MANILA, Philippines - Ralston Jover’s “Bakal Boys,” translated as “Children Metal Divers,” won Best Screenplay at the 7th Skip City International Digital Cinema Festival 2010 awards held last Sunday, August 1, at Skip City Audio-Visual Hall in Saitama, Kawaguchi, Japan.
A total of 648 entries from 85 countries and regions all over the world joined the selection for the full-length feature category. These were trimmed down to 13 films--10 international and 3 domestic films.
“It was a tough fight,” said Jover, the director of the film.
Aside from “Bakal Boys,” other selected full-length international films were “Tehroun” (France) by Nader T. Homayoun; “Judge” (China) by Liu Jie; “George Ryga’s Hungry Hills” (Canada) by Rob King; “Magic Silver” (Norway) by Katarina Launing and Roar Uthaug; “The Man Who Will Come” (Italy) by Giorgio Diritti; “A Step into the Darkness” (Iraq, Turkey) by Atil Inac; “Newsmakers” (Russia) by Andres Bank; “The Fair Love” (Korea) by Yeon-shick Shin; and “Centre Place” (Australia) by Ben Shackleford.
Chosen from the domestic front were “Seesaw” by Keihiro Kanyama; “Tokyo Uno” by Eiji Muramatsu and “Record Future” by Kentaro Kishi.
The grand prize went to “The Man Who Will Come."
Chosen Best Director was Liu Jie of China.
The Special Jury Prize was awarded to “Tehroun," while the Skip City Award was given to “Seesaw.”
“Bakal Boys” received a certificate, a trophy and a cash reward of 500,000 yen from Sony and Sony Best Solutions.
Digital films a hit
According to Jover, digital films are hits in Japan. “Imagine, nagpagawa pa ng dalawang sinehan sa Skip City para lang pagpalabasan ng mga digital films.”
Skip City International D-Cinema Festival, held from July 23 to August 1, is an annual competitive festival that aims to discover the talents of the next generation to contribute in the propagation and development of a new film industry.
“Bakal Boys,” produced by beauty queen and fashion model Bessie Badilla and businessman Albert Almendralejo and co-written by Ralston and Henry Burgos, is about children in Manila who dive for scrap metals to sell.
It won the grand prize at the Barcelona Film Festival last March and will compete at the Busters Children’s Film Festival in Copenhagen, Denmark in September.
"Bakal Boys" will also compete at the Anaheim International Film Festival in Orange County, California in October; the Cucalorus Film Festival in North Carolina; and the Hamburg Film Festival and the Berlin Hotshots Film Festival, both in Germany, in November.
Jover was the director of the documentary drama “Marlon” which won an award at the Cinemanila International Film Festival in 2008.
He also wrote the screenplays of “Kubrador” directed by award-winning filmmaker Jeffrey Jeturian, and “Tirador” and “Foster Child”, both directed by 2009 Cannes Palm d’Or Best Director Brillante Mendoza.