querijero

Some Voters were very vocal in praising Dingdong Dantes for his role of a psychopath in Segunda Mano. “Mahirap ang role kasi may transition. Lamang ng isang paligo si Dingdong kay E.R.,” a veteran voter quipped.

Speaking of transition, the role of KC, that of a cancer patient in Forever And A Day, was also difficult. From a happy go lucky person to one that was a loner and a defeatist. But unlike Dingdong, KC didn’t earn much points from the voters.

A lot of Voters were wondering why No Other Woman earned more than 200 million during its commercial run. “Simple lang ang story tapos may mali pa nga ang continuity,” the statement was about the neck injury of Derek Ramsay which was not visible in the ending part.

As a side story, someone in the production team of El Presidente provided some interesting information. The movie, which has Laguna Governor E.R. Ejercito in the title role, was actually 10 years in the making – continuous research.

The production budget is expected to exceed 150 million for the scheduled 45 shooting days. The wardrobe alone would cost around 15 million already. The production of El Presidente was made possible with the full consent of former Prime Minister Cesar E.A. Virata, a direct descendant of President Emilio Aguinaldo.

According to the informant, El Presidente is the legacy of E.R. Ejercito to the movie-going public and he is hoping that his epic movie would start the ball rolling for action movies again.

Some directors having lunch. From left: Jun Posadas, Nardz Belen and Pablo Vergara

The Voters were all praises for the food. The sumptuous kare-kare for the first salvo was worth the effort of lining up to the food server. Maybe next year there would soft drinks.

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