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Philippines Lands on ‘Birdshot’ as Academy Awards Selection

Birdshot,” a coming-of-age drama by 24-year-old director Mikhail Red, has been selected by The Philippines as its contender for the foreign-language section of the Academy Awards. The film is the story of a girl who accidentally shoots a rare eagle.

The choice was made by a specially-formed committee within Film Academy of the Philippines, which announced its decision Tuesday. Initially the committee was evenly split between “Birdshot” and “Sunday Beauty Queen.” That required Jose N. Carreon as chairman to cast a deciding vote.

Other titles in contention had been “Die Beautiful” by Jun Lana; “1st SEM,” by Dexter Hernandez and Allan Ibanez; “Ang Araw sa Likod Mo,” by Dominic Nuesa; “Kita Kita,” by Sigfrid Bernardo; “Ang Manananggal sa Unit 23B,” by Prime Cruz; “Patay na si Hesus,” by Victor Villanueva; “Triptiko,” by Miguel Franco Micelena; and “Sunday Beauty Queen,” by Baby Ruth Villarama.

“Birdshot” has its premiere last year at the Tokyo International Film Festival, where it won top prize in the Asian Future section. It subsequently played numerous other festivals, including the BiFan fantasy film event in Korea in July, before kicking off its commercial run on Aug. 16 as part of the Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino organized by the Film Development Council of the Philippines.

“Birdshot” was produced by PelikulaRED, Tuko Film Productions, Buchi Boy Films and CJ Entertainment and directed by Mikhail Red from a screenplay of Mikhail Red and Rae Red. The film’s cast includes Mary Joy Apostol, Arnold Reyes, Ku Aquino and John Arcilla.

No Filipino film has ever received a nomination from the Academy of Motion Pictures and Sciences in the foreign-language category.

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