It is interesting to note that the films considered in this year’s awards season may be the last films that were shot before the pandemic. These films mark the end of a certain way of making movies before the time of shooting bubbles, social distancing, and endless Covid tests.
But while we eagerly await how Filipino creatives wiggle their way around the limitations of a world that is standing still, let us look back at a simpler, (arguably) safer time. Here is the complete list of nominees for the 44th edition of Gawad Urian. The awarding ceremony is set to be streamed on YouTube and the Manunuri ng Pelikulang Pilipino Facebook Page on October 6, 2021.
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This year’s Gawad Urian is headlined by internationally acclaimed films and performers. Leading the pack is Kalel, 15 with nine nominations. The film previously won the Best Director award for Jun Lana at the Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival and a Best Actor award for Elijah Canlas at the Asian Film Festival held in Rome. Babae at Baril, also with nine nominations, was previously awarded the Best Director and Best Actress awards for Rae Red and Janine Gutierez respectively at the QCinema Film Festival.
Cinemalaya Best Picture John Denver Trending has six nominations. It was previously awarded the Critics and Audience awards at the 26th Vesoul International Film festival in France. Another Cinemalaya feature, Edward, has eight nominations including one for Louise Abuel who previously won the Best Actor award at the Dhaka International Film festival. Finally Venice Film Festival Golden Lion Awardee, Lav Diaz, was nominated for Best Director for Ang Hupa at the Asia Pacific Screen Awards. He is nominated for the same film at the Urian for Best Director.
Update: 9/22/2020. Ruby Ruiz, nominated for Best Actress for Iska, won at the Harlem International Film Festival in New York for the same role. She perviously bagged the Best Actress award at the 2019 Cinemalaya FIlm Festival.
Check the complete list of nominees and winners below. Winners were announced on November 10, 2020.
Having been in the industry as a multi-hyphenated filmmaker for almost a decade and a half, Joselito Altarejos finally receives his first Gawad Urian nomination that victoriously coincides with his perennial “muse” – actor Oliver Aquino’s Best Actor nomination as well.
Altarejos and Aquino worked on their fourth film together, Jino to Mari, a year before its festival release. Originally titled “Death by Gokkun,” it had been intended to be the festival opener of Sinag Maynila when it was postponed in its 2016 edition due to failing to secure a permit to exhibit for its highly sexual content The film is about two young sex workers who are hired to do a pornographic film on a remote island. Altarejos and Aquino’s next film, Walang Kasarian Ang Digmang Bayan, would also be pulled out by the same festival for its supposedly highly-charged political stance against the current government.