Sep 20

Ma’ Rosa, the official Philippine submission to the best foreign language film category of the 89th Oscar Awards, joined 56 other early film submissions to the prestigious awards of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS).

A special seven-man committee of the Film Academy of the Philippines selected Ma’ Rosa over eight other local films which were shown between October 2015 to September 2016. Ma’ Rosa started its commercial run last July 6, 2016.

The other films reviewed by the committee were Felix Manalo by Joel Lamangan; Honor Thy Father by Erik Matti; Hele sa Hiwagang Hapis by Lav Diaz; Dukot by Paul Soriano; Pamilya Ordinaryo by Eduardo Roy Jr.; Ang Hapis at Himagsik ni Hermano Puli by Gil Portes; Tuos by Roderick Cabrido; and Ang Babaeng Humayo by Lav Diaz.

Ma’ Rosa was produced by Center Stage Productions and directed by Brillante Ma. Mendoza from a screenplay of Troy Espiritu. Jaclyn Jose played the lead role of Ma’ Rosa. She wpn the award for best actress at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival, besting Charlize Theron and Marion Cottilard. The film’s cast also included Julio Diaz, Baron Geisler, Mercedes Cabral, Andi Eigenmann, Mark Anthony Fernandez, Mon Confiado and Maria Isabel Lopez.

The Oscar committee of FAP was headed by Director-Editor Edgardo Vinarao, with the following as members: Jose N. Carreon, director-scriptwriter; Mike Sandejas, director; Lee Briones-Meily, cinematographer; Cheri Gil, actress; Michael de Mesa, actor; and Eddie Rocha, director-scriptwriter.

A Wikipedia posting listed the Philippines’ submission between Peru and Portugal. Early submissions from other Asian countries include:

*Japan—Haha to Kuraseba, directed by Yoji Yamada
*Singapore—Apprentice, directed by Boo Junfeng
*South Korea—The Age of Shadows, directed by Kim Jee-woon
*Thailand—Karma, directed by Kanittha Kwanyu
*Vietnam—Yellow Flowers on the Green Grass, directed by Victor Vu

Based on the early submissions, some critics cited several films which they believe are the favorites for the five nominations though there are suggestions from Oscar voters to increase nominations in the best foreign language film category to 10 films.
Among the films cited by the critics are the following:

*Chile—Neruda, directed by Pablo Larrain
*Germany—Toni Erdmann. Directed by Maren Ade
*Greece—Chevalier, directed by Athina Rachel Tsangari
*Iran—The Salesman, directed by Asghar Farhadi
*Spain—Julieta, directed by Pedro Almodovar
*Venezuela—From Afar, directed by Lorenzo Vigas

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