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  • Veteran journalist Alice Reyes is the new first president of the Fili­pino Academy of Movie Arts and Sciences Awards (FAMAS). Reyes garnered the highest number of votes during FAMAS election on May 5 at the Polyte­cyhnic University of the Philip­pines (PUP) campus in Sta. Mesa, Manila. FAMAS is an award-giving body for film composed of Palanca Award-winning writers and movie columnists and writers. Other newly elected officers are: Elvira Gonzales, second pres­ident; Florence Tanagras (secre­tary); Dean Dr. Amalia Rosales (treasurer); Art Tapalla (auditor); Dennis Aguilar (public relations officer).

    Board of directors are com­posed of Domingo Landicho, Apolonio Reyes, Ninoy Sofranes, Willie Villamin, Ner Jerdeliza, Efren Montano, Reynaldo Duque, and Edgar Godin.The FAMAS Awards is one of the four main film awards of the Philippines. It is given by the Fili­pino Academy of Movie Arts and Sciences, an independent award-giving body composed of notable writers and movie columnists.

    The awards are doled out an­nually since 1952, which makes it the oldest film industry award-giving body in the Philippines and in Asia (the oldest in the Kinema Junpo Awards of the Japanese film critics).
    It has consistently changed since its organization in 1952. The awards were designed after the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences of the United States and was originally named Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences of the Philippines before AMPAS protested against the usage of the name AMPAS.

    The word FAMAS was coined by Filipino movie legends Jaime de la Rosa and Rosa Rosal, who decided on naming the Philip­pines’ equivalent to the Oscars as FAME. FAMAS is the Filipino version (not a translation) of the word FAME, so FAMAS was born. The FAMAS Awards formally replaced in 1952 the Manila Times Publishing Co.’s Maria Clara Awards, the first awards in the Philippine movie industry which doled out awards from 1950-1951.

    The FAMAS Awards currently has 18 categories: Picture, Actor, Actress, Supporting Actor, Sup­porting Actress, Child Actor, Child Actress, Director, Story, Screen­play, Cinematography, Produc­tion Design, Music, Theme Song, Sound, Editing, Special Effects and Visual Effects.
    The awards, over the years, has also included such categories as Original Work (equivalent to the Oscars’ Original Screenplay cat­egory) Featurette and Short Film, but nonetheless has disappeared from the modern awards.

    Each category is awarded a FAMAS statuette: a gold woman in Balintawak (the Philippines’ na­tional costume for women) hold­ing a four-spoke film reel over her head. The awards is also famous for its numerous special awards, namely Atty. Flavio G. Macaso Memorial Award (given in honor of FAMAS’ first president), Lou Salvador Memorial Award, Ger­man Moreno Youth Achievement Award, Dr. Jose Perez Memorial Award (awarded to press people, talent managers and movie col­umnists).

    Other special awards include the Lifetime Achievement Award, Presidential Award, Hall of Fame (awarded to people who have received 5 FAMAS Awards in a certain category), Circle of Excel­lence (awarded to Hall of Famers who achieved a merit worthy of a FAMAS statuette in a certain cat­egory), Huwarang Bituin ng FAMAS (Model Actor/Actress of FAMAS) and Golden Artist Award (given to celebrities who have achieved international recognition).

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