Philippines chooses pic for foreign-language film race

Soxie Topacio’s dark comedy “Grandfather Is Dead” (Ded na si Lolo) trumped a slew of contenders to represent the Philippines in the hunt for a nomination for foreign-language film Oscar.

Pic beat Venice competition entry “Lola,” helmed by Cannes director winner Brillante Mendoza, and 14 other pics.

“Grandfather” centers on a family’s reaction to the sudden death of the patriarch and is one of six films produced by APT Entertainment and the Directors Guild of the Philippines under its Film Director project.

Gina Alajar, Elizabeth Oropesa, Manilyn Reynes, Dick Israel, Roderick Paulate, Perla Bautista and BJ Forbes lead the cast.

The Film Academy of the Philippines’ Oscar committee included multihyphenate Eddie Romero (who was named the country’s National Artist in 2003), Manny Morfe of the Production Designers Guild of the Philippines, helmer-thesp Robert Arevalo and helmers Jose Carreon, William Mayo and Elwood Perez.

The closing date for submissions to the foreign-language category is Oct. 1. Nominations will be announced Feb. 2 and the Academy Awards take place on March 7.

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