Written and directed by Raymund Ribay Gutierrez, “Verdict” will be the entry of the Philippines to the International Feature Film category of the 92nd Academy Awards (Oscar Awards). The crime drama film, which was produced by Center Stage Productions and released through Solar Pictures Inc., was selected by the Film Academy of the Philippines.
The category was formerly called Foreign Language Film. The Philippines has yet to win in the category.
The Oscar Awards 2020 will take place at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, California, United States on February 9, 2020. It will be televised in the U.S. by ABC.
Executive produced by Gutierrez’s mentor Brillante Mendoza, “Verdict” stars Max Eigenmann and the late Kristoffer King. Also in the cast are Jorden Suan, Rene Durian, Lourdes Javelosa-Indunan, Vincent Aureus, Stephen Humiwat, Liza Schneider, Sidney Schneider, Dolly De Leon, Dominic Carpio, Apollo Abraham, Perry Dizon, Ryan Sandoval, Star Orjaliza, Matt Daclan, Noel Calinaya, Alice Cabanillas, Joan Pacifico, Eden Solidor, Dr. Donabel Ombao and Dexter Macaraeg.
Before going to the Oscars 2020, “Verdict” was earned several international accolades. In its world premiere, it was the Southeast Asian film included in the Orizzonti (Horizons) section of the 76th Venice International Film Festival, which was held in Venice, Italy from August 28, 2019 to September 7, 2019.
The Special Jury Prize was awarded to “Verdict” in the Horizons section of the 2019 VIFF. From August 30, 2019 to September 2, 2019, the film was screened at the 46th Telluride Film Festival in Berkeley, California.
Marking Gutierrez’s feature film debut, “Verdict” was the only Filipino film in the 44th Toronto International Film Festival in Toronto, Ontario, Canada from September 5-15, 2019. It was included in the Contemporary World Cinema category.
In the Philippines, the film was Graded A by the Cinema Evaluation Board. It made its premiere in the country in the third edition of Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino (Feast of Philippine Films), which ran from September 13-19, 2019, under the Sine Sandaan Showcase.
The Philippines will be represented at the 24th Busan International Film Festival from October 3-12, 2019 in Busan, South Korea. “Verdict” is included in A Window on Asian Cinema while “Mindanao” by Mendoza is under Icons.
The story of “Verdict” revolves around abused and battered wife Joy Santos (Eigenmann). She stands up for justice against her alcoholic husband Dante Santos (King) in a turmoil process of the justice system. Watch the trailer here: