YCC Bares All The Year’s Best For 2009

YCC bares all the year’s best for 2009

The Film Desk of the Young Critics Circle formally announces the winners of the critics’ group’s annual awards for distinguished achievement in films of 2009. Three films all from debuting directors lead the recipients of top honors for various categories.

Ralston Jover’s Bakal Boys (Children Metal Divers) won Best Film of the Year and Best Cinematography and Visual Design. Armando Lao’s Biyaheng Lupa (Soliloquy) bagged Best Screenplay and Best Sound and Aural Orchestration. Pepe Diokno’s Engkwentro (Clash) clinched Best Achievement in Film Editing. The sixth award – for Best Performance honor – went to Janice de Belen in a lead role for Last Viewing.

Established in 1990, YCC is the academe-based critics group. Its members are attentive observers of Philippine cinema who constantly bring into the analysis of film an interdisciplinary approach.The organization departs from many conventions of other award-giving bodies both here and abroad in bestowing cinematic honors. For instance, the award for Best Film of the Year is reserved for the director such that no separate prize for direction is needed. The Best Performance award is most coveted as it is conferred on a screen performer whether male or female, adult or child, individual or as part of an ensemble, in leading or supporting role. To uphold a more dynamic and encompassing way of looking at films, technical honors refer to fusion of outstanding efforts in fields otherwise deemed apart. In this case, the Best Cinematography and Visual Design recognition covers both camerawork and art direction. Similarly, Best Sound and Aural Orchestration encompasses not just sound engineering per se but musical score as well.

YCC drew its selection from both regular and non-regular releases comprising the entirety of Philippine cinema output in 2009. Some titles had to be dropped out of consideration if they failed to have a total of three or more screenings before a paying or non-paying audience in any one or more public venues within the given calendar year.

In thorough deliberations leading to final voting last 16 September 2010, “Bakal Boys” – the story of children who scavenge for scrap metal in the murky waters of Manila Bay to make a living – emerged as the clear frontrunner as it is the only selected film to figure in all six categories of this year’s YCC roster of honor.

The other three Best Picture nominees – “Last Viewing”, “Biyaheng Lupa” and “Engkwentro” – got less number of nominations but were rewarded just the same with their own respective awards.

This year’s Best Screenplay category proved to be strongest yielding the most number of nominees compared to the rest. Three of the Best Picture contenders were joined in the said category by two more titles, namely, Veronica Velasco’s “Last Supper No. 3” and Alvin Yapan’s “Ang Panggagahasa kay Fe”.

The same three Best Picture contenders also landed slots in the Best Performance category with eventual winner De Belen’s individual performance from “Last Viewing”pitted against another individual performance by a virtual non-actor – Meljun Ginto – from “Bakal Boys”, the ensemble performance by the entire cast from “Biyaheng Lupa” and lastly, that by the novel tandem of elderly stars – Anita Linda and Rustica Carpio – from Brillante Mendoza’s “Lola”.

YCC is set to issue critical essays for public dissemination expounding on the merit of its choices for this year’s conferment of honors officially billed as 20th Annual Circle Citations for Distinguished Achievement in Film. Among previous films in recent years to attain YCC’s topmost distinction are “Inang Yaya” (2006), “Foster Child” (2007) and “Adela” (2008).

A list of complete winners and nominees for this year’s YCC film awards presented by categories is as follows:

Young Critics Circle Film Desk Awards

20th Annual Circle Citations for Distinguished Achievement in Film for 2009

Best Film of the Year

Winner: Bakal Boys directed by Ralston Jover (Apogee Productions; Albert Almendralejo and Bessie Badilla, Producers; Celso de Guzman, Line Producer)


Last Viewing directed by Roni Bertubin (Davis Entertainment; Liza Davis, Executive Producer; Ferdinand Lapuz, Antonio de Guzman Jr. and Olivia Madrigal, Producers; Roberto OJY Yap, Associate Producer)

Biyaheng Lupa directed by Armando Lao (Quantum Films; Joji Alonso, Josephine Bautista-Tence and Armando Lao, Executive Producers; Jocelyn D. Bracamonte and Ferdinand Lapuz, Producers)

Engkwentro directed by Pepe Diokno (Pepe Diokno, Producer; Joji Alonso, Associate Producer; Amor Olaguer, Line Producer)

Best Screenplay

Winner: Biyaheng Lupa (Quantum Films) – Armando Lao


Last Viewing (Davis Entertainment) – Romualdo Avellanosa

Ang Panggagahasa kay Fe (Rolyo Productions) – Alvin Yapan

Last Supper No. 3 (Beinte Singko Mil Productions) – Veronica Velasco and Jinky Laurel

Bakal Boys (Apogee Productions) – Ralston Jover and Henry Burgos

Best Achievement in Cinematography and Visual Design

Winner: Bakal Boys (Apogee Productions) – Ruben de la Cruz and Carlo Mendoza, Directors of Photography; Deans Habal, Production Designer


Engkwentro (Pepe Diokno) – Emman Pascual, Director of Photography; Leeroy New, Production Designer

Best Achievement in Film Editing

Winner: Engkwentro (Pepe Diokno) – Ralph Crisostomo, Miko Araneta, Orlean Tan


Last Viewing (Davis Entertainment) – Lee Mi Soon

Bakal Boys (Apogee Productions) – Charliebebs Gohetia, Kats Serraon

Best Achievement in Sound and Aural Orchestration

Winner: Biyaheng Lupa (Quantum Films) – Ditoy Aguila and Nolet Clemente, Sound Engineers; Gian Gianan, Musical Director


Engkwentro (Pepe Diokno) – Mark Laccay, Sound Designer

Bakal Boys (Apogee Productions) – Mark Locsin, Sound Engineer; Teresa Barrozo, Musical Director

Best Performance by Male or Female, Adult or Child, Individual or Ensemble in Leading or Supporting Role

Winner: Janice de Belen in Last Viewing (Davis Entertainment)


Duo Performance by Anita Linda and Rustica Carpio in Lola (Centerstage Productions)

Ensemble Performance by the Entire Cast in Biyaheng Lupa (Quantum Films)

Meljun Ginto in Bakal Boys (Apogee Productions)

Film Desk of the Young Critics Circle: Prof. Jason P. Jacobo (President), Dr. Eloisa May P. Hernandez, Prof. Gerard R. A. Lico, Dr. Patrick D. Flores, Nonoy L. Lauzon, Dr. Flaudette May V. Datuin, Romulo Baquiran Jr., Noel D. Ferrer, Dr. Galileo S. Zafra (on leave), Dr. Eli R. Guieb, Dr. Jerry C. Respeto (on leave), Prof. Neil Martial R. Santillan (on leave), Eileen C. Legaspi-Ramirez.