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Panel of Critics  I  BAKUNAWA FEST  

Bakunawa Fest is the only film festival in the Philippines that verifies a panel of Film Critics to watch its programmed films and hands out citations and critics' awards separate from that of the Jury. The Critics Awards & Citations are independent from the festival and deliberations and meetings are done by the critics' themselves. The festival's only involvement is when critics submit their winners for the festival to design and hand in certificates and the Critics' Bakunawa to the awardees. 



Richard Bolisay was born in Sta. Cruz, Manila, in 1987. As a writer and film critic, he has participated in film festivals in Berlin, Locarno, Hong Kong, Jeonju, Berwick, Edinburgh, Brighton, Cebu, and Manila. He teaches courses on film theory and criticism at the UP Film Institute.

He is the author of Break It to Me Gently: Essays on Filipino Film (2019) and editor of Daang Dokyu: A Festival of Philippine Documentaries (2020), both of which are dedicated to the articulation of issues and histories related to the cinema of the Philippines. His writings span a range of interests such as cinema, music, literature, and popular culture, published in print and online, locally and internationally. He is also the founder of Cine Crítico Filipino, a collective of film critics that aspires to develop the great Filipino audience.



Skilty Labastilla is the Founding President of the Society of Filipino Film Reviewers and a member and former President of the Young Critics Circle. He is also the President of the Ugnayang Pang-Aghamtao, Inc. (Anthropological Association of the Philippines). He teaches in Ateneo de Manila University.

He has taught Anthropology courses in La Trobe University, Ateneo de Manila University, University of the Philippines Diliman, and University of the Philippines Mindanao. He was a grantee of the IPC-Department of Sociology and Anthropology Graduate Degree Program for Southeast Asian Development Practitioners from 2003 to 2006. Apart from film criticism, his other areas of specialization are urban poverty and informal settlements, youth and masculinities, and qualitative research methods.



Jason Tan Liwag is a scientist, actor,, and writer. He is an alumnus of the IFFR Young Critics, FEFF Film Campus, YIDFF Film Criticism Workshop, and the CINELAB Workshops under Richard Bolisay, and has served as as jury member for film festivals locally and internationally. His writing on film, television, and culture has been published in CNN Philippines Life, Rappler, and MUBI Notebook, among others. He is the first Filipino individual member of the International Federation of Film Critics (FIPRESCI).

Apart from writing about film and TV, he also covers science, culture, and LGBTQ+ issues. In 2020, he was declared one of Attitude Magazine’s 101 LGBTQ Trailblazers Changing the World Today for his work in Queer Scientists PH — a visibility campaign telling the stories of queer STEM workers globally.

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