History: ASWANG – First Documentary to Win Best Picture in FAMAS

Alyx Arumpac’s documentary film ASWANG bagged the Best Picture by the oldest award-giving body in the Philippines, the Filipino Academy of Movie Arts & Sciences (FAMAS, 68th edition) last night, December 20, 2020. 

The documentary tells the story of people whose lives were affected by the on-going drug war, the banner campaign of this administration. ASWANG perfectly captured the prevailing culture of violence that blankets the entire nation.

Film still via Aswang website

Aswang also won Best Documentary and Best Cinematography last night.

The award-giving body acknowledges the contributions of film personalities, three recipients received the FAMAS Lifetime Achievement Award; Ricardo ‘Ricky’ Lee for Scriptwriting, Rox Lee for Alternative Cinema, and Armida Siguion-Reyna for Industry Development. “The Three recipients of the FAMAS Lifetime Achievement Award are deserving storytellers who remind us that artists have a role in society – to fight against injustice and make a world a better place. Our three awardees generously spent a lifetime fighting for freedom of expression and rebelling against the status quo. These three changed the broad landscape of Philippine Cinema forever. They’re Cultural Revolutionaries,” FAMAS said in their Facebook announcement last night.


Best Director – Raymund Ribay GUTIERREZ in Verdict for his realistic and brave exposure of an imperfect justice system.

Best Actress – Janine GUTIERREZ in Babae at Baril for her brave subversion of a young woman discovering her own power.

Best Actor (tie) – Elijah CANLAS in Kalel,15 for his sensitive portrayal of a young man cornered into apathy and Kristoffer KING in Verdict for his subtly powerful depth and realism which hee colored a righteous abuser.

Best Screenplay – Glenn BARIT in Cleaners for creating a world that is new and fresh but universally familiar.

Best Supporting Actress – Dolly DE LEON in Verdict 

Best Supporting Actor – Ricky DAVAO in Fuccbois

Best Documentary – ASWANG directed by Alyx ARUMPAC

Best Short Film – TOKWIFI directed by Carla Pulido OCAMPO

Special Jury Prize (Short Film) – ASCENDING directed by Sophia ISIP and HERE HERE directed by Joanne CEASARIO

Best Cinematography (tie) – Alyx ARUMPAC & Tanya HAURYLCHYK in Aswang and Tey CLAMOR in Babae at Baril

Best Production Design – Eero FRANCISCO in Babae at Baril

Best Editing – Fatima BIANCHI & Ann FABINI in Aswang

Best Sound – Jet LEYCO & Bryan GONZALES in For My Alien Friend

Best Film Scoring – Immanuel VERONA in Babae at Baril

ASWANG can now be streamed on the following platforms: AppleTV, Google Play, Amazon Prime Video, FILMSTRIBEN, Anytime, Viaplay, Blockbuster, Comcast, FilmIn.

Watch the trailer here:

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