Bonifacio Movie Nominated for 2015 Oscars Best Foreign Language Film, First Time for the Philippines

Bonifacio Ang Unang Pangulo

The movie “Bonifacio: Ang Unang Pangulo” is nominated for Best Foreign Language Film in the upcoming 2015 Oscars. This is the first-ever Filipino movie nominated for the most prestigious award giving body in the US. So far, the Philippines had submitted 25 local movies in the entire history of the Academy Awards.

The announcement was made this Thursday, January 15 at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills, led by Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs. The 87th Academy Awards ceremony will be held at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, Los Angeles this coming February 22, to be hosted by Neil Patrick Harris.

Bonifacio: Ang Unang Pangulo is the official entry Philippians Productions to the 40th Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF), premiered on December 25, 2014 (Christmas Day). The budget is estimated to be P90 million, and the film was directed by Enzo Williams, a graduate of the Los Angeles City College.

This historic action epic stars Robin Padilla as Andres Bonifacio, one of the Philippines’ notable heroes during the Spanish era. Vina Morales played the role of Gregoria de Jesús (also known as Oriang), Bonifacio’s wife. Jericho Rosales played as Dr Jose Rizal, the country’s national hero.

The Bonifacio movie somehow failed in the box office, as compared to its simple comedy film competitors. Nevertheless, it received most of the awards including Best Picture and the FPJ Memorial Award for Excellence. The English title of the said movie will be Bonifacio: The First President.

For a foreign film to be submitted as a nominee for the Oscars Best Foreign Language Film, the movie should be shown in local commercial theaters at least seven (7) consecutive days within the calendar year. For the 2015 Oscars, the last day of submission is December 31, 2014.

According to the Academy Awards, a nominated film for this category is not required to be shown in Hollywood. However, it should not be shown in TV prior to its theatrical release. In addition, only one film can be submitted by each country for every year, and should have English sub-titled copies.

The usual number of nominees for the Best Foreign Film is only five. However, the 2015 Oscars has six nominated films, also a first in its entire history. Bonifacio: Ang Unang Pangulo will go against Ida (Poland), Wild Tales (Argentina), Leviathan (Russia), Tangerines (Estonia), and Timbuktu (Mauritania).

Bonifacio: Ang Unang Pangulo” producer Rina Navarro, who attended the announcement of the 2015 Oscar nominations, said that the entire cast and crew are very happy and thankful to the Foreign Language Film Award Committee for approving their entry.

“We are very proud to represent our country in making history. Being nominated is already a very huge honor for us especially that it is the first for a Philippine movie to be nominated in the Oscars. We don’t expect to win, but it will be such a great bonus for all Filipinos.” Navarro said in a press release.

“I already informed Enzo (Williams), Robin (Padilla), and Vina (Morales) as well as the entire cast members, and they were all very happy.” The first-time movie producer added, noting that she has already accepted that the movie did not win Best Director, Best Actor, and Best Actress in the recent MMFF awards.

But while the director and major cast members have not released their official comments, Navarro said they will have a press conference once she returns to the country. A mini celebration party will also be held, although she did not mention anything about giving bonuses to all the people involved in the movie.

Meanwhile, the nominees for Best Picture for this year’s Academy are: American Sniper, Birdman, Boyhood, The Grand Budapest Hotel, The Imitation Game, Selma, The Theory of Everything, and Whiplash. The complete list of the 2015 Oscars nominations can be found at

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