Good news for Bwakaw—which a Film Academy of the Philippine special committee selected to send to the 85th Oscar Awards best foreign language film category—continue to pour in.
Just last week, after Time Magazine included the film, directed by Jun Lana and produced by Cinemalaya, in the list of 10 must-see films showing in the New York Film Festival, the film magazine The Hollywood Reporter lumped Bwakaw with nine other films which are considered major threats to five films which are deemed front runners for nomination.
Before this week ended, Awards Circuit—a respected website covering film awards—released its list of films predicted to figure prominently in next February’s Oscar awards for best foreign language film. The website listed the 30 films vying for nomination chronologically.
Bwakaw luckily is now lodged at the number 5 slot, meaning it might be in the nominees’ list if the Awards Circuit’s predictions are proved true.
Hereunder is the top 15 that Awards Circuit compiled for its predictions:
1. Amour, an Austrian film directed by Michael Haneke. It is about the life of retired octogenarian music teachers, married for decades, which is jolted when the wife suffers a debilitating stroke. The fiftyish daughter returns to share her parents’ emotional crisis. It won the Palme d’Or in the 2012 Cannes International Film Festival. The Hollywood Reporter also predicted it as a front runner.
2. The Intouchables, a French film directed by Eric Toledano and Olivier Nakache. It is a drama-comedy film that focuses on the friend-ship between a wealthy aristocrat who became a paraplegic after a tragic accident and his young troubled caregiver. It is also a front runner of The Hollywood Reporter.
3. A Royal Affair, a Danish film directed by Nikolaj Arcel. The story—set in the 18th century at the court of the mentally ill King Christian VII of Denmark—focuses on the romance between the queen and the royal physician. At the last Berlin Film Festival, Mikel Folsgaard won as best actor and Nikolaj Arcel and Rasmus Heisterberg won for best screenplay. It is also a front runner of the Hollywood Reporter.
4. Beyond the Hills, a Romanian film directed by Cristian Mungiuf The story of two girls who are reunited after one returns home to Romania from Germany to rekindle her relationship with her childhood friend. While she has been away, her friend has found God and joined the local monastery as a novitiate. In the last Cannes Filmfest, Mungiuf won for best screenplay while Cristina Flutur and Cosmira Straton shared the best actress award. Listed as a major threat by The Hollywood Reporter.
5. Bwakaw, a Filipino film directed by Juan Robles Lana. It tells the story of an octogenarian gay man who feels he is growing old alone with a stray dog he took under his care. As he waits for the day of his death, he is shocked when it is his dog who gets ill and dies ahead of him. But the pet’s death makes a difference as his master finds a new appreciation for life. Listed as The Hollywood Reporter major threat.
6. Barbara, a German film directed by Christian Petzold. The film tells the story of a female physician living in East Germany in the 1980s. Unhappy with the constant intrusions by Stasi officials, Barbara makes plans to leave for West Germany to be with her lover, but of course meets complications that make her second guess her desires. Petzold won the silver bear for best director in the 62nd Berlin Filmfest. Listed as The Hollywood reporter major threat.
7. No, a Chilean film directed by Pablo Larrain. After 15 years of military rule in Chile, the public is asked to vote in the plebiscite of 1988 whether Gen. Pinochet should stay in power. The film’s hero, an advertising man, works as part of a team to create upbeat films and promotional materials to encourage the public to vote No to Pinochet leading the nation for another eight years while their advertising agency boss works for a Yes campaign. It won the Art Cinema award (top prize Directors’ Fortnight ) in the 2012 Cannes Filmfest. Listed as The Hollywood Reporter major threat.
8. Fill the Void, a Israeli film directed by Rama Burshtein. The film focuses on the life of the ultra-Orthodox Haredim Jewish community in Tel Aviv. The wealthy family of Rabbi Aharon grieves over the death of a daughter in childbirth. A younger sister is pressured by her mother to marry her deceased sister’s widower. Hadas Yaron Volps Cup won the best actress award during the 69th Venice Filmfest. Listed as The Hollywood reporter front runner.
9. Lore, an Australian film directed by Cate Shortland. A German-set, German-language World War II survival story about five children whose Nazi parents are taken by the Allies. They endure a 500-mile trek to the safety of their grandmother’s house in Hosum Bay in the dying days of the Third Reich. Listed as The Hollywood Reporter major threat.
10. War Witch, a Canadian film , directed by Kim Nguyen. Shot entirely on location in Kinshasa, the Democratic Republic of Congo, the film depicts the brutal reality of child soldiers. Rachel Muanza won the silver bear for actress in the 2012 Berlin Filmfest and the best actress award of the 2012 Tribeca Filmfest. Listed as The Hollywood Reporter major threat.
11. KonTiki, a Norwegian film directed by Espen Sandberg and Joachim Ronning. The true story of Norwegian explorer and anthropologist Thor Heyerdahl who in 1974, with five other scientists, sailed across the Pacific Ocean—more than 4,000 miles from South America to the Polynesian Islands—on a wooden raft to prove ancient tribes could also have made the journey.
12. The Deep, an Icelandic film directed by Balthasar Komakur. The film delivers a rough-and-tumble take on one man’s miraculous shipwreck survival, inspired by true events that occurred off Iceland’s volcanic Westman Islands in 1984. The survivor returns home where he faces up to inquiring reporters and scientists trying to understand his superhuman feats.
13. Death for Sale, a Moroccan film directed by Faouzi Bensaidi. Three desperate petty criminals try to flee a life of material and moral poverty in Tetonan, Northern Morocco, and none of them finds a way out.
14. Pieta, a South Korean film directed by Kim Ki-duk. The story of a heartless man who has no living family members and whose job is to threaten debtors to repay his clients. One day, he receives a visit from a strange, middle-aged woman claiming she is his long-lost mother. It was the Golden Lion winner in 69th Venice Fimfest. Listed as The Hollywood Reporter major threat.
15. After Lucia, a Mexican film directed by Michel Franco. The film describes the relationship between a widower—depressed by his wife’s death in an accident—and his 17-year-old daughter who helps him through an emotional crisis. But in her new school, she becomes a victim of bullying. It won the top prize in the Un Certain Regard category of the 2012 Cannes Filmfest.
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