Ded na si Lolo is Philippines’ Official Entry for 82nd Oscars

25 Sep


I am regretful at present time for the reason that I never took the opportunity to watch Ded na si Lolo during it’s one week screening in Robinsons Movieworld months ago. Had I seen it, I would have have lots to say now that the Film Academy of the Philippines (the organization behind Luna Awards) has chosen it to compete in the Best Foreign Language Film category of the world’s most prestigious award giving body for movies- the Oscars.

 Ded na si Lolo, one of the six movies produced by APT Entertainment and the Directors’ Guild of the Philippines, Inc. (DGPI) through its Sine Direk project, was chosen among the 12 other films screened by the committee. Together with Ded na si Lolo, Lola helmed by Cannes Best Director Brillante Mendoza, Jay of Cinemalaya and Star Cinema’s In My Life made it to the final four.

 Basing it from the film’s trailer and some film reviews from trusted critics, I would say FAP’s choice this year is not a big surprise. With more or less P2 million budget, Director Soxie Topacio and the rest of the gang behind Ded na si Lolo came up with a film more than 10x its worth. Its box-office success after almost a month of screening at the local cinemas can attest to it.

 I am crossing my fingers each year that our entry will at least be short listed in the category which remains a dream for us since 1953 when we started to take part in the competition.  We have produced champions in the boxing arena, beauty queens in international pageants, a Best Director in Cannes Film Festival. We also have penetrated the world music scene through Charice, Arnel Pineda, Apl de Ap and Freddie Aguilar. I hope this year we could earn our first nod from the Academy of Motion Pictures and the Arts (AMPAS) who gives the most coveted Oscar trophies.


10 Responses to “Ded na si Lolo is Philippines’ Official Entry for 82nd Oscars”

  1. cardcrusher November 17, 2009 at 3:11 pm #

    I have to disagree with you on a couple of points. Brillante Mendoza’s “Kinatay” or “Lola” would have more chances of getting short listed. Why? Mendoza has momentum internationally. “Ded Na Si Lolo” just wouldn’t translate very well with the voters. Filipino comedy films really don’t stand a chance when even some Fil-Ams have a difficult time connecting with mainstream Filipino films.

    I hate to be anal retentive but:
    1.) The Oscars are not the most coveted film awards. It’s harder to win at Cannes than the Oscars.
    2.) The “mangagaya” label still applies to Arnel and Charice. The former has to sing the way Perry would. The latter still has to sing songs that have not been made famous by someone else (Whitney, Celine, JoJo’s “A Note To God”). Hey at least you got the Aol and Aguilar thing right. They made it for who they are instead of aping others.

    • alexanderbsanpedro November 17, 2009 at 4:57 pm #

      Thank you so much cardcrusher for sharing your opinion. appreciate it.

      Please refer back to my post and check if I mention something that says Ded na si Lolo is better than Lola or Kinatay etc. I mentioned no comparison in my post, didn’t I?

      So I suppose you’ve watched Ded na si Lolo. I haven’t so neither can I agree nor disagree with you on your assessment on its chance to make it in the competition. As mentioned, I only based my post on reviews I’ve read from credible critics.

      So you think winning an Oscar is easier? It’s Best Foreign Language Film category is more than half a century old and yet, why can’t we even get shorlisted? whereas in Cannes, some of our entries had been nominated and of course not to mention the Best Director nod for Brillante Mendoza. If winning an award in Cannes more prestigious than in Oscars, Mendoza should have given more importance than what he got after his win. I can vivdly remember how big deal it was when Ploning almost made it to the final cut and how I disdained GMA’s act of giving P1M budget to help the lobbying for Ploning.

      Yes, I agree that Charice and Arnel lacks originality but you cannot ignore the fact that they made it big not solely because they sing like their idols but because of their sheer talent.

  2. cardcrusher November 18, 2009 at 3:15 pm #

    Alex, you’re right when you mentioned that you didn’t argue that “Ded na si Lolo” is better.

    Like you I haven’t seen the film, but from the reviews I’ve read, I’ll have lower than usual expectations.

    Regarding Cannes:
    I’ll be very blunt. It’s not as highly regarded by some Filipinos (relative to Cannes) due to colonial mentality. Look at how the American Idol tour was welcomed very warmly when Cannes was going on. The media attention was immense and the public awareness extremely high (& enthusiastic). When Mendoza came home with a prize that no Filipino has won, there was hardly anybody there. Pacquiao gets a parade befitting a hero while Mendoza is welcomed by a city band.

    Cannes is more prestigious. It is commonly seen as the premiere film festival of the planet. Take a glance at the films that won awards there. They are challenging and in general, not fit to be viewed when one is looking for entertainment. Compare that to the best film nominees who appear more middlebrow. The foreign language nominees follow the same formula.

    In Filipino and Fil-diaspora circles, the Academy Awards might be the top prize, but as a Fil-Am who has taken an interest in more non American fare, I’ll throw my lot with the “artsy fartsy” crowd who regard Cannes as higher in the totem-pole.

    Yes, winning an Oscar for best film is easier. Cannes is determined by a diverse and small jury that is in constant flux. The Academy voting pool is relatively stable, big and only features a few new members/voters each year.

    BTW I concede I was harsh on Arnel. As part of Journey, it seems like he is not part of the creative process. He was part of the team that created content when he was a member of Zoo.

    • alexanderbsanpedro November 18, 2009 at 4:27 pm #

      Hi cardcrusher.

      I think it would be better if we watch Ded na si Lolo first before jumping into conclusions. Right? I’m looking forward for a DVD release in the near future. I respect FAP and their choice and I’m sure they won’t send a trash to the Oscars.

      In regard to your notion on the films that make it to Cannes, yeah they indeed are purely art films that a normal moviegoer wouldn’t find entertaining. I guess, i should have used the term “more popular” in lieu of “more prestigious” referring to winning in the Academy against winning in Cannes.

      So you think Kinatay (or Lola) would have a better chance of getting shortlisted in the Academy awards. Does that imply you also think winners or/and nominees in Cannes have bigger chance to make it in the Oscars? That makes both award giving bodies stand at the same level then if it does. I just find your points a bit contradicting.

      Freddie Aguilar is that you? lol

      • cardcrusher November 20, 2009 at 3:35 pm #


        Yeah, there’s a contradiction there. It’s not like there’s a barrier that prevents the two awards from the influences and trends of the film world. The two events inhabit the same world afterall. A better example is Lars Von Trier. Since he’s such a Cannes favorite, he’s the most likely Danish filmmaker who can garner nominations at the Academy Awards. In the case of Mendoza, his momentum at Cannes made it possible for him to get an invitation to compete at the Venice Film Festival. Just imagine that, a Filipino filmmaker who gets invited by a top film festival to submit something. It’s normally the opposite where a filmmaker submits his/her work for a chance to be included. It’s simple momentum.

        As for FAP, in this decade alone, they’ve made some questionable decisions, but it also made some decent one. It’s too bad that “Kubrador” was not submitted. It may not have enough edge to be competitive at the top film festivals, but it could have done well at the Oscars.

        I’m looking forward to watching “Ded na si Lolo” and the indies that competed at Cannes as well. Fil-Ams and film fans in general could watch them through Netflix here. Would you believe it that I have now watched more quality Filipino films while living in the US compared to the time I spent in the Philippines? How bizarre!

      • cardcrusher November 20, 2009 at 3:39 pm #

        “Freddie Aguilar is that you? lol”

        Perhaps! 😉

  3. alexanderbsanpedro November 20, 2009 at 10:07 pm #

    That’s very impressing cardcrusher. You seem to have a thorough knowledge on the matter and I’m greatly honored that you take time to visit and share it here. Are you into film making or something? Wish I knew more about Cannes so I could discuss it with you.

    I respect FAP’s decison in tems of choosing our entry to the Oscars, but in handing their very own LUNA awards, that’s a different story. Say in 2006, Judy Ann Santos in Kasal Kasali Kasalo won Best Actress over Maricel Soriano with her critically acclaimed performance in Inang Yaya. That’s their choice. I respect that, no problem. The glitch happened the year after when this time, Maricel in a much lesser challenging role in Bahay Kubo won over Judy Ann in Sakal Sakali Saklolo which is basically the same thing as its predecessor. That’s just plain inconsistent.

    Donsol was our entry in 2007. The other two which made it to the final three were Inang Yaya (Pablo Biglang Awa) and Foster Child (Brillante Mendoza) and sadly Kubrador was never considered by FAP considering how well it did in other international film competitions. It could be that a copy of it was not sent for screening like what happened to Pisay and Serbis last year which were initally part the six-film shortlist but copies of which were not handed to the screening commitee so they were out.

    • cardcrusher November 24, 2009 at 8:56 pm #


      Thanks. I’m just a film fan in general, and I keep track of the trends of global cinema (partly to add more interesting titles on my Netlfix account).

      I’ve noticed the general oddness of Filipino entertainment awards. The wildest that I remember is some sort of cheating scandal where Gabby, Ruffa, and a foreign actress/ model were involved.

      I agree that Maricel was great in “Inang Yaya”. I recommend that film to Filipino and non Filipino friends/family/co workers. I’m glad that it received US distribution (I’m under the impression it’s an indie production).

      • alexanderbsanpedro November 24, 2009 at 9:24 pm #

        really? you must be spending more time watching movies than doing anything else. lol

        Some of our award-giving bodies for movies have lost their credibility. my opinion. Rustom Padilla won Best Actor for Zsa-Zsa Zaturnah in Urian. Ai-Ai delas Alas (Ang Cute ng Ina Mo)won best actress in Star Awards, Aleck Bovick(Tampisaw) in FAMAS..I really don’t know how they do the process.

        how did you find your way to my blog?

  4. cardcrusher December 10, 2009 at 3:01 am #


    I don’t watch tv other than news and football (the non American kind), and I have a Netflix subscription. Having it means I get to have three titles per week sent to my home (and the selection is HUGE).

    I got to your blog by tag surfing. I’m new to blogging. The whole Freddie Aguilar “controversy” (or non controversy IMO) and Filipinos doing well at Cannes made me think of starting a blog to vent my opinions.

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