Historical film “Heneral Luna” by director Jerrold Tarog will be the country’s bet in the 2016 Oscards Academy Awards for Best Foreign Film category.
This was announced by the film’s official Facebook page, which has garnered over 156,000 likes as of Monday evening on top of rave reviews and word-of-mouth promotion.
Heneral Luna, which entered its second week in cinemas due to strong public clamor, was picked by a committee led by filmmaker Mel Chionglo and composed of actors Lorna Tolentino and Michael de Mesa, cinematographer Lee Meiley, directos Joe Carreon and Boy Vinarao, and outgoing UP College of Mass Communication dead Rolando Tolentino.
The film was picked over Brillante Mendoza’s “Taklub”, Carlitos Siguinon-Reyna’s “Hari ng Tondo,” and three other shortlisted nominees.
Chionglo praised Heneral Luna for being “very good” and “very well directed and acted.”
“Never mind the alleged aggressive personality of Luna, this film shows the courage of Filipinos to fight for their freedom. This shows a positive picture of the Filipino. It depicts values that we think should appeal internationally,” he said in an Inquirer.net report
John Arcilla plays the lead role of General Antonio Luna, considered as the country’s greatest general during the Philippine-American war. The movie also stars Epy Quizon, Joem Bascon, Archie Alemania, Aaron Villaflor, Nonie Buencamino, Ronnie Lazaro, Ketchup Eusebio, Paolo Avelino, Mylene Dizon and Mon Confiado as General Emilio Aguinaldo.
The film is being screened in 104 cinemas nationwide, higher than the number of cinemas when it opened (101 theaters). It was previously trimmed down to just 41 cinemas, but was increased due to online and offline clamor by the public.
Several petitions have been put up to urge theatre administrators to keep screening Heneral Luna especially in the provinces.
Famous personalities that include television hosts Atom Araullo and Lourd de Veyra took to social media their appeal for more Filipinos to watch the film.
Heneral Luna was pre-released on Aug. 31 in San Francisco to kick off the international book fest presented by the Philippine American Writers and Artists (PAWA).