Jun Lana‘s “Bwakaw” is currently making waves in the ongoing New York Film Festival where it joins the ranks of Romania’s “Beyond the Hills,” an early favorite to win the Academy Awards Best Foreign Language Film category.
The NYFF has been an effective avenue to earn the elusive “Oscar buzz” and the Philippine entry is definitely getting the recognition among foreign contenders. Take note that “The Artist,” “The Descendants,” “Hugo,” and “A Separation” all screened in NYFF last year.
Check out what some critics say about “Bwakaw”:
“This oddball Filipino film effectively mints its own genre: the light dark comedy.”
– John Semley, Slant Magazine
“A terrific mix of black comedy and subtle sentimental drama…until I saw this film, I thought Quill: The Life of a Guide Dog was the dog lovers’ film of the year. Now it has competition.”
– Kent Turner, Film-Forward.com
“A captivating charmer from the Philippines.”
– David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter
“Bwakaw is a movie full of quiet surprises, and the great pleasure of watching it results from the matter-of-fact way the script leisurely unfurls its secrets and piles layer upon layer on what initially appears to be an uncomplicated story.”
– Kenneth Broadway, Sound on Sight
“Bwakaw acknowledges the human spirit’s uncanny power to heal even the most traumatizing wounds.”
– Hallim Cillov, Slant
Recently, world-leading news magazine TIME, listed “Bwakaw” alongside the films of Ang Lee, Robert Zemeckis and Brian de Palma in the magazine’s “10 Films to Watch” at the New York Film Festival 2012 — the only Asian film to make the prestigious list.
Meanwhile, AwardsCircuit.com, released a ranking of the Top 30 movies in contention for the Best Foreign Language Film category of the 2013 Academy Awards and “Bwakaw” is running at no. 6:
The Cinemalaya Audience Choice and NETPAC awardee chronicles the story of Rene (Eddie Garcia), a grouchy gay man trying to deal with the everyday realities of aging in a small village with his dog “Bwakaw.”
After the New York Film Festival, it is scheduled to be screened at the Hawaii International Film Festival and at the Tokyo International Film Festival.
The film is also in contention to earn a Best Picture nomination in the 2013 Spirit Awards, the Oscars for Indie Films. The last time that a Filipino movie bagged this recognition was in 2007 when “The Blossoming of Maximo Oliveros” was named among the 5 nominees for the top plum.