Tuesday, October 9, 2018

“Ang Larawan” on a roll!

Several awards, a nomination and a festival for the student-oriented musical film
Sandino Martin and Celeste Legaspi with the organizers of the arts festival in Saint-Josse Place Pour Tours Arts Festival in Brussels, Belgium.

In a span of a few days, “Ang Larawan,” the musical film based on Nick Joaquin’s play A Portrait of the Artist as Filipino, achieved several feats: seven wins at the Film Academy of the Philippines Luna Awards, a Best Original Film Score nomination at the Asia Pacific Screen Awards, four wins at the Urduja Film Festival, and screening at a Belgium arts festival.
Celeste Legaspi receives the Film Academy of the Philippines (FAP) Luna award for Best Picture.

These are happy developments as the film continues to make the rounds of different schools and organizations around the country. Set in pre-WW II Intramuros, “Ang Larawan” tells the story of two unmarried sisters agonizing whether or not they should sell their painter-father’s last masterpiece.

It won FAP Luna Awards Best Picture for Culturtain Musicat Productions, Best Director for Loy Arcenas, Best Actress for Joanna Ampil, Best Musical Score for Ryan Cayabyab, Best Production Design for Gino Gonzales, Best Cinematography for Boy Yniguez, and Best Sound for HIT Productions/KC Caballero.

The makers felt doubly elated to be recognized by their peers. Actress-producer Celeste Legaspi said, “I was filled with overflowing profound happiness!” She underscored, “The Luna Awards is truly an industry award and it showed appreciation for the vital technical aspects of our film!”
Girlie Rodis, Celeste Legapsi, and Sandino Martin at the screening of “Ang Larawan” in Saint-Josse Place Pour Tours Arts Festival in Brussels, Belgium

Loy Arcenas, who was in Europe when he got the news, was very surprised. “It came out from left field,” he said of his FAP Best Director award. Arcenas had thought he would not likely repeat his Best Director success at the Guild of Educators, Mentors and Students Awards 2018 (where “Ang Larawan” also won Best Supporting Actor for Paulo Avelino and Best Independent Film). Arcenas said good-naturedly, “It got to a point that I figured I’d never get nominated, much less, win a major award for ‘Larawan,’”

A bigger surprise for the production team would come a few days later in the form of a Best Original Score nomination from the Asia Pacific Screen Awards (APSA), a regional body that honors “cinematic excellence from 70 countries.” Mr. C, as Cayabyab is fondly called, is included in a list with composers coming from Iran, Australia, the UK and Egypt. This year marks the first time APSA is giving a Best Original Score award in its 12-year history; APSA has chosen renowned Japanese composer Ryuichi Sakamoto as the head of the music category’s international jury.

Cayabyab was astonished to be shortlisted. “Pasensiya na po. Nagulantang ang umaga ko,” he posted on Facebook. He then said, “’Ang Larawan’ has been my most awarded and most nominated music score and I can only thank the community of artists and producers who worked hard in making the film.”
Sandino Martin, Celeste Legaspi and Girlie Rodis on tour in Belgium

“Ang Larawan” also collected Best Heritage Film, Best Actress, Best Director, and Best Production Design at Pangasinan’s Urdujua Best Heritage Film Awards 2018.

Meanwhile, the musical film continues to tour here and abroad, its latest screening was at the Saint-Josse Place Pour Tous, an arts festival in Brussels, Belgium. Legaspi and her husband Nonoy Gallardo, co-producer Girlie Rodis and actor Sandino Martin flew to Brussels to present the film to audience of Filipinos and other nationalities. (Saint-Josse-ten-Noode is home to 153 ethnic groups).

For lead actress-producer Rachel Alejandro, receiving accolades for “Ang Larawan,” is always a novel experience. She said, “It never gets old… The fact that our film is still being shown and getting recognition here and worldwide, that we are still touring schools around the country today, almost a whole year after we had our World Premiere at the 30th Tokyo International Film Festival, is already a huge blessing.” Still, what gives her the greatest fulfillment is the privilege to capture the viewers’ imagination. “Despite all the local and international success we have gotten, what has made us the producers most proud it how the film speaks to people of all ages and backgrounds, most especially students.” 


For more updates about “Ang Larawan,” check out www.anglarawan.com and Ang Larawan The Movie on Facebook. 

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