Gay film is Philippines hope for next year’s Oscars

Philippines choose Bwakaw, story of 75-year-old gay man, as their nomination for best foreign-language film at the Academy Awards

Gay film is Philippines hope for next year’s Oscars
24 September 2012

The Philippines have chosen gay movie Bwakaw as their nomination for best foreign language film at next year’s Academy Awards.

It’s the story of a lonely 75-year-old gay man who came out at the age of 60 and is in Tagalog, spoken as a first language by a third of the population of the south-east Asian country and as a second language by most of the rest.

Bwakaw, stars Eddie Garcia, a popular Filipino actor, as Rene, an crusty, ill-tempered, elderly gay man with a sensitive side.

He fills his lonely existence talking to his dog, Bwakaw, visiting a former female flame at a nursing home hanging out with a gay couple who run a hair salon.

Filmmaker Jun Robles Lana, 40, told the Wall Street Journal: ‘Gay stories don’t sell in the Philippines. And it’s a movie about growing old.’

But despite that the movie has attracted international attention, screening on the festival circuit in New York, Hawaii and Toronto.

It uses humor to ‘break the silences’ says Lana as he ‘didn’t want the film to be bleak’.

Rene was inspired by Rene Villanueva, a playwright who came out late in life and died in 2007. He was Lana’s real-life mentor and teacher.

Watch the trailer below:

HAVE YOUR SAY

MORE TOP STORIES

No thumbnail available

New York City police investigate a trans woman's death as a hate crime

After being on a ventilator for a few days after being punched by a group of boys, transgendered woman Islan Nettles dies from injuries
No thumbnail available

Arrests and beatings at Ukraine gay human rights protest

A pro human rights event and against homophobia was brutally crushed by police and attacked by far-right groups in Kyiv, Ukraine
No thumbnail available

Tennessee pastor stole $60,000 from church, spent it on gay dating sites

He was once caught having sex with a man in a church van
No thumbnail available

Russian pole vaulter Yelena Isinbayeva insists she's not anti-gay, blames poor English

'I am opposed to any discrimination against gay people on the grounds of their sexuality'
No thumbnail available

Dick Cheney 'surprised' at lesbian daughter's 'attack' on her sister over gay marriage

Former US vice president says it's his 'preference' that such conflicts stay within the family
No thumbnail available

LGBT Thai teens forced to become monks by parents to turn them straight

Homophobic Thai parents have been forcing their LGBT children to become monks but they are taking to social media to assert their identity
No thumbnail available

Kazakhstan plans Russia-style ‘gay propaganda’ laws

Politicians in the former Soviet state want to follow in Mother Russia's footsteps in banning Gay Pride, LGBT-friendly clubs and 'disgusting relations'
No thumbnail available

Bradley Manning declared as Pride’s People's Grand Marshal

San Francisco LGBT activists declared Bradley Manning as the People’s Grand Marshal, protesting against the city’s Pride leaders’ decision not to honor him
No thumbnail available
No thumbnail available

Jennifer Lopez's rep denies boyfriend Casper Smart is gay

Couple's rep says dancer is not gay and comments were born out of 'envy and jealousy'