By Alvin I. Dacanay
Die Beautiful, Jun Robles Lana’s acclaimed dramedy about a transgender beauty queen who’s dolled up as a different celebrity on each night of her wake, earned a race-leading 10 nominations at the 35th Luna Awards, which also recognized a mother-daughter acting pair and left out top performer Nora Aunor and Ang Babaeng Humayo from its list of contenders.
In a news update on its website on July 28, the Film Academy of the Philippines (FAP) revealed that Die Beautiful is nominated for picture, director, actor for Paolo Ballesteros, supporting actor for Christian Bables, supporting actress for Gladys Reyes, screenplay for award-winning playwright Rody Vera, cinematography, editing, musical score, and sound.
The nominations came after Ballesteros and Bables scored trophies at the 40th Gawad Urian on July 20 and at the 42nd Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) last December. Ballesteros also won the best-actor prize at last year’s Tokyo International Film Festival, which bestowed its Audience Award on the movie.
Trailing behind Die Beautiful is the Jesuit-produced, English-language biopic Ignacio de Loyola, which garnered eight nods, including for picture, as well as director and screenplay for helmer Paolo Dy; the biopic Ang Hapis at Himagsik ni Hermano Puli, which nabbed seven, among them for picture, director for the late Gil M. Portes, and actor for Aljur Abrenica; and the romantic crowdpleaser Vince & Kath & James, which also received seven, including for picture, actor for Joshua Garcia, and actress for Julia Barretto.
Joining these films in the picture race are Paul Soriano’s kidnapping thriller Dukot; Brillante Ma. Mendoza’s gritty police-corruption tale Ma’ Rosa, whose five nods include those for 69th Cannes Film Festival best-actress winner Jaclyn Jose—who’s also nominated for the family comedy Patay na si Hesus—and her daughter Andi Eigenmann; Eduardo Roy Jr.’s baby-theft drama Pamilya Ordinaryo, which has collected various trophies here and overseas, including from the 40th Gawad Urian and 10th Asia Pacific Screen Awards for actress nominee Hasmine Killip; and Avid Liongoren’s live-action animated feature Saving Sally.
Among those snubbed, the most prominent are Aunor, who failed to get recognition for any of the four films she made last year— Whistleblower, Tuos, Hinulid, and Kabisera—despite nods from other award-giving bodies; and Lav Diaz’s Ang Babaeng Humayo, which has reaped numerous accolades, including three major nominations at the recent 11th Asian Film Awards, since winning the Golden Lion at the 73rd Venice International Film Festival last September.
Despite the exclusion, Diaz and Ang Babaeng Humayo star Charo Santos will receive awards of appreciation at the Luna Awards ceremony at Resorts World Manila in Pasay City on August 26.
Also at the ceremony, the FAP will honor actor-director Eddie Garcia with the Golden Reel Award; Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista with the Fernando Poe Jr. Lifetime Achievement Award; production designer Des Bautista with the Manuel de Leon Award for Exemplary Achievement; and the late director Mario O’Hara, the late actress Lolita Rodriguez and the late publicist Bibsy Carballo with the Lamberto Avellana Memorial Award.
Here is the complete list of nominees:
Picture: Die Beautiful (Regal Entertainment Inc., Idea First Company, and October Train Films); Dukot (Ten17P); Ang Hapis at Himagsik in Hermano Puli (T-Rex Entertainment); Ignacio de Loyola (Jesuit Communications Foundation); Ma’ Rosa (Center Stage Productions); Pamilya Ordinaryo (Found Films); Saving Sally (Rocket Sheep Studios); Vince & Kath & James (Star Cinema).
Director: Paolo Dy, Ignacio de Loyola; Jun Robles Lana, Die Beautiful; Brillante Ma. Mendoza, Ma’ Rosa; Gil M. Portes, Ang Hapis at Himagsik ni Hermano Puli; Eduardo Roy Jr., Pamilya Ordnaryo; Paul Soriano, Dukot.
Actor: Aljur Abrenica, Ang Hapis at Himagsik ni Hermano Puli; Paolo Ballesteros, Die Beautiful; Joshua Garcia, Vince & Kath & James; Ronwaldo Martin, Pamilya Ordinaryo; Bembol Roco, Pauwi Na.
Actress: Julia Barretto, Vince & Kath & James; Angeli Bayani, Ned’s Project; Jaclyn Jose, Ma’ Rosa; Jaclyn Jose, Patay na si Hesus; Hasmine Killip, Pamilya Ordinaryo; Cherry Pie Picache, Pauwi Na; Meryll Soriano, Pauwi Na.
Supporting Actor: Ronnie Alonte, Seklusyon; Christian Bables, Die Beautiful; Ricky Davao, Dukot; Jerald Napoles, Pauwi Na.
Supporting Actress: Andi Eigenmann, Ma’ Rosa; Chai Fonacier, Patay na si Hesus; Barbie Forteza, Tuos; Lotlot de Leon, Mrs.; Shaina Magdayao, Dukot; Gladys Reyes, Die Beautiful.
Screenplay: Daisy Cayanan, Kim Noromor and Anjanette Haw, Vince & Kath & James; Paolo Dy, Ignacio de Loyola; Troy Espiritu, Ma’ Rosa; Eduardo Roy Jr., Pamilya Ordinaryo; Charlene Sawit-Esguerra and Carlo Ledesma, Saving Sally; Rody Vera, Die Beautiful.
Cinematography: Albert Banzon, Ang Hapis at Himagsik ni Hermano Puli; Lee Briones-Meily, Ignacio de Loyola; Mycko David, Tuos; Odyssey Flores and Rommel Sales, Saving Sally; Carlo Mendoza, Die Beautiful; Sasha Palomares, Pauwi Na.
Editing: Beng Bandong, Vince & Kath & James; Jay Halili, Seklusyon; George Jarlego, Ang Hapis at Himagsik ni Hermano Puli; Sheryll Lopez, Ignacio de Loyola; Benjamin Tolentino, Die Beautiful.
Musical Score: Tonton Africa and Francis de Veyra, Ang Hapis at Himagsik ni Hermano Puli; Ryan Cayabyab, Ignacio de Loyola; Richard Gonzales, Die Beautiful; Jessie Lasaten, Vince & Kath & James; Francis de Veyra, Patay na si Hesus; Francis de Veyra, Seklusyon.
Production Design: Steff Derej, Tuos; Erikson Navarro, Seklusyon; Rocket Sheep Studios, Romel Laquian and Erik Manalo, Saving Sally; John Paul Sapitula, Ned’s Project; Leo Velasco Jr., Ignacio de Loyola.
Sound: Aurel Claro Bilbao, Vince & Kath & James; Joshua Cantillon and Mikko Quizon, Saving Sally; Lamberto Casas Jr. and Armand de Guzman, Die Beautiful; Lamberto Casas, Jr. and Albert Michael Idioma, Seklusyon; Albert Michael Idioma, Ignacio de Loyola; Mark Laccay, Ang Hapis at Himagsik ni Hermano Puli.