GMA Network Dominates Philippine Finalists In 2018 New York Festivals

GMA Network once again leads the country’s contingent in the 2018 New York Festivals “World’s Best TV and Films” Competition with 12 shortlisted entries out of the 17 contenders from the Philippines, including a nomination for Jessica Soho—the only Filipino broadcast journalist who made it to the list.

Soho, GMA News pillar and a Peabody-awardee, has been nominated for the Best News Anchor category. Her program, GMA News TV’s flagship newscast State of the Nation with Jessica Soho, meanwhile, was shortlisted for Best Newscast for its “Marawi Liberation: War is Over” coverage. The said newscast documented the liberation of Marawi City after monthslong siege of the city by pro-Islamic State group militants.

“Alaala: A Martial Law Special” earned a spot among this year’s finalists for the Docudrama category. The special, which aired in commemoration of the 45th anniversary of President Marcos’ declaration of Martial Law, featured the journey of activist and award-winning screenwriter Bonifacio Ilagan as portrayed by Kapuso actor Alden Richards.

I-Witness, the country’s longest-running documentary program, received two nominations this year. One for Kara David’s “Sundalong Aso (Soldiers with Paws)” for the Human Concerns category and another for Atom Araullo’s “Silang Kinalimutan (The Forgotten)” for the International Affairs category. Sundalong Aso shed light on the life of MWDs or military working dogs of the Philippine Army K9 Battalion after these dogs retire from service. Silang Kinalimutan, on the other hand, featured the story of the Rohingya people who had to flee to neighboring Bangladesh after the Myanmar government denied them citizenship.

Documentary program Front Row, meanwhile, was nominated in the Best Public Affairs Program category for its episode “Batang Bomba (Bomb Pickers)”, which is about Aeta children who pick up bomb fragments to earn money.

Investigative program Reporter’s Notebook is aiming for a win as well in the Community Portraits category for its report “Yapak sa Pusod ng Dagat (Footsteps on the Bed)”. The episode saw the story of Filipinos who risk their lives diving into the ocean without proper equipment in the hope of mining gold that they could sell.

Meanwhile, GMA News TV’s Reel Time gave the country two more nominations: one in the Human Concerns category via its “Gutom (Starved)” episode and another in the Health/Medical Information category for “Hawla (The Untold Story of the Village Monster)”. Gutom zeroed in on the story of two-year-old Roel—who, because of extreme malnourishment, could not walk, much less crawl at his age. Hawla, meanwhile, featured the story of Nene, a woman kept in a cage because of her psychological condition.

Another GMA News TV program, Brigada, was shortlisted in the Current Affairs category for its report on “Combat Camera Team”, which details the operation of Philippine Army’s Scout Ranger Batallion in Marawi City using combat cameras.

Two projects from the Network’s Program Support Department also made it to the list of finalists this year: “Kulayan Natin ang Summer (Colorful Summer)” in the Art Direction: Promotion/Open and IDs category and “EDSA 31st Anniversary Spot” in the Graphic Design: Promotion/Open and IDs category.