The year end is always a time to look back on the year past - as reflection, as learning, as an inspiration in facing the future. Here, we review the biggest news and achievements in the Philippine arts scene, culled from direct information, news and the social media, focusing on Filipinos around the world.
- Candice Adea and Jean Marc Cordero, principal dancers of Ballet Philippines, garnered Special Awards in the Boston International Ballet Competition, winning the lead roles for a Russian ballet performance and in addition for Candice, the Maris Liepa Prize for Outstanding Artistry.
- in Edmonton, choreographer/director Jojo Lucila was one of the City’s Awardees for the Cultural Diversity in the Arts Award.
|Matthew Labatique, cinematographer for "Black Swan"|
- Nino, a film portrait on the decline of a wealthy family by director Loy Arcenas, was awarded the $30,000 top prize New Currents at the Busan Film Festival in South Korea. This festival is one of Asia’s most important showcases.
- Auraeus Solito’s Busong won the FIPRESCI (International Federation of Film Critics) International Critics Prize at the Eurasia International Film Festival, Kazakhstan. Busong is a native Palawanon’s term for fate or instant karma. The film tackles the environmental degradation in Palawan and stars acclaimed actress Alessandra da Rosi.
- Matthew Libatique, Filipino cinematographer of “Black Swan” won the Best Cinematography prize in the Independent Spirit Awards in California. He was also nominated in the Academy Awards for his work on the same film, and in the same category.
- the documentary program Storyline created by writer Patricia Evangelista and filmmaker Paolo Villaluna bagged two medals in the New York Festivals International TV and Film Awards
- 18 year old Paulo Reyes won the top prize for his film First Steps to Recovery in a global film competition by the Tony Blair Faith Foundation. The judging panel included Hugh Jackman, Jet Li, Wendi Murdoch, and former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair, among others.
- Bisperas (Trespassers) won the Best Asian-Middle Eastern Film Award at the 24th Tokyo International Film Festival. Directed by Jeffrey Jeturian, the film is about a family whose house is burglarized on Christmas Eve and amid the tension brought about by the burglary, the members of the family realize how treasured sentiments have been lost and relationships have evolved.
- Cannes 2009 best director Brillante Mendoza’s independent film Lola got the Best Film award, and actors Anita Linda and Rustica Carpio tied for the Best Actress award, at the Tehran International Film Festival in Iran. This same film was also recognized at the 8th Asian Film Festival in Rome, won the Best Film at the Dubai International Filmfest, Grand Knight Award, the Miami International Filmfest and was also featured in the Tribeca International Film Fest in New York last April.
- political prisoner Ericson Acosta was named a finalist in the prestigious 2011 Imprisoned Artist Prize in the Freedom to Create Award Festival in Cape Town, South Africa. The award is given to artists who are incarcerated because of their courage and creativity in pursuing their art, and the role of their work in highlighting injustice. He bested more than 2,000 nominees from 145 countries by a jury consisting of Hollywood actress Daryl Hannah, novelist Salman Rushdie and ballet icon Mikhail Baryshnikov.
- Jose Antonio Vargas, a former reporter for The Washington Post who shared a Pulitzer Prize for his coverage of the Virginia Tech massacre, revealed in The New York Times magazine that he is an illegal immigrant and has been hiding it for nearly 20 years.
|Maria Aragon with Lady Gaga|
- rise to fame of YouTube sensation Maria Aragon for her cover of Lady Gaga’s song, and Thia Meguia for her entry in American Idol
- Karla Maye Carreon was declared grand champion in the vocalist category in the K-pop World Festival in South Korea.
- the passing away of National Artist Salvador Bernal
- Mideo Cruz’s controversial installation Poleteismo, which mixed Catholic icons with pop culture and sexual imagery, caused a public uproar and debate on artistic freedom and resulted in the shutting down of the exhibit at the Cultural Center of the Philippines.
- Rodel Tapaya was awarded the Signature Arts Grand Prize 2011, at the Singapore Arts Museum. The winning entry selected from 15 artworks shortlisted from 130 nominations from 24 countries was Baston ni Kabunian, Bilang Pero di Mabilang (Cane of Kabunian, numbered but cannot be counted), an acrylic on canvas.
- the entries of photographers Reynaldo C. Mondez and Romeo B. Doneza, Solar Energy Panels and World Wide respectively, won top prizes in an Asia-Pacific Economic Competition, besting 204 photos from 95 other photographers.
- George Tapan won the National Geographic Photo Contest - Places Category. The most prestigious international photo contest, 20,000 photographs from 130 countries were submitted. George is the first Filipino to ever win, and on his first submission too. The winning photo showcased the beaches of Palawan.
- winning entry in the International International Children’s Painting Competition on the Environment was 13-year old Trisha Co Reyes’ work showing a young girl pulling back a large grey curtain covered in images of dying trees in a polluted landscape, to reveal a colorful forest filled with abundant life. She was formally presented the award in Indonesia by the United Nations Environment Programme.
- Ifugao native Gilbert Bergano Alberto won the Silver Award and the Prix du Public (Audience Choice Award) at the 10th International Sculpture Symposium in Geneva for his sculpture A sitting old Igorot Man playing a Gong.
|George Tapan's photo for National Geographic|
* This article was written for the January 2012 issue of Pinoy Times.