Feb 22
THE ELITE CIRCLE by Jose N. Carreon  |  Posted in Articles  |  on Fri, Feb 22, 2008

A group photo that appeared in the Entertainment Section of the Philippine Daily Inquirer to accompany an article by Nestor Torre is certainly and without doubt eye-catching that one will easily cluck his tongue and ask: how did they do it?

The nominees in the 80th Oscar Awards scheduled this March were assembled together for the group photo and one can only admire the official photographer who put it all together. Personalities fill the photo from top to bottom and from left to right. And all of them were nominees who took precious time out just to attend the photo session.

Which only bolsters our belief that resurrecting an event that the FAP had diligently held years ago, before the advent of the new century, is indeed timely and necessary. I am referring to the nominees’ nights or nominees’ assemblies. These were normally held at the Mowelfund Plaza or the Sampaguita grounds of the Vera-Perez Villa on Valencia Street.

All nominees were given their small statuettes of what is now called the Luna trophy. But those small trophies were then still nameless. Today, the small Luna is fondly referred to as the Lunette.

During those nights, one can effortlessly slide the small trophy into his pant’s or jacket’s pocket. And during the drinking binges that followed, one can proudly place his Lunette on the table beside his beer mug. Stumbling back into his or her place, one deposited the small trophy on a shelf with the proud feeling that he had done something worthwhile in film during the past year and began entertaining hopes that one will bag the big one, the mother of the Lunettes on awards night.

Lying down to sleep the remaining two or three hours of that night, one just relished the honor he felt was bestowed on him. The mind set then was this—getting nominated is a cause for celebrating. And the nominees’ night fostered this heady feeling. One felt he or she belonged to the film elite, at least for the past year.

The nominated film artists and technicians invariably made up the elite circle.

Events like the nominees’ night, in effect, honor those who must be honored. For most of us, the awards’ night seem to honor only the lucky winners. Performers in musical numbers even outshine the winners—more so, the nominees.

But in a gathering called solely to recognize the best five or so film performers and artists and technicians, each nominee is called to the stage to receive his or her small trophy. Everybody is a winner for that single night.

The Film Academy is set to start early its 26th version of the Luna Awards. The list of citers is now being finalized. They form the first tier of guild members who will pan for gold, meaning they will select the best accomplishments in 12 categories for films which were shown in 2007.

Still fresh in the minds of Academy leaders was the race-against-the-clock staging of the silver anniversary presentation of the Luna Awards a few days before the New Year last year.

We will start things early this year, Director General Leo G. Martinez vows. After the citers, the nominators will be summoned to come out with their lists of finalists or nominees. The target date for the awards night must be tentatively set not later than May.

But before the awards night, the director general promises that a nominees night will again be held wherein Lunettes will be handed out to the lucky finalists.

I expect a one hundred percent attendance inasmuch as this night will be for them (the nominees), Leo explains. He adds that it is about time that we change or revert to our mind set about being a nominee. Getting nominated is a signal honor by itself. Winning the bigger Luna trophy is not the end all of this annual peers-judging-their-peers process.

The size of the trophy does not matter. A Luna or a Lunette, both are emblems of recognition and proof that you have done your peers proud because of your accomplishments in your chosen field or craft in filmmaking.

See you at the nominees’ night. Soon.

Your FEEDBACK can be posted at www.filmacademyphil.org/forum/