The Young Critics Circle - Film Desk is a society of film critics and an award-giving body for cinema in the Philippines. It was established in 1990 and had its first awarding in 1991.
In 1990, a group of young reviewers and critics decided to form a body that aimed to evaluate works of art in various disciplines (film, theater, music, literature, visual arts and broadcast arts). Founding members include Mike Feria, Joy Barrios, Jojo Buenconsejo, Eric Caruncho, Melissa Contreras, Jaime Daroy, Joel David, Gin de Mesa, Patrick Flores, Francine Medina, Charlson Ong, Mozart Pastrano, Danilo Reyes, and Antonio Tinio. Each member specialized on one or more disciplines or “desks”. At present, only the Film Desk is existing.
The Film Desk of the Young Critics Circle (YCC) first gave its annual citations in film achievement in 1991, a year after the YCC was organized. In their Declaration of Principles, the members expressed the belief that cultural texts always call for active readings, “interactions” in fact among different readers who have the “unique capacities to discern, to interpret, and to reflect… evolving a dynamic discourse in which the text provokes the most imaginative ideas of our time.”
The Film Desk has committed itself to the discussion of film in the various arenas of academe and media, with the hope of fostering an alternative and emergent articulation of film critical practice, even within the severely debilitating culture of “awards.”
The members of the YCC who review Filipino films and choose the winners of the annual YCC Citations are members of the academe coming from various disciplines, such art studies, literary studies, creative writing, anthropology, communication, philosophy, visual arts, Philippine studies, film studies, and history. Active members are:Aristotle Atienza, president of YCC (2015-2016)
Patrick D. Flores
Tessa Maria Guazon
J. Pilapil Jacobo
Nonoy L. Lauzon
JPaul S. Manzanilla
Jema M. Pamintuan
Jaime Oscar M. Salazar.
YCC draws its selection from both regular and non-regular releases comprising the entirety of annual Philippine cinema output. Films considered for discussion are those that had at least two screenings before a paying or non-paying audience in any public venue. The group first comes up with a long list, where each film on the list is discussed as to its merits and demerits. The list is further narrowed down to a shortlist of any number. Only short-listed films earn the privilege to be nominated for any of the six categories that are handed out each year. YCC does not confer nominations on artistic or technical merit if the film does not qualify in the short list.
The six awards handed out since 1990 are:Best Film
Best Achievement in Editing
Best Achievement in Cinematography and Visual Design
Best Achievement in Sound and Aural Orchestration.
In 2013, the group added a new category, Best First Feature, to be given to filmmakers who directed the three best debut feature films of the year.
The Young Critics Circle Award for Best Film is awarded to honor the best Filipino film of the year. Per YCC criteria, the award for Best Film "refers to vision and direction that pay sensitive and keen attention to both the language of cinema ('presentation') and social reality ('representation'), in the process refunctioning the possibilities of film as progressive art and popular culture. The Best Film citation is awarded to the Director not so much because he or she is the auteur or the central intelligence of the film, but because his or her work lies at the conjuncture which coordinates filmmaking."
Since there is only one award given for performance (whether male or female, lead or supporting, individual or ensemble), the YCC Best Performance Award is highly coveted in the Philippine film industry. Since the first awarding in 1991, Nora Aunor has the most nominations with eleven, and the most wins with five.
Aunor has been nominated for:Andrea, Paano Ba ang Maging Isang Ina? (1990)
Ang Totoong Buhay ni Pacita M. (1991)
The Flor Contemplacion Story (1995)
Muling Umawit ang Puso (1995)
Bakit May Kahapon Pa? (1996)
Thy Womb (2012)
Ang Kwento Ni Mabuti (2013)
Tuos (2016) (double nomination: single performance / Duo)
She won for Andrea, Paano Ba ang Maging Isang Ina?, Ang Totoong Buhay ni Pacita M., Inay, The Flor Contemplacion Story, and Thy Womb.
The Best Screenplay Award has been won by Jose Javier Reyes five times, Lualhati Bautista and Ralston Jover thrice, and Mario O'Hara and Armando Lao twice.