Filmmaker Tikoy Aguiluz, 72

Filmmaker Tikoy Aguiluz, 72

TIKOY Aguiluz, the multi-awarded director best known for Segurista (1996) and Rizal sa Dapitan (1997), died on Feb. 19. He was 72. The Aguiluz family confirmed his passing on social media.

“With heavy hearts, we announce the peaceful passing of our beloved Amable ‘Tikoy’ Aguiluz VI or Direk Tikoy to most of us. While we grieve this loss deeply, we kindly ask for your understanding as we choose to mourn in private for the time being,” the statement read.

The family said that a public memorial service will be held. “We assure you that once we are ready, we will share details about the public service where all who knew and loved Direk Tikoy can join us in paying tribute and saying our final goodbyes.”

The details of his death have not been made public.

A leading figure in Philippine alternative cinema, he was a director, producer, screenwriter, and cinematographer. His best-known work is arguably Segurista, which garnered multiple awards at the Gawad Urian in 1996, including Best Director, Best Picture, Best Screenplay, Best Editing, Best Production Design, and Best Supporting Actor for Albert Martinez. The film was the Philippines’ official entry for the Academy Awards’ Best Foreign-Language Film category that year.

He first made his mark in 1976 with the 15-minute documentary Mt. Banahaw, Holy Mountain, which chronicled the Rizal cult on film. His first full-length feature was the erotic thriller Boatman (1984), and one of his best works was the docudrama Bagong Bayani (1995), a retelling of the story of ill-fated overseas Filipino worker Flor Contemplacion.

Mr. Aguiluz also garnered acclaim for historical biopic Rizal sa Dapitan (1997), which secured the Grand Jury Prize at the Brussels International Film Festival. In 2011, he received the Best Director Award at the Metro Manila Film Festival for Manila Kingpin: The Asiong Salonga Story.

BusinessWorld film critic Noel Vera wrote this of Aguiluz’ work: “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….

“I think in his role as not just filmmaker but festival director and all-around champion of Philippine cinema he made a difference.”

Mr. Aguiluz founded the Cinemanila International Film Festival in 1999 and served as a patron to many young filmmakers over the years. He also served as juror in several film festivals, never wavering in his support of Philippine cinema. In 2003, the French government bestowed on him the Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Arts et Lettres (Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters).

Amable “Tikoy” Aguiluz VI was born on Sept. 23, 1952.

“Direk Tikoy is a visionary, a maverick, and a true champion of Philippine cinema,” said the Directors’ Guild of the Philippines, Inc., in a Facebook post. “Our prayers and thoughts are with his family and friends.”

Director Raymond Red called Aguiluz a “true maverick filmmaker, and patron to many young upcoming independent filmmakers through the decades. You will not be forgotten.” — Brontë H. Lacsamana