Philippine documentary ‘Delikado’ nominated for Emmy Award

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Philippine documentary ‘Delikado’ nominated for Emmy Award

Delikado's Facebook

Nominated for the Outstanding Investigative Documentary category, the documentary follows environmental activists defending the forests and seas of Palawan

MANILA, Philippines – Environmental documentary Delikado has received an Emmy nomination for the Outstanding Investigative Documentary category!

Philippine documentary ‘Delikado’ nominated for Emmy Award

On Friday, July 28, the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS) released the list of nominees for the 44th News and Documentary Emmy Awards, which includes PBS’ Delikado, directed by Australian journalist and filmmaker Karl Malakunas.

The documentary’s official Facebook page shared the news, calling the nomination “a smashing validation of the legendary, inspirational land defenders of Palawan.” 

Delikado tackles the plight of environmental activists in Palawan as they fight to conserve the province’s natural resources and ecosystems amid threats to their safety.

One storyline follows environmental lawyer Bobby Chan and the Palawan NGO Network Incorporated (PNNI), an organization he heads, as they work to track down illegal loggers and cyanide fishers around Palawan’s forests and waters.

In January 2021, Chan was declared persona non grata by the Palawan government after he spoke about the province being “mismanaged and neglected.”

Another storyline in Delikado follows former El Nido mayor Nieves Cabunalda Rosento, an ally of the municipality’s environmental activists, in her campaign for reelection against an allegedly corrupt opponent amid receiving death threats.

In 2017, Rosento was one of the 23 local officials stripped of their powers over police by former president Rodrigo Duterte for their alleged drug ties and corruption. Despite the allegation made by Duterte himself, no complaint was ever filed against Rosento, who had categorically denied the allegation.

Produced by Malakunas, Marty Syjuco, Michael Collins, and Kara Magsanoc-Alikpala, filming for Delikado began early in 2017 and ended late 2019. It debuted in April 2022 at the Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival in Toronto and premiered in the Philippines as the closing event of Cinemalaya Film Festival in August 2022.

The film’s website also lists the other awards it has received so far, including Sustainable Future Award at Sydney Film Festival 2022, Best Documentary at Newburyport Documentary Film Festival 2022, and Best Documentary and Best Cinematography in the Social Impact Media Awards 2023. Malakunas also won the 2022 Walkey Documentary for his work on the film.

Other contenders for the Emmy for Outstanding Investigative Documentary are HBO Max’s Escape from Kabul, Amazon Prime’s Flight/Risk, and Netflix’s FIFA Uncovered and I Am Vanessa Guillen.

The 44th News and Documentary Emmy Awards will be presented at the Palladium Times Square, New York City in two ceremonies in September 2023. – with reports from Sophia Gonzaga/

Sophia Gonzaga is a Rappler intern.

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