Benjamin Alves Janine Gutierez Dagsin
Filipino independent movie “Dagsin” starring Benjamin Alves and Janine Gutierrez is nominated to be the Philippines’ official entry to Oscars. Credits to Dagsin Facebook.

Multi-awarded Filipino film “Dagsin (Gravity)”, starring Benjamin Alves and Janine Gutierez, has been shortlisted as the Philippines’ possible entry to the 2020 Oscars.

Dagsin’s screenplay writer, Anne Prado-Magadia, announced on social media the Film Academy of the Philippines’ (FAP) selection of the movie as a potential representative of the country to Hollywood’s Academy Awards.

Dagsin, a 2016 Cinemalaya Film Fest entry, is the first film of indie director Atom Magadia.

The Filipino movie won several awards from local and international film festivals including the Best Narrative Feature at the World’s Independent Film Fest in San Francisco in the U.S., Best Cinematography at the European Film Fest in Italy, and Best Costume Award at the Madrid Film Fest.

Dagsin tells the story of Justino, a World War II soldier and Death March survivor, who lost his legs and lives while holding on to the memory of his wife Corazon.

Justino is played by veteran actor Tommy Abuel who won four Best Actor awards for his portrayal, at the Cinemalaya 2016, European International Film Fest in Italy, Los Angeles Philippine International Film Fest in the US, and Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP).

Playing the character of Corazon is Marita Zobel, who won the Best Actress in a Cameo Role Award from the Urduja Film Fest.

GMA Network actress Janine Gutierrez, who played the role of young Corazon, was hailed Best Supporting Actress at the 2017 Urduja Heritage Awards and received a Best Supporting Actress nomination at the 40th Gawad Urian Awards.

Gutierrez shared on Instagram how pride at being part of the movie “Dagsin” and humbly expressed her support to whichever film would eventually be chosen to represent the country at the Oscars.

“(I) don’t really post articles but a proud little moment for our @cinemalaya film
to be in the running and to be featured here. I’m behind whoever gets chosen.
GO PHILIPPINES!!” the award-winning actress said.

Anne Magadia expressed her gratitude for the nomination and said it should serve as an inspiration to creators of socially relevant films.

“Thank you, God, for giving us this, to help fuel us when production gets rough. To Team Dagsin, our family, and to our friends in the industry… The fact that we never lose hope and still push to make relevant films, gives us all a reason to hope and celebrate,” wrote Magadia on social media.

If the movie receives the final FAP nod, “Dagsin” will be the country’s entry in the International Film Feature Category and will vie against other foreign-language films for a nomination to the 92nd Academy Awards which will be held on February 9, 2020, at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California.

This 2019, movies made by filmmakers of Filipino descent received nominations to the prestigious Academy Awards such as animated short films “Weekends” of Pixar animator Trevor Jimenez and “One Small Step” of Art Director and animator Bobby Pontillas.

The makers of “Dagsin” hope to follow the feats of Filipino films which became the Philippines’ bets to the Academy Awards – “Signal Rock” to the 2019 Oscars and “Heneral Luna” to the 2016 Oscars. The country has yet to win an official nomination for an Oscar at the Academy Awards since it started joining the competition in 1953.

SEND well wishes in the comments below for the makers and actors of Dagsin for showing excellence in independent filmmaking!

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