A Surprise Winner, Once More

The Young Critics Circle opens the series of movie awards this year with another unpopular choice for Best Film of the Year, like last year's Babae sa Breakwater, in Armando Lao's Minsan Pa. I haven't seen the two films, which hardly survived their first (and probably, only) week of regular screening, at least here in Metro Manila. I hope YCC initiates/sponsors a viewing of those two films.

Press Release
YCC bares winners of film awards

MINSAN Pa” directed by Jeffrey Jeturian and actors Jomari Yllana and Dennis Trillo lead top winners of the annual awards of the Film Desk of the Young Critics Circle.

Written by Armando Lao and the maiden venture of the independent film outfit MLR Films, “Minsan Pa” was adjudged Best Film of the Year by the country's main academe-based organization of critics. Bagging as well the Best Screenplay honor, “Minsan Pa” beat Yam Laranas’ “Sigaw” (Regal Entertainment; Megavision)—the only other nominee for the top plum.

“Minsan Pa” follows the story of a male tour guide in Cebu who has been the breadwinner of his family since the father abandoned them for another woman. As he meets a pretty pre-school teacher, he is smitten by her unaware that whatever love he develops for her is bound to be unconsummated. Lead star Jomari Yllana was voted Best Performer in a surprise tie with Dennis Trillo for his own breakthrough role as a cross-dressing gay compelled to be a mistress to a Japanese army officer in the World War II drama “Aishite Imasu, Mahal Kita—1941” (Regal Entertainment; Basfilm Prductions). Yllana and Trillo bested two other nominees for the concerned category, namely, Nora Aunor for “Naglalayag” (Angorra Films) and Jericho Rosales for “Santa Santita” (United Pictures).

Technical awards such as Best Cinematography and Visual Design and Best Sound and Aural Orchestration all went to the horror flick “Sigaw.” For Best Editing, it was another tie this time for “Sigaw” and “Spirit of the Glass” (Octoarts Films; Canary Films)—another horror entry.

This year's YCC honorees will be feted in ceremonies to usher in the award-giving season on February 21 with the forum billed as "Sine Sipat: Recasting Roles and Images—Stars, Awards and Criticism" at the UP Faculty Conference Hall in Diliman, Quezon City. Issues involved in the evaluation of the past year's film harvest and other concerns affecting the art and industry of Philippine cinema will be discussed.

Established in 1990, YCC is the critics' group with members coming from various disciplines. Through the years, they have become attentive observers of Philippine cinema constantly bringing into the analysis of film an interdisciplinary approach.

The organization departs from many conventions of other award-giving bodies both here and abroad in bestowing cinematic honors. For instance, the Best Picture award (Best Film of the Year) is reserved for the director such that no separate prize for direction is needed. The Best Performance award is most coveted as it is conferred on a screen performer whether male or female, adult or child, individual or as part of an ensemble, in leading or supporting role. To uphold a more dynamic and holistic way of looking at films, technical honors refer to fusion of outstanding efforts in fields otherwise deemed apart. In this case, the Best Cinematography and Visual Design recognition covers both camerawork and art direction. Similarly, Best Sound and Aural Orchestration encompasses not just sound engineering per se but musical score as well. Furthermore, no film can be considered for YCC honors unless it attains its playdate and full theatrical run within the given year and subscribes to the 35mm industry standard for commercial exhibition.

YCC is presently composed of president Neil Martial R. Santillan, vice president Eileen C. Legaspi-Ramirez and members Dr. Patrick D. Flores, Nonoy L. Lauzon, Dr. Flaudette May V. Datuin, Romulo P. Baquiran Jr., Noel D. Ferrer, Ariel N. Valerio, Dr. Galileo S. Zafra, Eli R. Guieb III, Jerry C. Respeto, Eloi M. P. Hernandez, Gerard Lico, and Jason Jacobo.

The following is the roundup of complete winners and nominees for the 15th Annual Circle Citations for Distinguished Achievement in Film for 2004:

Best Film of the Year
Winner: Minsan Pa (MLR Films)
Nominee: Sigaw (Regal Entertainment; Megavision)

Best Screenplay
Winner: Minsan Pa (MLR Films)
Nominee: Sigaw (Regal Entertainment; Megavision)

Best Achievement in Cinematography and Visual Design
Winner: Sigaw (Regal Entertainment; Megavision)
No Nominee

Best Achievement in Film Editing
Winners: Sigaw (Regal Entertainment; Megavision) and Spirit of the Glass (Octoarts Films; Canary Films)
No Nominee

Best Achievement in Sound and Aural Orchestration
Winner: Sigaw (Regal Entertainment; Megavision)
Nominee: Feng Shui (Star Cinema; ABS-CBN Film Productions)

Best Performance by Male or Female, Adult or Child, Individual or Ensemble in Leading or Supporting Role
Winners: Dennis Trillo in “Aishite Imasu, Mahal Kita—1941” (Regal Entertainment; Basfilm Productions) and Jomari Yllana in “Minsan Pa” (MLR Films)
Nora Aunor in “Naglalayag” (Angorra Films)
Jericho Rosales in “Santa Santitta” (Unitel Pictures)