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HomeArts & CultureFocus on the Philippines: Can Ma'Rosa give the country its first Oscar nod?

Focus on the Philippines: Can Ma'Rosa give the country its first Oscar nod?

After winning the Best Actress award for lead star Jacyln Jose at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, Ma’ Rosa has been chosen as the Philippines’s entry to the Best Foreign Language Film category of the 89th Academy Awards, scheduled to be held on February 26, 2017. Can director Brillante Mendoza’s gritty urban drama give the Philippines its first ever Oscar nomination and award? Two industry websites think the film has a strong chance.

The Hollywood Reporter’s Scott Feinberg shortlisted Ma’ Rosa as one of his nine predicted nominees for the Best Foreign Language Film award, alongside films like Germany’s Toni Erdmann, which won top awards at the Cannes and Brussels festivals, and Palestine’s The Idol, which took home the People’s Choice Award at last year’s Dubai International Film Festival.

The website Awards Circuit is also predicting that among the 85 official submissions for the category, Ma’ Rosa is one of the top 10 contenders, alongside films from Iran (The Salesman), Chile (Neruda), and Israel (Sand Storm).

Ma’ Rosa follows the story of a mother of four who falls prey to corrupt police officers after the is forced to sell drugs to survive. Earlier this month, Ma’ Rosa was picked up for distribution in the United States by First Run Features. The film is planned for a spring 2017 release. Ma’ Rosa is also currently screening at this week’s Cairo International Film Festival in Egypt, which runs until November 24. Two other Filipinos films, Kohki Hasei’s Blanka and Joel Lamangan’s Tomodachi, are also being shown in the festival.

This year’s Oscar nominations will be announced on January 24, 2017.

Sarah Geronimo wins top award in Japan

Filipino pop sensation Sarah Geronimo took home the Best Asian Performer trophy at last week’s Classic Rock Roll of Honour Awards in Tokyo, Japan.

Geronimo, 28, was honoured for her chart-topping 12th studio album, The Great Unknown, which was released last year. Just last September, Geronimo was nominated for an MTV Europe Music Award for Best Southeast Asian Act.

During the ceremony, Geronimo performed Freddie Aguilar’s 1979 folk classic Anak (Child) alongside Filipino rocker Bamboo. The event, which was hosted by Megadeth’s Dave Mustaine, also featured performances from Jimmy Page, Aerosmith’s Joe Perry, and Def Leppard’s Joe Elliott and Phil Collen.

This is the 10th edition of the Classic Rock Roll of Honour, an international awards event based in England.

Alden Richards to host Asian Television Awards

From one awards ceremony to another: popular actor and singer Alden Richards has been announced as one of the four hosts of the 21st Asian Television Awards, to be held in Singapore on December 2.

Richards will be co-presenting the ceremony with fellow Asian actors Adrian Pang, Stephanie Carrington, and Baki Zainal. The Asian Television Awards are considered the most prestigious award-giving body for television programmes produced in the region.

The Philippines received four nominations: actor Michael V for Best Comedy Performance by an Actor or Actress for his performance in Pepito Manaloto, the comedy sketch show Bubble Gang for Best Comedy Programme, Reel Time for Best Social Awareness Programme and Cathy Yang of the ABS-CBN News Channel for Best News Presenter.

Rose Marie Velasquez advances on The Voice of Romania

Filipino contestant Rose Marie Velasquez has advanced to the next stage of the competition on the reality singing programme The Voice of Romania after impressing the show’s celebrity coaches during the Battle Rounds.

Velasquez, 28, was pitted against contestant Mihaela Chisnencu. They sung a duet of Maroon 5’s recent pop hit Sugar. While both singers were praised for their strong vocals, their coach, the Romanian singer and producer Smiley, ultimately chose Chisnencu as the battle’s winner.

Velasquez thought she had already been eliminated from the competition, until another coach, singer Tudor Chirila, saved her from the competition. Each judge can “steal” an eliminated contestant from another coach’s team to advance on the show.

In a message to her fans that Velasquez sent to The National, she said: “First of all, thank you to all your prayers. Thank you to all who watch my videos on YouTube and for sharing them. My audition is now the most-viewed video on this season of The Voice of Romania. I’m so touched. It feels so good that I’m making Filipinos from around the world proud. Please keep watching the show!”

During her audition for The Voice of Romania, Velasquez turned all four of the judges’ chairs after her performance of Andra Day’s Rise Up. Velasquez, an overseas worker in Malaysia, was on holiday in Bucharest last summer when she decided to try out for the show.

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