Drug war documentary ‘Aswang’ wins Best Picture at 2020 FAMAS

It is the first documentary to win the award in nearly 70 years

Filipino documentary Aswang won Best Picture at the 2020 Filipino Academy of Movie Arts and Sciences Awards (FAMAS). It’s the first time a documentary won the award in 68 years.

On Sunday (December 20), the documentary was awarded the ceremony’s biggest trophy, beating contenders such as Rae Red’s Babae At Baril, Jun Robles Lana’s Kalel 15 and Glenn Barit’s Cleaners.

In a Facebook post celebrating the win, director Alyx Arumpac thanked the people she worked with on the documentary and FAMAS for the recognition. “I am so proud to have worked with the best and most wonderful people on this film. Also very grateful to the people who shared their lives and stories to us.”


“With so many excellent films nominated, I recognise that giving the award to a film like Aswang is a statement in itself from FAMAS and the Philippine film community, a firm stand on everything that is happening in our country,” she wrote.

Aswang also took home the awards for Best Documentary, Best Cinematography and Best Editing.

Read Arumpac’s full post below.

Aswang just won Best Picture, Best Documentary, Best Cinematography, and Best Editing at FAMAS 2020. It’s the first time…

Posted by Alyx Arumpac on Sunday, December 20, 2020

Released in 2019, Aswang focuses on the presidency of Rodrigo Duterte in 2016 and the Philippines drug war which led to the deaths of thousands of citizens.

Last year, the documentary won the International Film Critics’ FIPRESCI award in Amsterdam. It later clinched the Grand Prize at the 2020 Montreal International Documentary Festival in the International Feature Competition.


In July, Aswang was streamed for free for a limited time on the film’s official website and Facebook page.

Other big winners at the 2020 FAMAS included Janine Gutierrez, who won Best Actress for her performance in Babae at Baril. Meanwhile, Elijah Canlas and Kristoffer King were both awarded Best Actor for their roles in Kalel 15 and Verdict, respectively.

Actress Angel Locsin took home the Fernando Poe Jr. Memorial Award, while screenwriter Ricky Lee, filmmaker Rox Lee and singer-actress Armida Siguion-Reyna received the FAMAS Lifetime Achievement Award.