'Praybeyt Benjamin' to vie in Japan film fest

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 25 2012 03:51 PM | Updated as of Mar 26 2012 03:10 PM

MANILA, Philippines – The blockbuster hit of 2011, “The Unkabogable Praybeyt Benjamin,” will be screened at this year’s Okinawa International Film Festival.

The comedy film, directed by Wenn Deramas and starring Vice Ganda, has made it to the festival’s feature program, along with the Hollywood box-office hit, “Bridesmaids,” and 11 other movies from Japan, Hong Kong, Malaysia, India and Thailand.

“Praybeyt Benjamin” is one of 26 movies from all over the world that will make their Japanese premiere at the week-long film festival.

For this year’s Okinawa film festival, the featured films are divided into two categories – “Laugh” and “Peace.”

“Praybeyt Benjamin,” about a gay man who learns to be a soldier to save his grandfather, will be up for the Uminchu Award Grand Prix in the “Laugh” category.

“In this movie festival, we will select one winning film for each of the following awards based on the votes by the general judges selected from all over the country as well as the audience who come to the theater on the day of the screening,” the festival organizers said in its website.

The international judging panel will also select a movie for a special award, the Golden Shisa Award.

No Philippine film made it to the “Peace” category, which features 13 films, including the Oscar-winning silent movie, “The Artist.”

“Praybeyt Benjamin” is now the all-time highest grossing local film, earning a total of P331.61 million during its theatrical run last year.

The Okinawa International Film Festival opened on Saturday and will run until March 31.