Oscars: Philippines Selects 'Birdshot' for Foreign-Language Category

Pelikula RED

The thriller, directed by 24-year-old Mikhail Red, follows a young girl who accidentally shoots a rare Philippine eagle.

The Philippines has chosen 24-year-old filmmaker Mikhail Red's Birdshot as its contender for consideration in the best foreign-language film category at the 2018 Oscars.

Equal parts coming-of-age drama and thriller, the film follows the story of young girl who accidentally shoots an endangered Philippine eagle. The film premiered last year at the Tokyo International Film Festival, where it won best film in the Asian Future section. It was later selected for the Ingmar Bergman International Debut Award at the Goteborg Film Festival.

The Film Academy of the Philippines' official Oscar selection committee announced its choice Tuesday. The organization said its vote was initially a tie between Birdshot and Baby Ruth Villarama's Sunday Beauty Queen, a documentary about expatriate Filipino domestic workers in Hong Kong. The group's chairman, Jose N. Carreon, then cast the tie-breaking vote, tipping the balance toward Birdshot.

Birdshot stars Mary Joy Apostol, Arnold Reyes, John Arcilla and Ku Aquino. Mikhail Red co-wrote the screenplay with his cousin Rae Red. Mikhail Red also co-edited the film with Jay Halili. Birdshot was produced by PelikulaRED, Tuko Film Production and Buchi Boy Production. 

No Filipino film has ever made the Academy's shortlist in the best foreign-language film category.