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Hele sa Hiwagang Hapis, Area, and BG Productions Lead Gawad Tanglaw 2017

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The biggest winners for this year’s edition of the award-giving body composed of several university scholars and teachers were the films Hele sa Hiwagang Hapis (dir. Lav Diaz) and Area (dir. Mel Chionglo). The former’s director also wrote the screenplay, thus making him an aeteur, while the latter was written by Robby Tantingco of the Holy Angel University, a central figure in the preservation of Kapampangan culture. The story was conceptualized by international film festival regular Ferdinand Lapuz.

Hele is a 485-minute film which has two storylines: Gregoria de Jesus’ (Hazel Orencio) quest for her husband’s remains and the expedition of Crisostomo Ibarra (Piolo Pascual) and Simoun (John Lloyd Cruz) in the woods in hopes that the former’s wound will get medical attention. It won as Best Film alongside Ang Babaeng Humayo and Pamilya Ordinaryo, a Best Director award for Lav Diaz, a Best Supporting Actress award for Susan Africa, and a Best Cinematography award for Larry Manda.

Area, which is produced by BG Productions International headed by Ms. Baby Go, stars Ai-Ai De las Alas as a veteran prostitute and Allen Dizon as a brothel keeper whom she has worked for several years. The title refers to a real location in Pampanga where prostitutes specifically cater to clients from the lower socioeconomic classes. Ferdinand Lapuz won for the Best Story category, Gilbert Obispo for Best Editing, and it bagged the Presidential Jury Award for Best Film.

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The other accolades the 3-year old production company got were for its three other films: Iadya Mo Kami (Best Actor for Allen Dizon and Best Supporting Actress for Aiko Melendez), Laut (Best Production Design for Cyrus Khan and Student’s Choice Award for Best Film), and Child Haus (Presidential Jury Award for Best Children’s Film).

The acting categories had a tight race since Ms. Charo Santos (Ang Babaeng Humayo) and Ms. Jacklyn Jose (Ma’rosa) tied for the Best Actress award and Dizon won alongside Paolo Ballesteros (Die Beautiful) for Best Actor. Melendez and Africa both won Best Supporting Actress while Xian Lim (Everything About Her) and Jess Mendoza (Pauwi Na and Purgatoryo) both won as Best Supporting Actor.

Other winners for the 15th year of Gawad Tanglaw are: Troy Espiritu (Best Screenplay for Ma’rosa), Pauwi Na (dir. Paolo Villaluna) for the Presidential Award for Best 21st Century Film, and Mel Chionglo as Natatanging Gawad TANGLAW ng Pelikulang Pilipino.

Special presidential jury awards will be given to John Lloyd Cruz, Piolo Pascual, and Ms. Vilma Santos for best film performances while awards will be handed out to the following for their contribution to the film industry as whole: Sen. Grace Poe, FDCP Chairperson Liza Diño, Former MTRCB Chairman Eugenio Villareal, Ms. Boots Anson-Rodrigo and Nick Deocampo of Mowelfund, and veteran actress-educator Dr. Rustica Carpio.

The information regarding the awarding ceremony will be announced soon.

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