Gawad Urian Best Picture ASWANG: A Fitting Pre-Election Recall of Monstrosities


It’s another historic win for multi-awarded documentary film Aswang.

Aswang won Best Picture, Best Director, Best Documentary, and Best Cinematography at the 44th Gawad Urian by the Manunuri ng Pelikulang Pilipino.

Director Alyx Arumpac says:  “We thank the Manunuri ng Pelikulang Pilipino for this honor. We are overwhelmed and beyond grateful for the recognition. "

Aswang follows a group of people whose fates wrap around the growing violence over two years of killings in Manila, among them Brother Jun Santiago, a photojournalist and missionary brother who comforts bereaved families.

“While making the film we heard grieving people say this so many times — ‘Kung alam ko lang na papatayin nila ang kapatid/asawa/anak ko, hindi ko na sana siya binoto’ (If I had known that they would kill my brother/father/son, I never would not have voted for him),” adds Arumpac who encourages all Filipinos to watch the documentary and see how the first years of President Rodrigo Duterte's war against drugs in the Philippines transpired.

The film is streaming on kTxt, Upstream, and Ticket2Me from October 22 to November 7. Tickets are priced at 150 Pesos. The filmmaker also partnered with Active Vista (activevistafest@dakila.org.ph) for free on ground community screening.

She noted that three years after the film’s release, the country is set again to vote for another President. 

“We deserve a leader who would hold them accountable and hold our rights and lives sacred. We hope that soon, there will be no more stories like the ones told in Aswang.”

Arumpac also expresses her solidarity with all the victims of the government-sponsored drug war. 

“Our thoughts and prayers are with all the Filipinos who have been murdered, illegally detained, widowed, and orphaned by this war against drugs. Let us not waste our votes on men who have a record of committing, supporting, and enabling human rights abuses.”

Aswang also won Best Picture, Best Documentary Film, Best Cinematography, and Best Editing at last year’s FAMAS. It also won the White Goose Award at the DMZ International Documentary Film Festival 2020, Beyond the Screen Competition at the DocAviv Film Festival 2020, FIPRESCI Prize at The International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam 2019, International Feature Competition Grand Prize at the Montreal International Documentary Festival, and the Amnesty International Award at the Thessaloniki Documentary Film Festival 2020.

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