3 Filipino-American Films Eligible for Oscars Best Picture Consideration

March 01, 2021

MANILA, PHILIPPINES, MARCH 1, 2021 — The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has made known the list of films that could be nominated for Best Picture at the 93rd Academy Awards.

Among those eligible for consideration for Best Picture are Filipino-American titles "Lingua Franca" by Isabel Sandoval, "A Thousand Cuts" by Ramona Diaz, and "Yellow Rose" by Diane Paragas.

The three Filipino-American feature films, all helmed by women, are among the 366 titles eligible for consideration for Best Picture. According to Hollywood Reporter, this year's number of eligible films is the highest count of titles for Best Picture consideration in five decades.

The Academy members will nominate five to 10 films per Oscars category from March 5 to 10. The Oscars Nominees will be announced on March 15 while the Academy Awards will be held on April 25.

Three Filipina stories on the world stage

"Lingua Franca" is about an undocumented trans Filipino caregiver, portrayed by the film's director, Sandoval, who pursues a marriage in order to obtain a green card. It has bagged a nomination for the John Cassavetes Award at the Film Independent Spirit Awards as well as a GLAAD Media Award nomination for Outstanding Film - Limited Release.

The film, which premiered at the 2019 Venice International Film Festival Venice Days program, won the Grand Prize at Chéries-Chéris, ICS Award for Best Actress at the International Cinephile Society Awards, Best Actress Award at the Pacific Meridian International Film Festival, Sunny Bunny Prize - Special Jury Diploma at the Molodist International Film Festival, and Best Film (International Narrative) at the Tel Aviv International LGBT Film Festival.

It also received the YCC Award from the Young Critics Circle, Philippines for Best Achievement in Cinematography and Visual Design for Isaac Banks, Maxwell Nalevansky, and Clint Ramos. Another YCC Award for Best Performance by Male or Female, Adult or Child, Individual or Ensemble in Leading or Supporting Role was given to Sandoval, who recently signed with Creative Artists Agency (CAA), one of the top media agencies in the world.

The documentary "A Thousand Cuts" revolves around journalist Maria Ressa and explores the issues between the press and the government headed by President Rodrigo Duterte. The film, which also features Senator Ronald "Bato" dela Rosa and Amal Clooney, was screened at the Sundance Film Festival. 

"A Thousand Cuts" won the Cinema Eye Honors Award - The Unforgettables at the Cinema Eye Honors Awards, DocEdge Award at the Documentary Edge Festival, Gotham Independent Film Award for Best Documentary at the Gotham Awards, and the David Carr Award for Truth in Non-Fiction Filmmaking at the Montclair Film Festival.

Meanwhile, Rose is an undocumented Filipino teen who wishes to leave her small Texas town to reach for her country music dreams in "Yellow Rose." However, her world crumbles when her mother gets embroiled in an immigration issue, forcing Rose to go on a journey of self-discovery. The cast is led by Broadway actress Eva Noblezada in her debut film together with Princess Punzalan and Ms. Lea Salonga.

"Yellow Rose" won the Special Jury Award at the Asian American International Film Festival, Jury Award at Bentonville Film Festival, Jury Award for Best Narrative at CAAMFest, Audience Choice Award at the Hawaii International Film Festival, Texas Independent Film Award at the Houston Film Critics Society Awards, Festival Prize at the Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival, and Audience Award at the San Diego Asian Film Festival.

It also won the Fasken Martineau Best Feature Film Award and Menkes Audience Choice Award at the Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival, Audience Award and Grand Jury Prize at the Urbanworld Film Festival, and People's Choice Award at the Vancouver Asian Film Festival. At the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival, formerly known as VC FilmFest, it won the Grand Jury Prize and Special Jury Award for Best Breakthrough Performance for Noblezada.

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