Flowers-penned film gets BAFTA nod

A movie written by Cayman filmmaker Frank E. Flowers has been nominated for a prestigious film award in the United Kingdom. 

“Metro Manila,” co-written by Mr. Flowers and directed by Briton Sean Ellis, is in the running for the category Best Film Not in the English Language in the EE 2014 British Academy of Film and Television Arts awards, known as the BAFTAs – considered the U.K. equivalent to the Oscars. 

“Metro Manila,” a Tagalog-language film, was shot on location in the Philippines, with a Filipino cast. 

The thriller follows the story of Oscar Ramirez, played by Jake Macapagal, and his family – a wife and two small daughters – who leave the poverty-stricken countryside for a better life in Manila. The film portrays the desperation of life in the slums of the Philippines capital. 

The movie premiered at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival in late January, 2013, where it won the coveted World Cinema Audience Award.  

Speaking to the Caymanian Weekender following the success at Sundance last year, Mr. Flowers said his friend and colleague Mr. Ellis had been inspired by his travels to the Philippines to create a movie set there. 

“When we originally spoke about the concept, it really sparked my interest because I have heard so many stories about Manila from people in Cayman,” Mr. Flowers said. “The script was written in English, and the actors translated it into Tagalog for filming.”  

Other movies nominated in the same category are: “The Act of Killing,” “Blue is the Warmest Color,” “The Great Beauty,” and “Wadjda.” 

“Metro Manila” also won Best Independent Film at the 2013 British Independent Film Awards, and on the movie rating site rottentomatoes.com, it has received a 100 percent rating. 

Among Mr. Flowers’s earlier work are the shorts “Swallow” (2003) and “Kaylien” (2011), starring Bradley Cooper, and 2004’s Cayman Islands-set film “Haven,” starring Orlando Bloom and Zoe Saldana, all of which he wrote. He also directed “Haven” and “Swallow.”  

The filmmaker is the son of local businessman Frank Flowers. 

The BAFTA Awards will be held Sunday, Feb. 16, at London’s Royal Opera House and will be aired on BBC television.

Read our Key to Cayman story: Frankie a Cayman celebrity

frank collage

Frank E. Flowers’s film “Metro Manila”, which he co-wrote, has been nominated for a BAFTA award.
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