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3 Philippine-themed films submitted to Oscars

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The Philippines' 'Transit,' UK's 'Metro Manila,' and Singapore's 'Ilo Ilo' hope to be included in the list of official nominees in the Foreign Language Film category

MANILA, Philippines – The award-winning indie film Transit and two foreign films abroad with Filipino characters and settings have been submitted for nomination to the Foreign Language Film category of the 86th Academy Awards.

The Philippines selected Transit, a film about overseas Filipino workers in Israel. It won 10 awards in this year’s Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival, including Best Film, Best Director (for Hannah Espia), and Best Actress (for Irma Adlawan).

According to Variety, the pick was made by the Film Academy of the Philippines and a committee led by renowned filmmaker Peque Gallaga.

‘Metro Manila’ and ‘Ilo Ilo’

Metro Manila was picked by the United Kingdom as its nominee, while Ilo Ilo was chosen by Singapore.

Metro Manila, by Oscar-nominated British director Sean Ellis, tells the story of Oscar Ramirez, who left the province together with his family for the big city, in the hope of securing a better life. Instead, he becomes entangled in a web of deception and betrayal.

READ: Metro Manila: Film poetry

Ilo Ilo, on the other hand, is directed by Anthony Chen. The movie is about Filipina domestic worker from the province of Iloilo in the Philippines and how she sees the struggle of her employers, a Singaporean family, during the 1997 Asian financial crisis. 

Films from the Philippines and Singapore have never been official nominees in the Foreign Language Film category. The last 5 Filipino films submitted for an Oscar nomination were Ploning, Ded na si Lolo, Noy, Ang Babae sa Septic Tank, and Bwakaw.

In 1993 and 1999, a UK film made it in the official nominees list for the category, but neither won.

Nomination voting by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) will begin on December 27. Announcement of official nominees will be on January 16, 2014.

The Oscars awarding ceremony will take place on March 2, 2014, at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood, California. –

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