In the article called “Bwakaw To Represent Philippines In Oscar Race” posted Monday on the official website of the Film Society of the Lincoln Center (www.filmlinc.com), writer Hannah Lee hails the country’s entry to the Best Foreign Language Film category of the 2013 Academy Awards as “a notable submission.”
Described in its Wikipedia entry as “one of the world’s most prominent film presentation organizations,” the Film Society is the host of the annual New York Film Festival where “Bwakaw” is scheduled to be screened on October 7, 10 and 12.
“Starring renown [sic] Filipino actor Eddie Garcia and directed by Jun Robles Lana, ‘Bwakaw’ is a drama-comedy that balances humor and moving truths in a story about aging alone. Following 70-year old Rene, his stray dog and a dramatic change in his outlook on life, ‘Bwakaw’ has been critically lauded as a quiet triumph of acting and direction from an industry that has largely been overlooked in critical circles,” Lee wrote.
Lee’s article says Film Society assistant program director Scott Foundas called the film as “the real discovery of the slate this year…a totally surprising, lovely film [that] gives a sense of what life is like in this small Filipino town with quite a lot of comic relief, particularly in the form of an extravagant gay hairdresser and his transgendered companion.”
“Nothing is overplayed and once the more dramatic strain of the film comes in, it’s handled in a very lovely fashion. It’s one, I think, people are going to discover and like a lot,” Foundas concluded.
Earlier on Sunday, The Hollywood Reporter also posted a favorable review of the film, calling it “a captivating charmer from the Philippines.”
In picking up “Bwakaw” for worldwide distribution, the Amsterdam-based multinational production company, Fortissimo Films also gave the film its thumbs up.
“Bwakaw is one of those rare films with universal appeal that will transcend language, nationality, class, gender and age,” Fortissimo chairman Michael J. Werner said in an interview with ScreenDaily.com.
According to filmlinc.com, a total of 26 countries have submitted entries for Oscar consideration. These films will be evaluated by the Academy’s Foreign Language Film Award Committee, which will then narrow it down to five or more official nominees to be announced on January 15.
“Bwakaw” is distributed locally by Star Cinema and is now showing on its second week at SM North Edsa, Festival Cinema 10, Gateway Cinema 7, SM City Bacoor, SM City Dasma and Sta Lucia.