For the 93rd Academy Awards, the Film Academy of the Philippines has chosen ‘Mindanao‘ to be the country’s entry for the International Feature Film category. The film was directed by Brillante Mendoza and stars Judy Ann Santos and Allen Dizon.
On their Facebook page, the Film Academy of the Philippines signed by Director General Vivian Velez posted: “We are pleased to announce the selection of the feature film, Mindanao, as the Philippines’ official entry to the 93rd OSCARS International Feature Film category. Mindanao won best picture in the most recent Metro Manila Film Festival and featured Judy Ann Santos and Allen Dizon as the lead actors, directed by Brillante Mendoza. Congratulations and best wishes!”
However, netizens have mixed reactions regarding the film being selected since some people think that politics played a part in the film being chosen. The Director-General of Film Academy is Vivian Velez, an avid Duterte supporter.
Netizens aired their disgust regarding the film being picked to represent Philippines in the Academy Awards.
Actor and writer Juan Miguel Severo posted on his social media posted a GIF saying “CHOICES!”.
— Juan Miguel Severo (@TheRainBro) November 24, 2020
For some, there were other much better films than Mindanao. But seeing that the movie is about the developments made under the Duterte administration, it was the choice to represent the country in said category.
@realistic1223 tweeted, “When way better quality films are disregarded just to serve their king.”
When way better quality films are disregarded just to serve their king.
— Level Up (@realistic1223) November 24, 2020
@ArchMobius wrote, “Pro turtle kasi ang pelikula kaya yun pinadala. Para daw ma-appreciate ng int’l community ang galing ng ginawa ng turtle sa Mindanao.”
Pro turtle kc ang pelikula kaya yun pinadala. Para daw ma appreciate ng intl community ang galing ng ginawa ng turtle sa mindanao
— Arch_Mobius (@ArchMobius) November 24, 2020
A netizen even chose Babae at Baril over Mindanao. The reason is that the latter is based on President Duterte’s love for war and hate for the poor.
Mindanao will represent our country for the 93rd Academy Awards WHAT??? 🤮 They could've gone with Babae at Baril wtf are they on?????? STOP GLORIFYING THAT MAN'S POVERTY PORN FFS 🤦♀️
— clarita (@charlizeaprika) November 24, 2020
Another netizen thinks that Kalel 15, John Denver Trending, and others were far more deserving to be the entry for the International Feature Film category. According to the user, the film directed by a pro-Duterte only showed signs of politicking.
Some even attacked the director, Brillante Mendoza, who supported Duterte’s War on Drugs campaign.
@zackharrylevy wrote, “Kadiri. NOT DESERVING AT ALL. BASURA NG DIREKTOR. EW”
Actor and writer Jason Tan Liwag listed Cleaners, John Denver Trending, Edward, Babae at Baril, Kalel,15, Sila-Sila, A is for Agustin, Ulan, and many more which in his opinion were far more deserving than Mindano.
Should I post a thread of Filipino films in 2019/2020 that could've been chosen over "Mindanao"???
— Jason Tan Liwag (@Jaseybel) November 24, 2020
However, not all were against the film being the country’s representative for the Academy Awards. For them, Mindanao has good cinematography and screenplay, not to mention the acting of Judy Ann Santos and Allen Dizon.
@MiiguelNutrof tweeted, “#Mindanao is probably one of the best works of Mendoza at par with #Serbis & #ThyWomb. Cinematography & screenplay (injected with coarse animation) is excellent. It should appeal to the international jurors. Judy Ann Santos & Allen Dizon are both commendable. #ProudFilipino.”
#Mindanao is probably one of the best works of Mendoza at par with #Serbis & #ThyWomb. Cinematography & screenplay (injected with coarse animation) is excellent. It shd appeal to the international jurors. Judy Ann Santos & Allen Dizon are both commendable. #ProudFilipino
— Miguel Fortun (@MiguelNutrof) November 24, 2020
The netizen’s tweet is backed up by the fact that the movie was a big winner during the 2019 Metro Manila Film Festival. Mindanao won Best Picture, alongside with Judy Ann Santos as Best Actress and Allen Dizon as Best Actor. Brillante Mendoza, the film’s director also won Best Director and Yuna Tangog as Best Child Performer. The film not only won Best Picture, it also won Best Visual Effects, Best Sound Design, Gat Puno Antonio Villegas Cultural Award, FPJ Memorial Award for Excellence, and Best Float Award. So this movie gathered award after award during the MMFF which also makes it a good entry for the 93rd Academy Awards.
Since 1953, the Philippines has yet to be nominated in the International Feature Film category of the Academy Awards.
Previously, the country submitted Heneral Luna; 2016, Ma’ Rosa; 2017, Birdshot; 2018, Signal Rock; 2019, Verdict and; 2020, Mindanao. Will the film Mindanao end up just like its predecessors?