Why You Have to See “Bwakaw” -- The Philippines’ Entry to Oscars Foreign Language Competition 


I am proud of the Philippine Cinema! Like Hollywood, for every mainstream film, there are independent movies that tell a captivating story made by passionate filmmakers who want their voice heard. One of those filmmakers is Jun Robles Lana who created a thought-provoking movie about aging called “Bwakaw.”

Made with blessings from Cinemalaya, the purveyor of well-crafted indie films in the Philippines, “Bwakaw” stars the Filipino icon, Eddie Garcia, as Rene, a quarrelsome elderly gay man who came out late in life. Faced with many missed opportunities, Rene finds solace in his dog, bwakaw (translation: voracious appetite).

Playwright, screenwriter, and filmmaker Jun Robles Lana, the youngest Filipino to be inducted in the Palanca Literary Awards Hall of Fame, created “Bwakaw” in honor of his mentor, Rene Villanueva. You can feel the filmmaker’s passion just by watching the movie. The film was the official submission of the Philippines for the 85th Academy Awards foreign language competition. “Bwakaw” failed to get a nomination, but it didn’t matter for Lana. The film afforded him a new appreciation for life.

Lana’s “Bwakaw” was recently screened at the 24th Annual Palm Springs International Film Festival under the World Cinema Now banner. I met the esteemed filmmaker for this one-on-one interview about “Bwakaw” and his passion. See what lies ahead for Jun Robles Lana.



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