The official and complete list of nominees for this year’s 25th edition of the Luna Awards was finally firmed up on the eve of the start of previews for the 25 films which received nominations in 12 categories. The screenings for the voters began at the Remar 2 theater on Nov. 28.
Everything is now in the hands of the Film Academy voters who will cast their ballots for all categories on the last day of screening which is on December 6—nineteen days before Christmas.
The reason for the large number of films slated for screening is the fact that 13 films garnered nomination in just one category.
As expected, the five best picture finalists received the most number of nominations. ABS-CBN Star Cinema Films’ Kasal, Kasali, Kasalo garnered eight nominations. Unitel Pictures’ Inang Yaya got six while Kaleldo, Kubrador and Sukob had four nominations each.
To qualify for best picture, a film must get a minimum of three nominations, one of which must be for best picture or best screenplay. The three K films–Kaleldo, Kubrador and Kasal, Kasali, Kasalo—were all nominated for both best direction and screenplay. Sukob was nominated for direction and Inang Yaya for screenplay.
Kasal was nominated for best picture, direction Joey Javier Reyes, screenplay Reyes and co-writer Mary Ann Bautista, lead actress Judy Ann Santos, supporting actress Gina Pareño (who was also nominated for best actress in Kubrador), cinematography Ramoncito Redoble, editing Vito Cajili and sound Albert Michael Idioma.
The six nominations of Inang Yaya were for best picture, lead actress Maricel Soriano, supporting actress Tala Santos, screenplay Veronica Velasco, production design Norman Regalado and musical score Nonong Buencamino.
Kaleldo was cited for best picture, direction Dante Brilliante Mendoza, screenplay Boots Agbayani Pastor and production design Benjamin Padero. Kubrador received nominations for best picture, direction Jeffrey Jeturian, screenplay Ralston G. Jover and lead actress Gina Pareño. Sukob garnered nominations for best picture, direction Chito Roño, editing Manet Dayrit and supporting actor Ronaldo Valdez.
Browsing through the 12 categories, one easily unearths two interesting facts. First, that there will be first-time winners in direction, screenplay and cinematography. This means that no nominee in the three categories had won a Luna trophy before.
And second, only four winners in last year’s award are again nominated this year in effect to be in attendance to defending their trophies. They are Johnny Delgado for best supporting actor who won last year for La Visa Loca; editor Marya Ignacio who won for Nasaan Ka Man; scorer Von de Guzman who won for Blue Moon; and Addiss Tabong who won for Nasaan Ka Man.
In the best direction category, veteran megmen Chito Roño (Sukob) and Joey Javier Reyes (Kasal…) fight it out with Joyce Bernal (Don’t Give Up on Us), Jefrrey Jeturian (Kubrador) and Dante Brilliante Mendoza (Kaleldo).
The screenplay category becomes a wide open field. Only Boots Agbayani Pastor was nominated last year for Masahista. We can also have first-time winner in the person or Adolfo Alix or Ralston G. Jover or Veronica Velasco or even Joey Javier Reyes (who had won almost all other awards for screenplay) and his co-writer Mary Ann Bautista.
Young blood dominated the best cinematography category where the only camerawoman, Marissa Floirendo, faces four aspiring first-time winner—Nap Jamir II, Jay Linao, Lito Mempin and Ramoncito Redoble.
This year, four categories came short of a fifth nominee. The two actress categories had only four performances worthy of nomination. In fact, the best actress category has only three performers actually cited because Judy Ann Santos was nominated for Kasal… and Don’t Give Up on Us. She is up against Inang Yaya Maricel Soriano and Kubrador Gina Pareño.
In the best supporting actress derby, a little girl, Tala Santos of Inang Yaya
vies with Celia Rodriguez (Ligalig), Gina Pareño (Kasal…) and Cherry Pie Picache (I Wanna Be Happy).
Both the production design and editing categories have four nominees each also. It’s a close fight among designers Edgar Martin Littaua (Zsa Zsa Saturnnah), Benjamin Padero (Kaleldo), Norman Regalado (Inang Yaya) and Chito Sumera (Eternity). Two men and two women are vying for the best editor’s trophy—namely, Manet Dayrit (Sukob) and Marya Ignacio (You Are the One) pitted against Vito Cajili (Kasal…) and Jay Halili (Pamahiin).
In the all-important best actor category Rustom Padilla (Zsa Zsa Saturnnah) is caught in the middle between two senior stars (Eddie Garcia for I Wanna Be Happy and Robert Arevalo for Barcelona) and two youthful actors (John Lloyd Cruz for All About Love and Sid Lucero for Donsol.
The best supporting actor category has a full complement also and is markedly filled by senior actors, the likes of Eddie Garcia (Till I Met You), Ronaldo Valdez (Sukob), Tommy Abuel (Don’t Give Up on Us), Johnny Delgado (Ligalig) and Archi Adamos (Raket ni Nanay).
At the start of this article, it was mentioned that 13 films have to be screened for their single nomination each. These are the following films: All About Love (lead actor), Barang (cinematography), Barcelona (lead actor), Close to You (sound), First Day High (sound), I Will Always Love You (musical score), Moments of Love (musical score), Pamahiin (editing), Raket ni Nanay (supporting actor), Shake, Rattle & Roll 8 (musical score), Twilight Dancers (cinematography), TXT (cinematography) and You Are the One (editing).
Some 70 voters have gone through their second day of screenings as of this writing. They have seven more days to go and at least 21 more films to judge. Happy viewing to all our Luna voters.