Friday, September 11, 2009

Open Letter to the FAP Oscar Committee

Dear Sirs:

Good day! We have been informed through an official press release on your website of the films shortlisted for consideration as the official Philippine entry for this year's Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.

As a fan of Philippine cinema and the owner of the Film-Otaku blog, I had recently reviewed our country's submissions to the Oscars in this category over the years. I have written an article on it, which I have entitled "Why the Philippines Has No Best Foreign Language Film Oscar Nomination." Here is the link, in case you would like to read it: http://film-otaku.blogspot.com/2008/04/why-philippines-has-no-best-foreign.html.

As I have noted in the article, an aspect of the films being chosen from every year that FAP and the other bodies concerned with the selection have failed to utilize thus far is their presence and performance in international film festivals. While this is of course not the only basis for the quality of a film (and indeed at times the choice of a film as a competition entry in some in these festivals can be questionable at best), it is important in that it brings significant amount of attention to a certain film among the international film community, which is essentially what we are targeting when sending a film for contention in such an arena as the Oscars. A great performance, as reflected by actual awards or critical praise, would certainly be desired and much needed bonuses.

In light of this, I would like to recommend, in my humble capacity as a fan of cinema and blogger on film, and with no disrespect to the other films being considered, that your committee view and ultimately select Lola as our entry to the 2010 Oscars. I am certain that you are aware that it was in competition at the 66th Venice International Film Festival. Its director is no less than Brillante Mendoza. A controversial figure, surely, yet for good reason. He did, after all, win the Best Director prize in the recent Cannes Film Festival (though for another film). The international film community knows and respects Mendoza. Venezia has historically been a great starting point for films vying for Oscar consideration. And there is already at least one good review out online (the link: http://incontention.com/?p=13576#more-13576), with more critics said to be generally pleased with the film.

Timing is key. While we may not be able to select Kinatay as our entry (and indeed, one would have to be wary of making it our selection despite the Cannes win, given the Academy's general distaste for violence in this category), its director, now world-renowned, has another film among your options, and it has been screened in one of the largest and most important film festivals in the world. Additionally, Lola's plot dwells on very humanistic themes that tend to go over well with Academy voters. The fact that the central performances are by two veteran actresses may also likely appeal to a panel that is of generally more advanced age than voters in the major Oscar categories. Please consider taking advantage of these factors and give the Philippines a fighting chance in the Oscar category that we have long dreamed of being nominated for.

Thank you for your time.

Sincerely yours,


Ronald Allan L. Cruz

4 comments:

cinelamour said...

lola would have a selected screening in market market on september 23. ang layo naman!

Ron Cruz said...

really? thanks for the info! pero malayo nga haha

cinelamour said...

according to ricky lo's article (dated 09162009), the film is brillante's intent to enter in oscar foreign film and since fap has been known to be a "Friendship Award" (on which i am inclined to believe)... "they should scrap “friendship” as one of the criteria and choose a film that is truly Oscar-worthy."
i hope they heed ricky lo's call.

Ron Cruz said...

yeah, me too