‘Metro Manila’ wins BIFAs best film award

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Monday, December 9, 2013

BRITISH-Independent Film "Metro Manila" bagged trophies in the recently concluded 16th British Independent Film Awards (BIFAs).

Held on Sunday at Old Billingsgate in London, the said film won Best British Independent Film award, beating four other nominees namely: "Starred Up," "Le Week-end," "Philomena," and "The Selfish Giant."

The film's director, Sean Ellis, also received the Best Director trophy while the movie also received the Best Achievement in Production.

BIFAs is the latest film body to recognize "Metro Manila," which already received awards in several film festivals, including the 2013 Sundance, Filfest Hamburg in Germany, and the Amazonas Film Festival.

Shot in the Philippines in 2011, the film centers in the life of Oscar Ramirez, played by Jake Macapagal, who brought his family in the nation's capital Metro Manila to escape their impoverished lives in the countryside.

The family will then fall victim to the dark side of the city. Ramirez will eventually get a job as an armored truck driver and will meet officer Ong, played by John Arcilla.

Written and directed by Ellis, "Metro Manila" was picked by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) as UK's official entry in the Best Foreign Language Film category of the 86th Academy Awards.

Two other films featuring Filipino actors have been fielded for the mentioned category in the Oscars, namely: Singapore's "Ilo Ilo" starring Angeli Bayani and Philippines' own bet "Transit" with Jasmine Curtis-Smith, Irma Adlawan, Mercedes Cabral, Ping Medina and directed by Hannah Espia.

"Ilo Ilo" tells the story of Filipina domestic helper named Teresa (Bayani) who traveled to Singapore in hopes to provide a better life for her family left behind in the Philippines.

"Transit," on the other hand, is about the Israel-based Filipinos who find out the government's plans to deport children of foreign workers who didn't match the Israeli's residency criteria.

The Academy Awards is scheduled on March 2 at the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles, California and comedienne Ellen DeGeneres is back to host the event. (Sunnex)


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