'Signal Rock' is PH entry to 2019 Oscars

Reyma Deveza, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 26 2018 03:50 PM | Updated as of Sep 26 2018 04:59 PM

MANILA -- Chito S. Roño's movie "Signal Rock" is the country's official entry in the Best Foreign Language Film category of the prestigious Academy Awards. 

In an interview with ABS-CBN News on Wednesday, Roño said he received the confirmation from Leo Martinez, director general of the Film Academy of the Philippines.

"Tuwang-tuwa kami. Hindi namin akalain na kami ang mapipili sa dami nang isinabmit. Pero ang 'Signal Rock,' passion project ko 'yon. It's very close to my heart. Everything that's happening, even the international film fest, it's really an honor. But to be chosen to be the one to represent us (Filipinos) sa Academy sa Amerika -- although submission pa lang ito -- sobrang honored na siyempre kasi among the other films we were chosen," Roño said.

"I know it's a long way to go and it's a difficult fight. I'd been there kasi with 'Dekada '70' before. And I heard it's not easy and from the other Filipino entries, mahirap talaga, maraming kailangan na hindi natin akalain na kailangan... it's entirely a new world," adds Roño.
Starring Christian Bables, the movie tells the story of Intoy, who regularly climbed the rocks so he can get a good signal and use his outdated phone to communicate with his sister Vicky, who lives abroad. 

"It's really about the sad state of the Filipinos na parang naka-depend sila sa people who are not in the place, who are abroad. And to fend for themselves what little they have," Roño.

Currently, Roño is in Biri, Samar where they shot the film.

"I'm showing 'Signal Rock' to the population for free this Friday or Saturday yata. Sila ang nag-decide kung saan or what. But I commit to one screening para in gratitude for the cooperation," he said. 

The movie also stars Daria Ramirez, Nanding Josef, Mon Confiado, Elora Espano, Arnold Reyes, Dido Dela Paz, Mengie Cobarubias, Joel Saracho, Mara Lopez, Ruby Ruiz, Sue Prado, Jomari Angeles, Kokoy De Santos, Francis Magundayao.

"Signal Rock" was one of the entries in the recently concluded Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino. The film won Critic’s Choice and Special Jury Awards. 

According to Roño, "Signal Rock" will also be screened in Korea and will compete in Vietnam.