Filipino-Ilocano animated film Iti Mapukpukaw is the country's official entry to the Oscars 2024, the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FCDP) announced today, Sept. 29.
Directed by Carl Joseph Papa, Iti Mapukpukaw was named Best Film in Cinemalaya 2023 and was the first of its kind to be nominated in the said category in Cinemalaya's history. Award-winning actress Dolly De Leon, in addition, bagged the Best Supporting Actress award.
The rotoscope animated film also won the Network for the Promotion of Asia Pacific (NETPAC) Awards for “its finely nuanced, masterfully crafted, tale of healing, friendships and young love, effectively utilizing state-of-the-art technology that is integral to its storytelling.”
FDCP announced the film's nomination in the upcoming Oscars with the caption, "Fresh from its Best Film win at the 2023 edition of the Cinemalaya Philippine Film Festival, Carl Joseph E. Papa’s animated film 'Iti Mapukpukaw' (The Missing) will be submitted for consideration to the 96th Academy Awards as the country’s official entry to the Best International Feature Film Category."
The organization added that it will be donating P1,000,000 through its Oscars Assitance Program to the film's director and his team to "support [their] campaign for the prestigious Oscars."
Iti Mapukpukaw tells the story of Eric, a Filipino animator who doesn't have a mouth, as he untangles the memories of his past following the death of his uncle and the arrival of a giant green alien he used to see in his dreams as a child.
The multi-layered tale stars Carlo Aquino as Eric, de Leon as Eric's mother Rosalinda, and Gio Gahol as his co-worker and new friend Carlo.
It was produced by a youth-led team and 90 local animators in a span of one year and seven months. Apart from bagging three awards from Cinemalaya 2023, Iti Mapukpukaw became the film festival's highest-grossing film for the year.
Pinoys can watch the film's nomination at the 96th Academy Awards happening on March 10, 2024, at the Dolby Theatre at Ovation Hollywood in Los Angeles, California.