No Filipino Film Has Ever Won an Oscar – Manila Bulletin – Post World

And yet, just as Hollywood is campaigning for Asian representation and the Academy Awards are actively inviting Filipino filmmakers, the Filipino Film Academy has not sent any entry this year

The Academy’s elusive golden statuette trophy (Oscar) is still a dream for the Philippines. Never in the history of Filipino cinema has a local film been nominated as a finalist for the best international feature film of the year.

‘Dschinghis Khan’

The biopic of the great Manuel Conde Dschinghis Khan (1950) was the country’s first Oscar submission. The Philippines have been submitting contributions ever since. Why is the Oscar important to every country?

The best international feature film of the year is an allusion to a country’s culture and national identity. We recognize that as nations, even if we live thousands of miles apart, we share the same values, hopes and failures through cinema. Federico Fellinis The street won the first best foreign language film in 1957.

‘La Strada’ won the award for best foreign language film in 1956

On the list of top grossing local films on Metro Manilare a film festival (MMFF) with over ₱ 500 million box office receipts Fantastic (2018), Gandarrapiddo: The Revenger Squad (2017), Miracle in cell number 7 (2019) adapted from Korea, The beauty and the beast (2015), The amazing Praybeyt Benjamin (2014), and Girl, boy, bakla, tomboy (2013). Most are light comedies solely for entertainment for Filipino families during the Christmas season.

But are we sending these box office hits to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), the organization that awards the Oscars? The answer is great no.

I remember the late National Artist Eddie Romero, who headed the selection committee for the Filipino entry for the Oscars, and told me about the intense deliberation among members trying to marry Filipino culture and international appeal.

For the past decade we’ve been sending A-rated films like Bwakaw in 2012, Transit In 2013, Norte: The end of the story in 2014, General Luna in 2015, Ma’Rosa in 2016, Vogelschuss in 2017, The signal rock in 2018, verdict in 2019 and Mindanao in 2020. These stories help define our national cinema.


The Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) has the Oscars Assistance Program to support the country’s official contributions to their advertising campaign with a million pesos. The last winner was Brilliante Mendoza for his films Ma’Rosa and Mindanao.

Recently, Oscar winners of Asian descent were hugged by Hollywood. Bong Joon-Hos left (2019) was the first South Korean film to win the Palme d’Or and four Academy Awards at the 92nd Academy Awards. He made history by becoming the first non-English film to win the Academy Award for Best Picture.


South Korean veteran Youn Yuh-jung won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for Lee Isaac Chung Threaten (2020).

Beijing-born Chloé Zhao who directed Nomadenland (2020), won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival and the Oscar for best director, the second woman to win after Kathryn Bigelow.

Hollywood embraces stories from Asia. This year we have two films that have been celebrated at prestigious film festivals, On the job 2: The missing 8 Director: Erik Matti and When the time comes (Whether the weather is nice) by Carlo Franciso Manatad.

The missing 8 premiered at the 78th Venice International Film Festival, where John Arcilla received the Volpi Cup for Best Actor. When the time comesreceived the Cinema e Gioventù award from the Conscoso Cineasti del Presente Junior Jury at the 74th Locarno Film Festival and Manatad received the award for best director at the London East Asia Film Festival.

With the 94th Academy Awards of Merit in mind, AMPAS changed its rule to accommodate more countries in this pandemic. It reads: “The unprecedented global coronavirus / COVID-19 pandemic has mandated the closure of commercial cinemas worldwide. Selected national films whose theatrical release was planned in advance, but which will initially be made available via a reputable commercial streaming distribution service or video-on-demand, can qualify for the awards in the international feature film category for the 94th Academy Awards. “

Negligence does not excuse anyone, even during a pandemic. Bow down, Philippines Film Academy.

Each country can submit its best film of the year. The official submission point recognized by AMPAS since the early 1980s is the Film Academy of the Philippines (FAP). For the upcoming Oscars, the deadline for submitting the names of the selection committee members and footage is November 1, 2021.

The AMPAS website clearly states that the award for the best international feature film of the year is for one country: “The Academy Statuette (Oscar) is awarded to the film and accepted by the director on behalf of the creative talents of the film. The country is named as a nominee for Academy Awards purposes. The director’s name is listed on the statuette board after the country and the film title. “

What is the Filipino Contribution to the 94th Academy Awards? The answer is no. When Hollywood burns for an Asian representation and the AMPAS actively invites Filipino filmmakers such as Lav Diaz, Brillante Mendoza, PJ Raval and the documentary filmmakers Baby Ruth Villarama and Ditsi Carolino to the academy, the FAP has not sent an entry. “We couldn’t do the Oscars and Luna this year,” says an FAP insider.

The record without an Oscar nomination continues for the Philippines. If the records are correct, it would be the first non-filing from our country since 2005.

Negligence does not excuse anyone, even during a pandemic. Bow down, Philippines Film Academy.

Banner photo by Don Emmert / AFP



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