REEL DEAL: Ang Nawawala Goes to Slamdance Film Festival


Director Marie Jamora's opus Ang Nawawala closed 2012 on a pretty high note after winning Best Original Musical Score for composers Mikey Amistoso, Diego Mapa, and Jazz Nicolas; and Audience Choice (New Breed) award at the Cinemalaya Film Festival and enjoying an extended theatrical run after the festival.

The film also managed to start the new year as strongly as they ended the previous one. At the beginning of 2013, held their Social Media Awards 2012 on Facebook, having the masses vote for their favorite TV shows, films, musicians, and celebrities. Ang Nawawala was on a list along with The Avengers, Argo, The Dark Knight Rises, and Twilight. Based on the number of votes, Ang Nawawala won “Best Film of 2012.” The film was also named one of the 12 “Must-See Pictures of the Year” by and one of the “Top 20 Pinoy Films of 2012” by Twitch writer, Oggs Cruz on another popular site and TV network, Our leading lady, Annicka Dolonius, has also been named one of the 10 “Best Screen Actresses of 2012” by the number one business daily newspaper in the Philippines, The Business Mirror.

In additional to all of these accolades, the Ang Nawawala team proudly announced the inclusion of their film into the Slamdance Film Festival. The 2013 Slamdance Film Festival will take place January 18 – 24, 2013 in Park City, Utah, at the Treasure Mountain Inn. The official international premiere of Ang Nawawala will be on January 19 with a second screening on January 22.

In his review for the film — technically the first foreign review of Ang Nawawala — Slamdance Film Festival programmer Mo Perkins wrote, “Like a Polaroid of the teenage Manila night scene, a dream of romance, music and parents who just don’t understand, watching is as much a visual experience as a narrative one. Bright, instant and mesmerizing, one of the beauties of this film is that, while specific and full of delicious details about its world, it is also familiar. Here is the whimsy of troubled youth. Here is the first love we all wish we had, the pumping energy of spotting the right one across the room and laughing as the records drop and scratch.”

Chosen from over 5,000 submissions this year, Ang Nawawala is one of the 22 official entries into the Feature Film Competition Slate. Awards will be presented to competition films in the following categories: Jury Award for Feature Doc, Jury Award for Narrative Feature, Audience Award for Feature Doc, Audience Award for Feature Narrative, and Filmmaker Award for Spirit of Slamdance. Kodak will present the Kodak Vision Award for Best Cinematography.

“Our goal is to showcase exhilarating filmmaking with a revolutionary take on our world. These filmmakers have a tremendous ability to innovate, explore and revitalize the independent filmmaking landscape,” said Peter Baxter, Slamdance President and Co-Founder.

In her director's statement for the festival, Jamora wrote, “I have always wanted to make a Filipino coming-of-age-slash-suburban family drama featuring upper middle class characters. I wanted to tell a modern story located in Manila and set against the backdrop of the indie music scene. We wanted to share something personal with the audience -- to showcase a different side of our hometown, inhabited with characters that aren’t usually seen in contemporary Philippine cinema.”

In celebration of the film's entry into Slamdance, Jamora and her script co-writer, Ramon De Veyra, collaborated with artist AJ Dimarucot in order to recreate the Ang Nawawala logo into the film's English title, What Isn't There. They have also updated their official website,, which was designed by Inksurge, to include their international film trailer. Also, starting last Saturday (January 12), they have released a series of images that serve as their countdown towards their international premiere on January 19.

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