They had to do it.
One of the jurors in Cinemalaya Cinco had to grab the mic and say what was on everyone’s mind –
“Why wasn’t Engkwentro recognized?”
The juror said that the jurors decided to give an unprecendented, unofficial SPECIAL MENTION to Pepe Diokno for his intentions with his film Engkwentro – that at 21 years old – for someone to make a film like that – was a feat in itself.
Hey, I love the fact that Last Supper No.3 won – I laughed my heart out in the film – an as an aspiring observational stand-up comedian, it heartens me that people get it now.
But I think they should have given Engkwentro the Jury Prize – maybe it could have shared it with the other two?
I’m thinking that maybe, just maybe, the jurors were thinking:
“… Pepe Diokno is ONLY 21 years old, he’ll make more films, let’s give him time to … mature …”
– how many 21-year olds do you know would do a social commentary on the vigilante death squads in the South?
– how many 21-year olds would try to do those 30-minute (“one take”) shots?
– how many 21-year olds would try to re-create the whole sound (yes, it wasn’t “live sound …) for his film
– how many 21-year olds would be brave enough to satirize a topic that has been put under the rug for some time
CINEMA FOR SOCIAL CHANGE – if you want to change society with films – you need to send out the right message to the young people.
I could still remember the perplexed expression in Pepe Diokno’s face when he exited the Main Theater of the CCP after the Awards night a few hours ago – and I’m thinking – “Is this the way we encourage young people to change society with cinema – by giving a 21-year old first-time film maker ZERO AWARDS on your awards night?”
Somewhere, somehow there’s a lesson here. I hope the other film festivals would vindicate Pepe Diokno.
(full disclosure: I did some stills among other things for Engkwentro and my business partner recreated the whole sound of the film from the ground up (Mark Laccay FTW! )so at least you have a context of my rant but COME ON – ZERO AWARDS? oh well …)