Acclaimed film director Tikoy Aguiluz passes away


Highly acclaimed film director Amable “Tikoy” R. Aguiluz VI has died according to his daughter Anima Aguiluz Slangen. Born in 1952, Aguiluz has been credited as one of the co-founders of the UP Film Center (now the UP Film Institute). A leading figure in Alternative Cinema, Aguiluz founded the Cinemanila International Film Festival in 1999. His first full-length movie, The Boatman (1984) is a highly acclaimed erotic thriller produced under the Experimental Cinema of the Philippines established in the early 80s. The film starred Ronnie Lazaro and Sarsi Emmanuel

Aguiluz helmed the docudrama Bagong Bayani in 1995, written by Pete Lacaba, which details the case of Flor Contemplacion, the domestic helper who was sentenced to be hanged by the Singaporean government for the murder of another Filipina worker, with many Filipinos doubting her guilt.

Segurista (1996), his film about an insurance salesgirl by day and an escort by night, won seven Gawad Urian Awards, including Best Director and Best Picture. It was also the Philippine entry to the Oscar’s foreign film category. Rizal sa Dapitan (1997), depicted the national hero during his four years in exile, won 12 awards at the Manila Film Festival including the Rajah Sulayman Award for Best Picture.

Film Critic Noel Vera wrote on Facebook his tribute to Aguiluz: “Each was a well crafted work that had something to say about the Filipino, at that point in time and in this corner of the world… in his role as not just filmmaker but festival director and all-around champion of Philippine cinema he made a difference.”

In 2003, the French government awarded Aguiluz the Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres prize for his contributions to Philippine cinema.

He leaves behind his wife Minky and daughter Anima.