MANILA, Philippines - National Artist for Film Ishmael Bernal?s ?Himala? is the only Filipino movie to make it in the Top 10 of a poll for the Best Asian Film conducted by Cable News Network (CNN).
Released in 1982, the Nora Aunor-starrer is nominated along with other landmark works like the Japanese animated flick ?Spirited Away,? the Hong Kong action hit ?Infernal Affairs? and the Australian war epic ?Gallipoli.?
Also in the short list are acclaimed modern classics like Wong Kar Wai?s ?Chungking Express? (China), Akira Kurosawa?s ?The Seven Samurai? (Japan), Ang Lee?s ?Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon? (China), Satyajit Ray?s ?Pather Panchali? (India), Chan-wook Park?s ?Old Boy? (South Korea) and Mohsen Makhmalbaf?s ?Gabbeh? (Iran).
According to the CNN web site, the finalists were chosen by ?critics, industry insiders and actors?including Bollywood stars Amitabh Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai.?
Online voting winds up on Oct. 31 and the winner of the Viewers? Choice Award will be announced on Nov. 11 at the Asia Pacific Screen Awards in Australia.
To vote, visit: http://edition.cnn.com/2008/SHOWBIZ/Movies/10/14/apsa.vote/#cnnSTCOther1
?Himala,? which tells the story of a provincial lass (Aunor) who becomes a faith healer after an apparition from the Virgin Mary, was cited by the CNN web site for its ?austere camera work, haunting score and accomplished performances that sensitively portray the harsh social and cultural conditions that people in the third world endure.? Bayani San Diego Jr.