Gawad Urian Award

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The Gawad Urian Awards are annual film awards in the Philippines held since 1977. It is given by the Manunuri ng Pelikulang Pilipino (MPP, "the Filipino Film Critics") and is currently regarded as the counterpart of the United States' New York Film Critics Circle.

Gawad Urian Awards
Current: 43rd Gawad Urian Awards
Awarded forOutstanding achievements in Filipino cinema
Presented byManunuri ng Pelikulang Pilipino
First awarded1977


The MPP was formed by a host of scholars, film writers and other award-winning writers on May 1, 1976 as a critics' voice to rival the then-only award-giving body in the Philippines, which is its Oscars', the FAMAS Awards. Three years earlier, what would be the members of the MPP were included in the judges' roster of the FAMAS after a shocking 1972 Best Actress tie materialized between major star Boots Anson-Roa and then-rising star Vilma Santos. A tie was unheard of at that time, which resulted in accusations of lessening prestige on the part of FAMAS. After a voting stint at the FAMAS, these future MPP members set up the Gawad Urian Awards.


The members of the MPP who judge the annual Gawad Urian are:

  • Rolando Tolentino, president of MPP
  • Grace Javier Alfonso
  • Butch Francisco
  • Mario Hernando
  • Bienvenido Lumbera
  • Miguel Rapatan
  • Benilda Santos
  • Dr. Nicanor Tiongson
  • Tito Genova Valiente
  • Lito Zulueta


The Gawad Urian Awards were established to, in Tagalog, "suriin ang mga pelikulang Pilipino, pasiglahin ang diyalogo ng mga manonood at ng industriya ng pelikula, pag-aralan ang mga tunguhing makapagpapahusay sa pelikula, at linangin ang kaalaman sa tungkulin ng pelikula bilang medyum ng ekspresyon at komunikasyon, ayon sa mga kondisyon ng paggawa ng pelikula sa ating bayan (examine Filipino films, bolster the interest of the masses and the Philippine film industry, study and celebrate the achievement that will help define the good Filipino film, and cultivate the knowledge and skills that the film medium was designed for, which is to be a medium of communication and expression of our culture according to the standards and conditions of filmmaking in our country)."

The MPP chose the name "Gawad Urian" from Tagalog terms urian (a standard for gold) and gawad (award) for its awards. It is the only major award-giving body in the Philippines (the others being the FAMAS Awards, the Luna Awards and the Star Awards for Movies) to use the vernacular in awards shows and in the presentation of the awards.

The Gawad Urian is given in twelve categories and have been annually awarded since 1977. In 1988, the awards for the films of 1987 were not held because the MPP deemed that there was a "lack of deserving winners," which was a first in Filipino awards history. The fourteen categories of the awards, named in Tagalog, are the following:

Legendary movie and box-office queen Vilma Santos is Gawad Urian's most decorated thespian. She won awards in the Best Actress, Aktress ng Dekada, and Natatanging Gawad Urian categories as well as a producer for 1978's Best Film Pagputi ng Uwak Pag-itim ng Tagak. She won Best Actress three years in a row: Relasyon (1982), Broken Marriage (1983) and Sister Stella L. (1984).
  • Pinakamahusay na Pelikula (Best Film)
  • Pinakamahusay na Direksyon (Best Direction)
  • Pinakamahusay na Pangunahing Aktor (Best Actor)
  • Pinakamahusay na Pangunahing Aktres (Best Actress)
  • Pinakamahusay na Pangalawang Aktor (Best Supporting Actor)
  • Pinakamahusay na Pangalawang Aktres (Best Supporting Actress)
  • Pinakamahusay na Dulang Pampelikula (Best Screenplay)
  • Pinakamahusay na Sinematograpiya (Best Cinematography)
  • Pinakamahusay na Disenyong Pamproduksyon (Best Production Design)
  • Pinakamahusay na Editing (Best Editing)
  • Pinakamahusay na Musika (Best Music)
  • Pinakamahusay na Tunog (Best Sound)
  • Pinakamahusay na Maikling Pelikula (Best Short Film)
  • Pinakamahusay na Dokyumentaryo (Best Documentary)

The Gawad Urian also awards the Natatanging Gawad Urian (Gawad Urian Lifetime Achievement Award) to a film artisan whose contributions have helped shape the Filipino film industry.

The Mga Natatanging Aktor at Aktres ng Dekada (Best Actors and Actresses of the Decade) are given every first year of the decade to actor/s and actress/es who had made outstanding works in the past decade. Recipients of the award are:

In 1992, the Gawad Urian gave the Ginintuang Gawad Urian (the Golden Urian Award) to Mike de Leon. It would be the first and the last time that the MPP would give out the award.

Criteria and qualityEdit

The Gawad Urian is one of the most prestigious film award-giving bodies in the Philippines. For the thirty years that the MPP has existed, it has not been tainted with any accusations of vote buying or scandals that tainted most of its counterparts in the Philippines. This distinction made the Gawad Urian a highly coveted award in the Philippine film industry that is only given to the most deserved winners.

The Gawad Urian is also known for its infamous ties. At a time when the Filipino award-giving bodies were adamant about awarding ties after the FAMAS rock-up in 1972, the Gawad Urian has given ties in the Best Film category (3 ties), Best Screenplay category (1), Best Actress category (6) and Best Supporting Actress category (2), a dozen ties all in all.

The Gawad Urian is known for awarding several lesser-known films produced by small independent production companies. In 2004, Ebolusyon ng Isang Pamilyang Pilipino, a landmark Filipino drama, was awarded Pinakamahusay na Pelikula (Best Film) by Gawad Urian, while it did not receive a single nomination from any award-giving body that year.

In 2006, the Gawad Urian became the first award-giving body in the Philippine to welcome digital films into competition. Its nominees were swamped with achievement from digital films that year, which prompted the other award-giving bodies to include digital films in its roster of nominations the next year.

Best Films of the Decade (Mga Natatanging Pelikula ng Dekada)Edit

Decade Film Director
1970s Pagdating sa Dulo (1971) Ishmael Bernal
Tinimbang Ka Ngunit Kulang (1974) Lino Brocka
Maynila: Sa mga Kuko ng Liwanag (1975)
Ganito Kami Noon, Paano Kayo Ngayon (1976) Eddie Romero
Insiang (1976) Lino Brocka
Itim (1976) Mike de Leon
Nunal sa Tubig (1976) Ishmael Bernal
Sakada (1976) Behn Cervantes
Pagputi ng Uwak, Pag-itim ng Tagak (1978) Celso Ad. Castillo
Jaguar (1979) Lino Brocka
1980s City After Dark (1980) Ishmael Bernal
Kisapmata (1981) Mike de Leon
Batch '81 (1982)
Himala (1982) Ishmael Bernal
Oro, Plata, Mata (1982) Peque Gallaga
Karnal (1983) Marilou Diaz-Abaya
Bayan Ko: Kapit sa Patalim (1984) Lino Brocka
Sister Stella L. (1984) Mike de Leon
Hinugot sa Langit (1985) Ishmael Bernal
Orapronobis (1989) Lino Brocka
1990s Gumapang Ka Sa Lusak (1990)
The Fatima Buen Story (1994) Mario O'Hara
Wating (1994) Ishmael Bernal
The Flor Contemplacion Story (1995) Joel Lamangan
Milagros (1997) Marilou Diaz-Abaya
Bata, Bata... Paano Ka Ginawa? (1998) Chito Roño
Jose Rizal (1998) Marilou Diaz-Abaya
Bayaning 3rd World (1999) Mike de Leon
Pila-balde (1999) Jeffrey Jeturian
2000s Batang West Side (2001) Lav Diaz
Tuhog (2001) Jeffrey Jeturian
Babae sa Breakwater (2003) Mario O'Hara
Magnifico (2003) Maryo J. de los Reyes
Ebolusyon ng Isang Pamilyang Pilipino (2004) Lav Diaz
Ang Pagdadalaga ni Maximo Oliveros (2005) Auraeus Solito
Kubrador (2006) Jeffrey Jeturian
Serbis (2008) Brillante Mendoza
Kinatay (2009)
Lola (2009)


External linksEdit