Kalayaan, prolific filmmaker Adolfo Alix Jr.’s brooding tale of soldiers stationed in picturesque Kalayaan islands, tops Pinoy Rebyu’s 2nd Annual Movie Poll, as voted by 20 film bloggers and journalists, while Nora Aunor’s subtle turn as a barren Badjao midwife in Brillante Mendoza’s Thy Womb is the voters’ overwhelming choice for best lead performance, way ahead of second-placer Eddie Garcia (Bwakaw). kalayaan

Kalayaan stars Thai actor Ananda Everingham in the role of a Filipino soldier assigned to man a military outpost in the disputed Spratly Archipelago. The film patiently documents the soldier’s daily routine and his eventual descent into madness.

Aside from best film, Kalayaan topped four more categories: best director (tied with Lav Diaz for the six-hour Florentina Hubaldo, CTE), best cinematography (by Albert Banzon), best musical score/soundtrack (by Teresa Barrozo), and best scene (for its controversial opening night scene that features a mermaid doing a soldier a sexual favor). Another Alix film, Mater Dolorosa, was cited best ensemble (tied with Vincent Sandoval’s Aparisyon).

Kalayaan bested Colossal, Juan Manuel Alcazaren’s audacious experimental debut feature (2nd best film) and Pascalina, Pam Miras’ unconventional aswang film shot with lo-fi cameras (3rd best film). Colossal and Pascalina also tied for best first feature while Alcazaren’s script for Colossal was voted best screenplay.

Art Acuña’s portrayal of a fearsome police chief in Lawrence Fajardo’s Posas was voted best supporting performance, ahead of Nicholas Varela (Aberya) and Annicka Dolonius (Ang Nawawala).

The moving Paco Larrañaga film Give Up Tomorrow was chosen best documentary, and the director of Pinoy Rebyu’s 2011 best short film, Jon Lazam, repeated the feat as his Nang Gabing Maging Sinlaki ng Puso ang Bato ni Darna topped the best short film category.

Click here for the full tally and individual lists.