The Film Academy of the Philippines has selected BWAKAW as the country’s entry to the best foreign-language film category of the Academy Awards.

The film, which opened in the Philippines on September 5, beat seven other contenders that were reviewed by the special committee of the Philippines’ film academy.

The other seven films included Jose Javier Reyes’ Mga Mumunting Lihim, Brillante Mendoza’s Captive, Manila Kingpin: The Asiong Salonga Story, Auraeus Solito’s Busong, John-D Lazatin’s A Mother’s Story, Ron Morales’ Graceland and Joyce Bernal’s Segunda Mano.

Directed by Jun Robles Lana, BWAKAW recently won best actor, the Netpac Award and the Audience Choice Award at the Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival. The film received its international premiere in Toronto’s Contemporary World Cinema Section. Fortissimo Films is handling international sales.

Several years in the making, the film stars local icon Eddie Garcia as a grumpy aging gay man, living alone with a stray dog, who has only come out recently while in his 70s. He is forced to seek the help of others when the dog falls ill.