The dramedy about an old gay-man Rene and his dog “Bwakaw” was chosen as the country’s official entry in the Best Foreign Film category for the 85th Academy Awards (Oscars 2013). Chosen by The Film Academy of the Philippines (FAP), Bwakaw is quite a surprise especially that it wasn’t even included in the list of films FAP considered for an Oscar 2013 nomination which they rolled out in a press release early last month.
This is a pleasant surprise in fact! Among other films considered for an Oscar nomination this year Bwakaw feels the strongest of the bunch. In the list were Ang Sayaw ng Dalawang Kaliwang Paa, Manila Kingpin: The Asiong Salonga Story, Segunda Mano, A Mother’s Story, The Witness, Captive and Busong. All of which are rated “A” by the Cinema Evaluation Board.
Bwakaw was an entry to this years’ Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival and Competition and was also shown at the recently concluded Toronto International Film Festival. The movie topbilled by Eddie Garcia and directed by Jun Lana was distributed by Star Cinema early this month alongside Brillante Mendoza’s Captive which apparently did not get an Oscar shot.
Responsible for the selection was an eight-member committee headed by National Artist for Film Director Eddie Romero, actor-director and FAP deputy director-general Robert Arevalo; director and Directors’ Guild of the Philippines, Inc. secretary Jose N. Carreon; director and Philippine Motion Picture Directors’ Association president William Mayo; director and Production Designers Guild of the Philippines president Manny Morfe; United Film Editors Guild of the Philippines president Jess Navarro; director Elwood Perez; and actress-director Gina Alajar.
Among the films I thought Busong or Ang Sayaw ng Dalawang Kaliwang Paa would make it to Oscars. But then as FAP previously noted the list was tentative as there may still be graded A movies released between August and September 2012. And here goes Rene in Bwakaw, let his failed romance ignore him, but he’s taking the road to Oscars.