A film produced by the Iglesia ni Cristo (INC or Church of Christ) seemed to have proven itself to be world-class.
INC officials recently cited “Walang Take Two” (No Second Take), a Filipino independent movie made by the religious group, which emerged victorious at the recently concluded 2016 Madrid International Film Festival (MIFF), winning awards for Best Film and Best Cinematography in a Foreign Language Film in ceremonies held in the Spanish capital on July 9.
The first film produced by the INC’s INCinema Productions, “Walang Take Two” beat top films from all over the world at the film festival that ran from July 2 to 9 in Madrid.
The talents behind the groundbreaking film also won nods at the MIFF, with cinematographer Giancarlo Escamillas cited during the awards ceremony and director Carlo Jay Ortega Cuevas nominated for Best Director in a Foreign Language Feature Film.
Another Filipino director, Joel Lamangan, was also nominated for the same award.
The two major awards bagged by “Walang Take Two” at the MIFF add to the recognitions previously bagged by INCinema Productions’ maiden offering.
The film previously won two major awards at the World Film Awards in Jakarta: the Platinum World Award for Cuevas and the World Newcomer Filmmaker of the Year.
It was also nominated for Best Picture.
Cuevas also won as Best Director in a Foreign Film at the London International Film Festival earlier this year.
INC Minister Pepito Acuesta, the INC Minister-Overseer for Europe, received the awards in Madrid on behalf of the film’s cast and crew.
Acuesta thanked God for the acclaim given to the INC-produced film, and expressed the INC’s gratitude to organizers of the film festival for “recognizing” the film.
He also thanked INC Executive Minister Brother Eduardo V. Manalo for the support and guidance extended to the film’s cast and crew, who were composed of INC members, most of whom had little or no experience in film-making.
“Walang Take Two” was written and directed by first-time film maker Cuevas and was released in Philippine cinemas in September 2015.
The film revolves around the ambitious but poor young Filipino film maker named Hapi, who wants to make it big as a first-time “indie” director and film maker.
The title is taken from the words of wisdom that Hapi routinely hears from his father, Mang Julian, a retired videographer.
The film chronicles his quest to find ways to produce his indie film, in the process learning that while making a movie allows for “second takes,” life is not as forgiving.
Surprisingly, the cast of the movie are all first-time actors and actresses whose acting skills were honed only through their participation in previous INCinema short film productions.
The INCinema films are among the INC projects that seek to develop the cinematic talents of the church’s members.
All those involved in the film were all winners in previous EVM awards of various INCinema productions which were held under the guidance of the INC executive minister.