Jodi's indie film wins award in Hawaii film fest

Posted at 10/22/12 8:22 PM

MANILA, Philippines – The independent film “Aparisyon,” starring Kapamilya star Jodi Sta. Maria, bagged the prestigious NETPAC Award 2012 at the recent Hawaii International Film Festival.

Directed by Vincent Sandoval, “Aparisyon,” an entry in the New Breed section of this year’s Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival about a nun balancing her religious and political beliefs, bested 226 other films from over 41 countries.

(Read our review of “Aparisyon” here.)

The NETPAC Award or Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema is given only at select international film festivals around the world to only one exceptional film from the Asia Pacific. It is presented annually at the Berlin, Cannes, Venice, Rotterdam, Pusan, Singapore, Taiwan, Yamagata, Amiens and Hawaii international film festivals.

This isn’t the first time “Aparisyon” was shown in an international film fest. It was also nominated for the News Current Award at the recent Pusan International Film Festival. It also competed for the the Dragons & Tiger award at the Vancouver fest.

The Hollywood trade publication Variety gave a rave review of the movie, calling it an “intelligently scripted and deeply moving mood-piece (that) asks hard questions about the reconciliation of spiritual beliefs and physical realities.”

Two other Filipino films were also in the running for the two other top awards at the Hawaii film fest. However, “Bwakaw” lost to “Key of Life” from Japan for Best Narrative Feature, while “Harana” gave way to “Where Heaven Meets Hell,” a Indonesia-US co-production, for Best Documentary Feature.

The production teams of “Harana” and “Bwakaw,” who attended the ceremonies, said that being nominated was honor and commendation enough considering the number of films in contention.

Directors Benito Bautista of “Harana” and Jun Lana of “Bwakaw” expressed pride for having been given the chance to showcase Filipino film talent in a huge event such as the Hawaii International Film Festival.

“Bwakaw” is the country’s official entry to the Best Foreign Language Film at next year’s Oscar Awards.