Special TFO Awards: Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino 2017

After watching the twelve entries of the 1st Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino (2017) and selecting the nominees for sixteen categories, here are the winners and rankings for the Special TFO Awards: PPP 2017 Edition!

For recap, here are the entries of the PPP 2017:

  • 100 Tula Para Kay Stella – Dir. Jason Paul Laxamana
  • AWOL – Dir. Enzo Williams
  • Bar Boys – Dir. Kip Oebanda
  • Birdshot – Dir. Mikhail Red
  • Hamog – Dir. Ralston Jover
  • Ang Manananggal saUnit 23B – Dir. Prime Cruz
  • Paglipay – Dir. Zig Madamba Dulay
  • Patay na si Hesus – Dir. Victor Villanueva
  • Pauwi Na – Dir. Paolo Villaluna
  • Salvage – Dir. Sherad Anthony Sanchez
  • Star na si Van Damme Stallone – Dir. Randolph Longjas
  • Triptiko – Dir. Miguel Franco Michelana

Here are the sixteen (16) categories for this TFO Awards:

  • Best Motion Picture
  • Best Achievement in Directing
  • Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role
  • Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role
  • Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role
  • Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role
  • Best Performance by an Acting Ensemble
  • Best Screenplay
  • Best Achievement in Casting
  • Best Achievement in Cinematography
  • Best Achievement in Film Editing
  • Best Achievement in Sound
  • Best Achievement in Music
  • Best Achievement in Production Design
  • Best Achievement in Costume Design
  • Best Achievement in Makeup and Hairstyling

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BEST ACHIEVEMENT IN MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING

WINNER: Triptiko
2. Salvage
3. Birdshot
4. Ang Manananggal sa Unit 23B
5. Hamog

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BEST ACHIEVEMENT IN COSTUME DESIGN

WINNER: 100 Tula Para Kay Stella
2. Ang Manananggal sa Unit 23B
3. Bar Boys
4. Birdshot
5. Star na si Van Damme Stallone

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BEST ACHIEVEMENT IN PRODUCTION DESIGN

WINNER: Ang Manananggal sa Unit 23B (Nestor Abrogena)
2. Salvage
3. Birdshot
4. 100 Tula Para Kay Stella
5. Paglipay

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BEST ACHIEVEMENT IN MUSIC

WINNER: Paglipay (Gian Gianan)
2. Salvage
3. Star na si Van Damme Stallone
4. Bar Boys
5. Hamog

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BEST ACHIEVEMENT IN SOUND DESIGN

WINNER: Salvage
2. Ang Manananggal sa Unit 23B
3. Birdshot
4. Triptiko
5. AWOL

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BEST ACHIEVEMENT IN FILM EDITING

WINNER: Salvage (Lawrence Ang)
2. Patay na si Hesus
3. Pauwi Na
4. Star na si Van Damme Stallone
5. Birdshot

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BEST ACHIEVEMENT IN CINEMATOGRAPHY

WINNER: Salvage (Malay Javier)
2. Ang Manananggal sa Unit 23B
3. Birdshot
4. Star na si Van Damme Stallone
5. Pauwi Na

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BEST ACHIEVEMENT IN CASTING

WINNER: Patay na si Hesus
2. Star na si Van Damme Stallone
3. Pauwi Na
4. Bar Boys
5. Hamog

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BEST SCREENPLAY

WINNER: Patay na si Hesus (Fatrick Tabada, Moira Lang)
2. Pauwi Na
3. Bar Boys
4. Star na si Van Damme Stallone
5. Bar Boys

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BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTING ENSEMBLE

WINNER: Pauwi Na
(Bimbo Bautista, Shamaine Centenera-Buemcamino, Chai Fonacier, Jess Mendoza, Jerald Napoles, Cherry Pie Picache, Bembol Roco, Meryll Soriano)

2. Patay na si Hesus
3. Bar Boys
4. Hamog
5. Birdshot

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BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

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5. Melde Montañez – Patay na si Hesus
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4. Art Acuña – Triptiko

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3. Jerald Napoles – Triptiko

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2. OJ Mariano – Hamog

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WINNER: Jerald Napoles – Pauwi Na

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HONORABLE MENTIONS:
6. Joel Saracho – Salvage
7. jess mendoza – pauwi na
8. Bon Andrew Lentejas – Hamog
9. Isaac Aguirre – Star na si Van Damme Stallone
10. Manuel Aquino – Birdshot

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BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

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5. Anna Luna – Hamog

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4. Chai Fonacier – Pauwi Na

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3. Mailes Kanapi – Patay na si Hesus

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2. Anna Luna – Paglipay

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WINNER: Chai Fonacier – Patay na si Hesus

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HONORABLE MENTIONS:
6. Mailes Kanapi – Bar Boys
7. Odette Khan – Bar Boys
8. shamaine centenera-buencamino – pauwi na
9. Anna Luna – Bar Boys
10. Joan dela Cruz – Paglipay

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BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE

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5. Carlo Aquino – Bar Boys

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4. Bembol Roco – Pauwi Na

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3. John Arcilla – Birdshot

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2. Arnold Reyes – Birdshot

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WINNER: Zaijian Jaranilla – Hamog

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HONORABLE MENTIONS:
6. Garry Cabalic – Paglipay
7. Martin del Rosario – Ang Manananggal sa Unit 23B
8. JC Santos – 100 Tula Para Kay Stella
9. Rocco Nacino – Bar Boys
10. Paolo Pingol – Star na si Van Damme Stallone

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BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE

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5. Therese Malvar – Hamog

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4. Meryll Soriano – Pauwi Na

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3. Cherry Pie Picache – Pauwi Na

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2. Jaclyn Jose – Patay na si Hesus

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WINNER: Candy Pangilinan – Star na si Van Damme Stallone

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HONORABLE MENTIONS:
6. Bela Padilla – 100 Tula Para Kay Stella
7. Jessy Mendiola – Salvage
8. Ryza Cenon – Ang Manananggal sa Unit 23B
9. Mary Joy Apostol – Birdshot
10. Kylie Padilla – Triptiko

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BEST ACHIEVEMENT IN DIRECTING

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5. Prime Cruz – Ang Manananggal sa Unit 23B

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4. Randolph Longjas – Star na si Van Damme Stallone

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3. Mikhail Red – Birdshot

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2. Paolo Villaluna – Pauwi Na

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WINNER: Sherad Anthony Sanchez – Salvage

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BEST MOTION PICTURE

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5. Bar Boys

This youth-oriented drama-comedy film is about three friends who enter law school. Torran (Rocco Nacino) endures the hazing of a law school fraternity, Chris (Enzo Pineda) tries his best to please his demanding father, and Erik (Carlo Aquino) studies despite the limited financial status of his family.

My Twitter review: Lacks visual oomph, but solid writing: humor, depth, nuances, stakes. Owns its occasional cheese. Genuine pathos.”

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4. Patay na si Hesus

This comedy-drama is about Iyay (Jaclyn Jose), a single mother who compels his family to travel from Cebu to Dumaguete after her estranged ex-husband dies. Her children are lovely Bert (Bernard Catindig), stern Jude (Chai Fonacier), and discouraged Jay (Melde Montañez).

My Twitter review: Little Miss Sunshine’s soul sister. Grounds riotous idiosyncrasy on intricate family dynamics. Refreshing.”

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3. Star na si Van Damme Stallone

This drama-comedy is about single mother Nadia (Candy Pangilinan) who does her best to raise her child with Down syndrome, the titular character. Van Damme dreams of becoming an actor, so Nadia needs to make ends meet while trying to give Van Damme his dream.

My Twitter review: Nothing feels forced: its charm, emotions, punch. Candy Pangilinan’s best. Life affirming.”

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2. Salvage

This found footage horror-thriller is about a group of Manila-based group of media practitioners led by segment producer Melay (Jessy Mendiola) who brave the Mindanaoan countryside as they try to cover a series of murders credited to folk monsters called aswang.

My Twitter review: WTF?!?!? Taps real horrors, shakes your core, never lets go. Thrillingly subversive in form and themes. Haunting.”

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WINNER: Pauwi Na

This realist drama is about an impoverished family in the metro who decides to go back to their province to start farming by travelling while riding in two pedicabs. The members include driver Pepe (Bembol Roco), laundrywoman Remedios (Cherry Pie Picache), vendor daughter Pina (Chai Fonacier), thief JP (Jerald Napoles), and his blind wife Isabel (Meryll Soriano).

My Twitter review: Disarming, gripping narrative. Amazing ensemble work. Engages, sustains. Beautifully builds to stunning finale.”

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RECAP OF WINNERS
Best Motion Picture: Pauwi Na
Best Achievement in Directing: Sherad Anthony Sanchez – Salvage
Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role: Candy Pangilinan – Star na si Van Damme Stallone
Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role: Zaijian Jaranilla – Hamog
Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role: Chai Fonacier – Patay na si Hesus
Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role: Jerald Napoles – Pauwi Na
Best Performance by an Acting Ensemble: Pauwi Na (Bautista, Centenera-Buencamino, Fonacier, Mendoza, Napoles, Picache, Roco, Soriano)
Best Screenplay: Patay na si Hesus
Best Achievement in Casting: Patay na si Hesus
Best Achievement in Cinematography: Salvage
Best Achievement in Film Editing: Salvage
Best Achievement in Sound Design: Salvage
Best Achievement in Music: Paglipay
Best Achievement in Production Design: Ang Manananggal sa Unit 23B
Best Achievement in Costume Design: 100 Tula Para Kay Stella
Best Achievement in Makeup and Hairstyling: Triptiko

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Screencap acknowledgements:
100 tula para kay stella – screengrab from trailer. courtesy of viva films.
bar boys – screengrab from trailer. courtesy of SM LIFESTYLE.
birdshot – screengrab from trailer. courtesy of tba and pelikulared.
hamog – screengrab from trailer. courtesy of cinema one originals.
ang manananggal sa unit 23b – screengrab from trailer. courtesy of ideafirst.
paglipay – screengrab from trailer. courtesy of universal harvester.
patay na si hesus – screengrab from trailer. courtesy of t-rex entertainment.
pauwi na – screengrab from trailer. courtesy of universal harvester.
salvage – screengrab from trailer. courtesy of cinema one.
star na si van damme stallone – screengrab from trailer. courtesy of cinefilipino.
triptiko – screengrab from trailer. courtesy of michelana brothers.

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MY WEEK IN FILM: Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino (All Films, RANKED)

On the first year of the Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino, an initiative of the Film Development Council of the Philippines, twelve local films were screened in cinemas nationwide, barring other films not part of the festival line-up to be screened.

Luckily, this blogger was able to watch all the entries. With only one outright dud in this line-up, all of the entries have noteworthy strengths that make them acceptable to extremely worthy inclusion in the premiere edition of this hopefully lasting endeavour of the FDCP.

Let’s dive right into it.

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12. AWOL – Dir. Enzo WilliamsThis action thriller is about Lt. Abel Ibarra (Gerald Anderson) and his quest to avenge the death of his comrades after a bombing incident committed by a terrorist group. He takes the law in his own hands, searching for those responsible for the attack, rendering him labelled as AWOL by the military.

With nothing to serve but shallow drama, oversimplified characterization, bombastic execution, and an infuriating stance justifying extra-judicial killings, the audience is left with a serviceable lead performance from Gerald Anderson. He has been through this genre, with 2013’s masterful On the Job, but he was left with nothing but cheesy one-liners, and off-putting heroics which undermines his acting chops.

It’s a film so simple-minded, you wouldn’t miss anything even if you go to the comfort room or you check your phone while you are watching it. It’s that bad and negligible. [D+]

My Twitter review: “Are we still in the 90s? Trashy plot, cheesy action, shallow drama. Anderson deserved better. Objectionable. Pro-EJK ad.”

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11. 100 Tula Para Kay Stella – Dir. Jason Paul Laxamana

This romance drama is about Fidel (JC Santos), a stuttering freshman who falls in love and befriends college rockstar Stella (Bela Padilla). During the course of his entire college life, Fidel writes 100 poems to express his admiration and love for Stella.

As the festival’s runaway audience favourite, the film benefitted from the surge of low-budget romance films in the country, providing moviegoers with instantly quotable lines about love and romance. This film sticks with that and actually offers nothing much to the table in terms of originality.

However, the film is actually not that bad. Its emotional punches are much better than films of the same breed (I’m looking at you, Kita Kita), and it doesn’t feel old to me, even if it is. The build-up is actually suave, leading to the strongly acted Arayat sequence near its ending. It’s a scene of pureness, of clarity, and honesty that seals the deal and culminates the fim’s over-all appeal.

The film would have been more emotionally resonant if it casted actual teenagers in the role, especially with Fidel. I buy Padilla as Stella. Santos as Fidel, not that much. I’m talking about casting, not their acting: Santos is good in the role, and Padilla is much better, adding so much to her occasionally simplified character. I get the appeal. [B-]

My Twitter review: “Miscast. Santos good, Padilla better. Honest, but unexciting. Final 20 mins: those real emotions!”

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10. Hamog – Dir. Ralston Jover

This realist drama is about a group of street children whose one act of petty theft to a taxi driver goes wrong and leads disastrous results. The film specifically follows the aftermath in the lives of Rashid (Zaijian Jaranilla) and Jinky (Therese Malvar), both neglected by their families.

A true mixed bag, the film is filled with many great ingredients, and yet, it’s lost in its self. Stylistically, it doesn’t always glue together: the camera goes into gritty long takes, and then jumps into jarringly steady shots that does nothing but provide an inconsistent camerawork. The film also has an unnecessarily odd structure: a mid-way shift in perspective, a pointless detour into a magical realist subplot, among others.

And yet, there is the strong ensemble work led by Zaiian Jaranilla and Therese Malvar, showing street-smart maturity that is hauntingly convincing and devoid of vanity. The film also has strong sequences, like the one-take look at Rashid’s residence and Jinky’s discovery of a dark secret in her guardian’s house.

A film that confounded me more than any of these entries, it has elements and glimpses of cinematic potency that can bring this up, and yet it also drops the ball on many occasions too. This makes for a really frustrating, but slightly leaning towards good, experience. [B-]

My Twitter review: “Visual style, structure not always cohesive. Scattershot at times. Potency peaks in grit. Cast excels, esp. leads.”

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9 .Triptiko – Dir. Miguel Franco Michelena

This absurdist comedy-thriller anthology follows three young men (Albie Casiño, Joseph Marco, and Kean Cipriano): one who witnesses a murder committed by a policeman, one whose modelling career is ruined by large boils, and one whose girlfriend displaying cat-like behavior.

Anthology films are tricky. It is inherently episodic, and yet, there must be an overarching unity in terms of theme, style, and impact. Once the first episode “Swerte” kicked in, I knew I was into something good. The film blasts with energy and commits to the absurdity of the set-up. It only gets better with body horror in “Hinog”, the second episode. However, the film significantly drops when it turns to the final episode, the downbeat “Musikerong John”. Dragging, drab, and aimless, it sticks out as the misfit of the three episodes.

While the three leads deliver serviceable work, it’s the supporting actors that leaves a mark. Two of them stand out: Jerald Napoles is terrifying as a calculating policeman, and Art Acuña is outrageous as the mysterious faith healer.

It’s a film that reaches greatness in its bizarreness, and then takes a disappointing turn by its finale.

My Twitter review: Achieves dark comedy brilliance in first two episodes, only to unravel in languidly paced, misplaced final episode.”

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8. Ang Manananggal sa Unit 23B – Dir. Prime Cruz

This horror-romance is about Jewel (Ryza Cenon), a mysterious but timid young woman living in an apartment building where a young man named Nico (Martin del Rosario) and his grandmother also lives. The two become friends while Jewel’s secret is slowly revealed.

By deciding to focus on its distinctively cool atmosphere over clarity in plot machinations, the film absorbs with stylistic control, with noteworthy cinematography, production design, music in particular. It maintains a steady verve that does not always peak, but sustains a delicious ride. Ryza Cenon and Martin del Rosario ignite an effortless chemistry that is more than enough to provide the emotional core.

While there are loose ends in the narrative (as I’ve said, the film hinges more on creating a strong mood than focusing on specificities), the film has a magnetic charm in it that makes it really watchable, if not totally remarkable.

It’s an exercise on style and its tinkering around of themes like horror, sexuality, and love. [B]

My Twitter review: “Highlights mood, atmosphere over narrative articulations. Restrained even when stylized.”

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7. Birdshot – Dir. Mikhail Red

This police procedural is about two policemen (Arnold Reyes and John Arcilla) who tracks down the person responsible for shooting the Haribon, an endangered species of bird in the Philippines. Little do they know that the shooter was the fourteen-year-old Maya (Mary Joy Apostol).

The festival’s critical favourite, the film amazes with its singular vision: inspired, clear-eyed, and striking. It has a strong ensemble of four actors. Particularly noteworthy are John Arcilla as the acerbic, experienced policeman and Arnold Reyes as his new companion whose journey is the film’s most engaging anchor.

And yet, the film is slight in establishing emotional connection, perhaps because it stubbornly stays in a slow burn throughout its running time. Perhaps because I was finding it hard to latch on to the storyline of the young female hunter compared to the virtuoso acting displayed on the policemen storyline.

However, the final thirty minutes or so are exquisite. Everything comes together into a heart-stopping finale (with that haunting final shot). I wish I loved it more. [B]

My Twitter review: Stylistically sophisticated, but curiously distant. Rarely reaches boiling point, stays in slow simmer. Strong cast.”

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6. Paglipay – Dir. Zig Madamba Dulay

This romance-drama is about Atan (Garry Cabalic) an Aeta man who, because of native customs, is compelled to marry his friend Ani (Joan dela Cruz). To complete the dowry for the marriage, Atan works in the lowlands, only to meet college student Rain (Anna Luna) doing a research on the Aeta culture.

The film relishes its beauty in the simplicity of life it examines. The intricacies of the Aeta culture explored in the film is refreshing to witness. Acted by non-actors, their evident inexperience actually adds vividness to their portrayal of this culture. The film is strong when it takes time to enjoy the quietness of telling the story in images and untarnished acting.

Meanwhile, the film loses its distinctiveness when the character of Rain enters the story. Though acted with appealing radiance and intelligence by Anna Luna, the film is thrown off-balance when the character start wording out the character’s emotional baggage. The film is much more effective when it leaves things unsaid and undeclared. And the drone shots are distracting. [B]

My Twitter review: Enamoring cultural specificities. Quietness an asset. Less impressive in wording out drama. Calm that drone.”

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And the TOP 5, these films selected as the Best Motion Picture of the Special TFO Awards: PPP 2017 Edition are…..

(in alphabetical order; full reviews at the Special TFO Awards)

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Bar Boys – Dir. Kip Oebanda

 

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Patay na si Hesus – Dir. Victor Villanueva

 

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Pauwi Na – Dir. Paolo Villaluna

 

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Salvage – Dir. Sherad Anthony Sanchez

 

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Star na si Van Damme Stallone – Dir. Randolph Longjas

 

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Watch out for the Special TFO Awards: PPP 2017 Edition to be posted this week where the ranking of the top 5 films will be revealed.

Special TFO Awards: Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino 2017 Edition – NOMINEES

Life event: this is the first local film festival where I’ve watched ALL of the entries. That’s a remarkable achievement for me.

Now, here’s my take on the best of the festival in all sixteen categories: Motion Picture, Directing, Acting Ensemble, Actor in a Leading Role, Actress in a Leading Role, Actor in a Supporting Role, Actress in a Supporting Role, Screenplay, Casting, Cinematography, Film Editing, Sound, Music, Makeup and Hairstyling, Production Design, and Costume Design.

Here are the nominees:

BEST MOTION PICTURE

  • Bar Boys
  • Patay na si Hesus
  • Pauwi Na
  • Salvage
  • Star na si Van Damme Stallone

BEST ACHIEVEMENT IN DIRECTING

  • Mikhail Red – Birdshot
  • Prime Cruz – Ang Manananggal sa Unit 23B
  • Paolo Villaluna – Pauwi Na
  • Sherad Anthony Sanchez – Salvage
  • Randolph Longjas – Star na si Van Damme Stallone

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE

  • Carlo Aquino – Bar Boys
  • John Arcilla – Birdshot
  • Zaijian Jaranilla – Hamog
  • Arnold Reyes – Birdshot
  • Bembol Roco – Pauwi Na

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE

  • Jaclyn Jose – Patay na si Hesus
  • Therese Malvar – Hamog
  • Candy Pangilinan – Star na si Van Damme Stallone
  • Cherry Pie Picache – Pauwi Na
  • Meryll Soriano – Pauwi Na

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

  • Art Acuña – Triptiko
  • OJ Mariano – Hamog
  • Melde Montañez – Patay na si Hesus
  • Jerald Napoles – Pauwi Na
  • Jerald Napoles – Triptiko

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

  • Chai Fonacier – Patay na si Hesus
  • Chai Fonacier – Pauwi Na
  • Mailes Kanapi – Patay na si Hesus
  • Anna Luna – Hamog
  • Anna Luna – Paglipay

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTING ENSEMBLE

  • Bar Boys
  • Birdshot
  • Hamog
  • Patay na si Hesus
  • Pauwi Na

BEST SCREENPLAY

  • Bar Boys
  • Birdshot
  • Patay na si Hesus
  • Pauwi Na
  • Star na si Van Damme Stallone

BEST ACHIEVEMENT IN CASTING

  • Bar Boys
  • Hamog
  • Patay na si Hesus
  • Pauwi Na
  • Star na si Van Damme Stallone

BEST ACHIEVEMENT IN CINEMATOGRAPHY

  • Birdshot
  • Ang Manananggal sa Unit 23B
  • Pauwi Na
  • Salvage
  • Star na si Van Damme Stallone

BEST ACHIEVEMENT IN FILM EDITING

  • Birdshot
  • Patay na si Hesus
  • Pauwi Na
  • Salvage
  • Star na si Van Damme Stallone

BEST ACHIEVEMENT IN SOUND

  • AWOL
  • Birdshot
  • Ang Manananggal sa Unit 23B
  • Salvage
  • Triptiko

BEST ACHIEVEMENT IN MUSIC

  • Bar Boys
  • Hamog
  • Paglipay
  • Salvage
  • Star na si Van Damme Stallone

BEST ACHIEVEMENT IN MAKEUP & HAIRSTYLING

  • Birdshot
  • Hamog
  • Ang Manananggal sa Unit 23B
  • Salvage
  • Triptiko

BEST ACHIEVEMENT IN PRODUCTION DESIGN

  • 100 Tula Para Kay Stella
  • Birdshot
  • Ang Manananggal sa Unit 23B
  • Paglipay
  • Salvage

BEST ACHIEVEMENT IN COSTUME DESIGN

  • 100 Tula Para Kay Stella
  • Bar Boys
  • Birdshot
  • Ang Manananggal sa Unit 23B
  • Star na si Van Damme Stallone

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NOMINATIONS COUNT:

Pauwi Na – 12
Birdshot – 11
Patay na si Hesus – 9
Star na si Van Damme Stallone – 9
Salvage – 8
Hamog – 8
Bar Boys – 7
Ang Manananggal sa Unit 23B – 6
Paglipay – 3
Triptiko – 3
100 Tula Para Kay Stella – 2
AWOL – 1

SCHEDULE:
August 25/26 – Review of aAll PPP 2017 Entries – RANKED
August 27 – Special TFO Awards: PPP 2017 Edition – WINNERS