Posted September 26, 2014 by Shayne Zalameda in Movies/TV

Norte is PH’s bet for 87th Oscar Best Foreign Language competition

Norte lav diaz

For the past few weeks, the contenders for Oscars PH entry has been a tight battle between three Filipino films: Barber’s Tales of Jun Lana (‘Bwakaw’), and two other Lav Diaz films, Norte, Hangganan Ng Kasaysayan and Mula Sa Kung Ano ang Noon.

Yesterday, Sept. 24, the Film Association of the Philippines (FAP) has officially announced that Norte will be our bet for next season’s Oscars.

And just like that, viewers, film makers, and critics have all gone wild saying PH can now make history!

Norte, Hangganan Ng Kasaysayan (English: Norte, The End of History) is Lav Diaz’s re-imagining of Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment. It tackles Fabian’s (Sid Lucero) core –his strengths, his weaknesses, the internal revolution –and the consequences it will bring to the innocent Joaquin (Archie Alemania), his wife Eliza (Angeli Bayani) and their two kids.

What’s with the hype?
The Academy Awards, more commonly known as the Oscars, is an American award giving body honoring the achievements of those in the film industry. Remember the frustration of fans wanting Leonardo di Caprio to bag that Best Actor award for years now? This is that.

Oscars is much about prestige but it is not limited to the end nor beginning of great film making. However, to take home an award from it will be such a big honor to the cast, crew, and to the country representing it most especially.

Fast facts

norte hangganan ng kasaysayan for oscars PH

PH entries from 2014 down to 2007

  • Since the conception in 1929, the Academy has been inviting the film industries of various countries to submit their best film for Best Foreign Language Film category.
  • In order to qualify, the film must be first released theatrically in their respective countries between October 1, 2013 and September 30, 2014.
  • The deadline for submissions is October 1, 2014, with The Academy announcing a list of eligible films later that month.
  • Nine finalists from among the dozens of entries will be shortlisted in mid-January, with the final five nominees to be announced later that month.
  • For the first time, the name of the director will be engraved onto the Oscar statuette, instead of the name of the country.
  • Philippines has been sending entries since 1953,  but not specifically every year.
  • No PH entry has been shortlisted in the entire existence of the awards, yet.

What are the chances of Norte?

  • ‘Norte’ based on Worldwide Poll
    • Tagged as one of the best films of 2013 by the British Film Institute’s Sight and Sound.
    • James Quandt, senior programmer at TIFF dubbed Norte as the best film of 2013.
    • Ranked 1st, 2nd, and 9th by the three of the five critics polled by Artforum magazine.
  • Running time. Norte runs for 250 minutes long. This alone might be a shallow reason to consider but we should not forget that the voting for it to become shortlisted will come from the public vote of the foreign language film department so this is crucial.
  • Wide Festival and Awards Coverage

    • Cannes Film Festival in France
    • Hong Kong International Film Festival
    • Toronto International Film Festival
    • New York Film Festival
    • Busan International Film Festival
    • Brisbane International Film Festival
    • Glasgow Film Festival
    • Nuremberg International Human Rights Film Festival
    • Pancevo International Film Festival in Serbia (Won Best Film)
    • Cinemanila International Film Festival (Won Best Film and Best Director)
    • International Cinephile Society Awards
    • Gawad Urian Awards (Won Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor, Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Music, Best Editing, and Best Sound)
    • Festival Internacional de Cine de Murcia — IBAFF in Spain (Won Audience Award)
  • Contenders
    • Winter Sleep (Turkey) – Winner, Palme d’Or in 2014 Cannes Film Festival
    • Mommy (Canada) – Competed in Palme d’Or in 2014 Cannes Film Festival
    • Two Days, One Night (Belgium) – Competed in Palme d’Or in 2014 Cannes Film Fest 2014; Winner, Sydney Film Prize at the 2014 Sydney Film Fest; nominated for the ARRI/OSRAM award at the 2014 Munich Film Festival
    • Ida (Poland) – Winner, FIPRESCI Special Presentations Award in 2013 Toronto International Film Fest
    • Beloved Sisters (Germany) – competed in 64th Berlin International Film Festival
    • Human Capital (Italy) – Competed in the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival
    • Saint Laurent (France) – Competed in Palme d’Or in 2014 Cannes Film Festival
  • Distribution
    • As of the moment, only 17 in the announced 60+ contenders have US distributors already. Yes, that includes Norte.
    • Norte also scored a distribution deal in UK and France.
  • Campaign – Aside from distribution, you also have the campaign portion of the festival. In this phase, the team behind the film submitted would be needing all the support (be it morally and/or mostly financially) they can get. I just hope the government will be more supportive this time because a competitive film was already laid on the table.

Right now, it’s not a far-fetched idea to think that we have a chance to be shortlisted in Oscars. Imagine the host mentioning “Norte, Hangganan Ng Kasaysayan from Philippines”. Don’t you just get all giddy as well? We will make history. This is it, Philippines. Our first Oscars! Claim it! #NorteForOscars

Shayne Zalameda

Tweet me @lemisstache :)