Filipino Maids: Slaves in the Middle East?

All the dollar remittances that Filipina OFWs send back to the Philippines cannot justify the extreme hardship they suffer at the hands of their employers in the Middle East.

A few years ago, the nonprofit organization Human Rights Watch interviewed 99 domestic workers based in the United Arab Emirates, which is home to an estimated 146,000 domestic workers. Most reported working long hours of unpaid overtime—sometimes up to 21 hours per day—and many said that their wages had been withheld. Others had been confined to their employers’ houses, or deprived of food or rest. 24 reported physical or sexual abuse.

Maids being abused seems to be the norm in all of the middle east.

“I was 33 when I started work in Jeddah [a Saudi port city] for the first time,” says Norhana Abu, a Filipina woman who left her hometown of Manila to find work abroad. “My husband didn’t have a good job, there is job sometimes and sometimes no [sic], and I wanted to have money to send my children to school,” she explains.

Her first employer, a 60-year-old housewife, was “very nice.” But Abu’s troubles began when her boss’ physiotherapist asked if she could borrow Abu, because she was pregnant and needed help around the house.

“The physiotherapist, she lock me in the house [sic],” Abu says. “If I wanted to send money to my children she go with me, I want to cut my hair she go with me, I want to buy something for myself she go with me.”

Abu says that she suffered severe eczema as a result of doing household chores, like laundry and dishwashing, around the clock. “Even when I bathed myself, I had to use gloves because there was a lot of blood from my irritated hands,” she says. “No rest, no sleep, no day off.” After she was returned to her original employer, Abu ran away while on a trip to London with the family and has since been living an independent life.

Many attribute the treatment these workers face to the Kafala system, which exists in rich Arab Gulf states such as Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Kuwait. It ties the worker to their employer in a visa sponsorship system that means that they can only switch jobs with their employer’s permission. This often allows the employers to feel like they have complete control over the maid and will not be reprimanded for however they choose to treat them.

Unfortunately, the law is not usually on the side of domestic workers. The International Labour Organization (ILO), a specialized agency of the United Nations, found that almost 30 percent of the world’s domestic workers work in countries where they are completely excluded from national labor laws. It means that these women often have no protections like weekly rest days, minimum wage, overtime, and limits on hours of work.


Upon arrival, passports are also often confiscated in an attempt to prevent the workers from running away. While this is often illegal elsewhere, authorities in many Arab countries will barely bat an eyelid at what has become common practice. Indeed, if the workers were to run away they would be liable for arrest and deportation, regardless of whatever atrocities they may be running away from. 


“Many employers actually lock their homes so they are literally escaping—climbing out of windows and so on, risking their lives… Some of them get seriously hurt trying to do this but if they manage and they’re found on the street, they’ll get arrested,” explains Rothna Begum, a women’s rights researcher for Human Rights Watch. “If they turn up at a police station to complain about abuse, they’re likely to get arrested instead [of their employers]. The presumption is always to arrest the domestic worker.”

In many cases, even their own embassies can’t help them. “The only thing you can really do when you escape is try and get to your embassy as quickly and safely as possible, but only some will shelter you,” says Begum. “Many either don’t exist as there is no embassy in the country, or often they’ll say come back tomorrow, but for many people they literally have nowhere else to go.”

In a survey of United Arab Emirates domestic workers, interviewees said that it was not worth running away or going to the authorities for help, as their employers would be able to bribe the police or embassy. In many Arab countries, patriarchy, sexism, and entitlement make for cultures that resemble an elite men’s club. Social power comes down to wasta, the Arabic word for “connections” or “clout”—and foreign workers often have very little wasta indeed.

“I did not receive my salary for nine months but I couldn’t say anything. When my visa expired my employer brought me to the police station and accused me of something I didn’t do,” says Mirasol Zamora, a Filipina who worked as a housekeeper in Kuwait. “I tried to complain about her [my employer] abusing me and not paying my salary but they didn’t listen and I was put in jail for six months, after which I was deported. I never received my salary or my justice.”

But the root of the issue lies far beyond just the law. Sherifa Zuhur, a visiting scholar at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at the University of California argues that “there is a culture of slavery in Saudi Arabia and in many Arab countries… it is a culture of owning people, from one’s own children and female family members to employees.”

“Culture of slavery” may be strong words to use, but Arab society is one built on patriarchy, obedience, and delegation. As an Egyptian-born and London-raised woman, it’s something I have experienced myself. Despite growing up in a very liberal family, I am no stranger to the customs and ideologies that dictate that men reign supreme. The influence men have over women is apparent in the way in which daughters, regardless of their age, often have limited freedoms. Many of my twenty-something-year-old Arab girlfriends still have enforced curfews and are made to report back to their brothers or fathers ahead of every decision. One 28-year-old Saudi-born friend doesn’t even have keys to her own family house in London—she has to ring the bell to be let in, alerting her family to her whereabouts at all times.

In turn, wives delegate to the domestic workers like Norhana Abu and Mirasol Zamora, who are everywhere. Indeed, everything is readily available and accessible in the Arab world — even McDonalds, pharmacies and corner shops deliver straight to your door, facilitating the belief that everything can and should be done for you. “To some extent I believe the availability of services creates the idea that everything should be done for us,” Maalim agrees. “It’s that mentality of ‘if someone can do it for me, why should I?’ I think that logic makes it easy for many to view maids, cooks, cleaners, drivers and etc as merely a ‘service’ as opposed to human beings.”

– mostly culled from an article by Alya Mooro


Like your “pers lab”… there are certain tastes that you never forget


For sure, there is one soulful kiss forever etched in your mind.

The time and day it took place are stamped on your lips. Along with the name of the special person who made it possible.

And there are certain “tastes” that were so good, you never forget the first time you enjoyed them.

Let me share my list while you try and recall yours.

1. Spam. I was around 7 years old and my whole family came to visit our newly born sister at Clinica Lopez (a cozy, little maternity hospital on Pennsylvania  St., Paco — a street renamed Leon Guinto). We hadn’t taken breakfast yet so my brother was tasked to buy food at the corner Chinese sari sari store on Herran. He came back with piping-hot pan de sals stuffed with strange, rectangular-shaped 1/4 inch-thick pieces of grilled meat. My first bite into my sandwich was sheer delight… a taste sensation never experienced before. An alien taste but such a wonderful one.spam

2. Kimchi. I was a 19-year old adman always “game” to discover new hotspots in the Makati area. I found myself inside a Korean restaurant but was at a loss as to what to order. The owner, a kind and motherly Korean lady, came to the rescue and explained what to expect from several dishes on the menu. She also asked the waiter to bring me some appetizers (all free) to enjoy while I made up my mind. My first taste of kimchi felt strange, but became pleasant with each additional mouthful. Little did I know then that the motherly Korean lady would someday become my mother-in-law.kimchi

3. Nasi Goreng. I became addicted to this Indonesian specialty in Kuala Lumpur. It was 10 AM and my band mates and I had just come from a photosession near the place where we nightly perform – the Regent of Kuala Lumpur. Tired of nothing but hotel food, we decided to try something new. We passed a small alley and were attracted like magnet to the spicy,  overwhelming smell of something being cooked on a kwok. We ended up in a hole-in-the-wall restaurant owned by an Indonesian Chinese. That Nasi Goreng that lucky day has never ever been forgotten since.nasi.jpg

4. Durian. Growing up, I hated the fruit with passion because of the pungent smell and its sticky, messy look when being consumed. Little did I know that I would see much, much more of the fruit when I became an expat adman in Kuala Lumpur. One day, my wife’s parents and her sister came to visit us in Malaysia. After a day of blitz shopping, I found them in my porch enjoying their prized “refrigerated” durian. They wanted me to try it… I said “no thanks”. But after much prodding, I gave it a try… and found out for myself – what my Malaysian officemates have known all their lives – that durian is indeed a taste of… HEAVEN.  Durian

5. Mamou Steak. I spent much of my youth thinking that a plate of steak is something you smother with gravy and worcestershire sauce and/or Tabasco. At least, that’s how I enjoyed it in places like Alfredo’s and Mario’s in Manila, and Black Angus in Los Angeles. Until one fateful day: I had been hospitalized for nearly two weeks and was starving. Hospital food had totally killed my appetite and my desire to eat. My kind sisters came to visit and asked what treat they can bring me. I told them that I had read about a new steak joint that has mastered the steak preparation of a famous steakhouse in Brooklyn.

And that glorious, tender, tasty steak has become my default choice when I’m in the mood to give myself an extra-special treat.


I cannot end this piece without sharing with you the one taste that has haunted me all these years. Haunted me to the point of near obsession.

In the 70s, on Yakal St. (or was it Malugay?), Makati was a small cafe called YumYum Kitchen. There were around four tables and a long counter.

The place was always full.

The cafe’s specialty was what they called YumYum Sausage served with YumYum rice.

The sausage was a kikiam-like creation (but not quite) with a crunchy, crispy outside and a savory, perfectly marinated inside. This was best enjoyed with their special rice and their hot sauce – which had more punch than our present day Tabasco.

To this day, I can still relish that special of specials… and would gladly pay an arm and a leg to experience it one more time.yum

Princess Diana shares her “unhappiness”

1. They All Had Mistresses: In the tapes, Diana says that when she confronted Prince Charles about why Camilla Parker Bowles was a part of his life, Diana said he replied, “Well, I refuse to be the only Prince of Wales who never had a mistress.”

2. Virtually No Sex: When asked about her sexual relationship with her husband, Diana said at first, “Once every three weeks then it fizzled out about seven years ago, six years ago.”

3. Love With Another: Diana confessed to her voice coach that she fell in love with her married police protection officer Barry Mannakee, but said that the relationship was not sexual.

4. Flight of Fancy: Diana revealed that while the nature of their relationship was not sexual, she consider fleeing the royal household to be with Mannakee.

5. Because Dad Said So: In the tapes, the princess claimed the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Philip, had told him that he could have an affair with Camilla if his marriage failed.

She says, “My father-in-law said to my husband ‘if your marriage doesn’t work out, you can always go back to her after five years’.” She added that’s just what he did: “Which is exactly—I mean, for real I knew that it had happened after  five [years]. I knew something was happening before that but the fifth year I had confirmation.”

Was Princess Diana murdered?

The car crash that tragically killed Diana on Aug. 31, 1997, in Paris also killed her boyfriend, Dodi Fayed, and the couple’s driver, Henri Paul. The fourth person in the car, Diana’s bodyguard, Trevor Rees-Jones, miraculously survived the fatal accident. At the time, the crash was ruled a drunk-driving accident. Blood alcohol concentration tests later revealed Diana’s driver, Henri, had consumed the equivalent of 10 glasses of wine before getting behind the wheel that night. The vehicle Henri was driving reportedly reached 120 mph while he was trying to escape the hoards of paparazzi following the car.

After the death of his son, Dodi, Harrods business magnate Mohamed Al-Fayed launched his own private investigation into the crash. “I can’t stop until I find the truth. I will pursue it everywhere, every place, in France and [in England]. And, this is the right of a father who lost his child,” Mohamed said in a previous interview, featured in the new TV special Princess Diana: Tragedy or Treason.

MORE: Princess Diana’s Althorp Gravesite Has Suffered Four Attempted Break-Ins

Mohamed believed there was a massive effort by French authorities to quickly cover up crime scene evidence that proved Diana and Dodi were murdered by the UK’s Secret Intelligence Service, commonly known as MI6. A man named Richard Tomlinson — who was a former MI6 agent — additionally told Mohamed at the time that British intelligence had recently perfected their techniques for vehicular assassination, leading Al-Fayed’s accusations of murder to reach an all-time high.

In addition, rumors swirled following Diana’s death that her driver, Henri, was possibly working with MI6 to carry out the Princess’ assassination. In Princess Diana: Tragedy or Treason, experts explained that Henri was missing for several hours prior to getting behind the wheel, was found with a substantial amount of cash in his pockets after his passing, and had nearly $300,000 — much more than his $35,000 per year royal salary — in the bank. Furthermore, experts alleged that Henri’s toxicology reports could have been tampered with after his death to make it seem that he was drunk at the time of the crash when he actually may have been sober.

Princess Diana with William and Harry - Getty

Diana with her sons, William and Harry, in May 1995. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

So, what did Dodi’s father, Mohamed, believe was the motivation behind Diana and Dodi’s alleged murders? He suggested the couple was killed because their romance was getting increasingly serious. Dodi had reportedly recently purchased a diamond ring for Diana and was thought to be planning to propose. Mohamed additionally thought the royal family did not want Diana to date Dodi because he was Egyptian and a Muslim.

MORE: Princess Diana and More Celebrities’ Last Words Before Death Revealed

Was Diana pregnant when she died?

In the months following Diana’s death, a French investigative journalist named Chris Laffaille claimed the People’s Princess was pregnant with her third child at the time of her passing. Laffaille alleged that official archives from the Paris hospital where Diana passed away showed evidence that the royal was expecting. He additionally reported that since Diana was nine to ten weeks pregnant in August 1997, the unborn child’s father could not have been Dodi, but possibly her ex-boyfriend, British heart surgeon Hasnat Khan.

However, the royal coroner present at Diana’s post-mortem examination quickly refuted Laffaille’s claim that she was expecting. “She wasn’t pregnant. I have seen into her womb,” he said at the time. A spokesperson for Paris Public Hospitals also later dismissed Laffaille’s documents as forged. “Examination of this document has established with absolute certainty that it is a fake,” the representative said. “It is ridiculous. Many of the medics who treated Diana remain at the hospital and all deny the claims contained in this forged letter.”

Mohamed Al-Fayed Getty Images

Dodi’s father, Mohamed, in 2008. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

When was the last photo taken of Princess Diana?

The final photos of Diana are thought to have been taken inside Paris’ Pont de l’Alma tunnel by the paparazzi who were dangerously pursuing the Princess when she was killed. Though Diana’s face is not visible in the pictures, she can be seen crouching down behind the vehicle’s back seats alongside boyfriend Dodi while driver Henri and Diana’s bodyguard, Trevor, were seated in the front of the car. Prior to the accident, Diana was famously photographed on vacation with boyfriend Dodi in St. Tropez, France on July 17, 1997, 45 days before her untimtely death.

MORE: Prince Charles “Made a Huge Mistake” Marrying Princess Diana

Did Diana attempt suicide during her marriage to Prince Charles?

Sadly, yes. In the years following her July 1981 wedding to Prince Charles, Diana allegedly battled a deep depression and once tragically attempted suicide while pregnant with her first child, Prince William. “I threw myself down the stairs. Charles said I was crying wolf and I said I felt so desperate and was crying my eyes out and he said, ‘I’m not going to listen. You’re always doing this to me. I’m going riding now,'” Diana reportedly once said of the incident, according to the TLC special Princess Diana: Tragedy or Treason.

Princess Diana Getty Images

One of the last photos taken of Diana in July 1997. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

How old was Diana when she died?

Diana was just 36 years old when she passed away on Aug. 31, 1997. She had recently celebrated her 36th birthday on July 1. At the time of Diana’s death, her two children, Prince William and Prince Harry, were aged 15 and 12, respectively.

10 Revealing Lessons from Cannes Sensation Alfonso Cuarón: ‘My Films Are Like Ex-Wives’

10 Revealing Lessons from

The six-time Academy Award-nominated director showed up at Cannes with some fantastic advice.

Alfonso Cuarón was on hand at the Cannes Film Festival last week to give an inspiring hour-and-a-half-long masterclass. Joined by French critic Michel Ciment, the talk covered much ground, from Cuarón’s relationship to both the Mexican and American film industries to the director’s scrappy beginnings to creating arthouse films, blockbuster flops, and Oscar winners.

“The consistency of a limitation is what starts to create an inner language. Limitations give you form.”

1. To make great art, forget that it’s a job

Cuarón got his start in the film scene in Mexico at a very young age. Because of that, he used his job primarily as a means of survival. “I had a kid when I was 20, so cinema became my means of support,” he said. “On top of that, cinema became a way of maintaining myself.” It is a habit he is still trying to kick. “My life and career, unfortunately—and now I’m focusing on exorcising this—has been not only cinema as the thing I love and my vocation, but also as the only way I learned early on about how to survive. That was a big ball and chain that I carried through most of my career.”

“Children of Men” Credit: Universal Pictures

2. Don’t obsess over finding your unique visual aesthetic

Even before the emergence of Guillermo Del Toro, Alejandro González Iñárritu, Emmanuel Lubezki, and Cuarón, there was a vibrant Mexican film scene. Cuarón wanted it to evolve. “When Chivo and I first started, we were struggling like hell to get rid of certain tendencies we didn’t like of the previous generation of Mexican filmmakers,” he remarked. “Unfortunately, a lot of that got into the technical and visual aspect of it or the polishedness of it. I think, in a way, that distracted our journey 10 years in the sense that for too long, we were concerned about creating a form. In retrospect, it was a distraction.”

3. Give yourself small goals

Lubezki and Cuarón had humble beginnings; the collaborators’ first projects were for a show they likened to a campy Mexican version of The Twilight Zone. “When Chivo and I used to do these ‘Toilet Zone’ episodes, we were happy if we had done one shot that was decent,” Cuarón remembers. “With our first film, we evolved this idea to be, if we do one scene that is a good scene, we’re happy. We had really low expectations in who we were.”

“I said, ‘Okay, I don’t like this script, but we’re going to compensate visually.’ That never works.”

4. Being in development limbo is okay—at first

After his first film, Sólo con tu pareja, garnered some recognition but failed to pick up American distribution, Cuarón realized that if he wanted to make real money, he’d have to make a move to the states. “Somehow, I’d discovered a cheat that would support my immediate situation,” he said. “It’s so weird—in Hollywood, you can live all your life without shooting one single movie and support yourself. You can be developing projects that will never happen. I entered the limbo. I took on projects that I was not in love with, but they were projects that I could survive on.”

‘Great Expectations’

5. Never try to compensate visually for story

The only movie Cuarón really seemed ashamed to talk about was his 1998 flop Great Expectations. From the beginning, he knew taking on the adaptation of Charles Dickens’ classic wasn’t a good choice, but in his words, “you get seduced. It’s seductive. I was convinced by the studios who hire you to develop things. You don’t write [when you do that]. I forgot that I was a writer. I forgot that I was anything else. I spent my days reading screenplays.”

“I had said no three times,” he continued, “but I became cocky. I said, ‘Okay, I don’t like this script, but we’re going to compensate visually.’ That never works. When the essence—the concept, the soul—isn’t there, you can’t compensate with anything. That is the truth of the matter. It’s nobody’s fault but mine—it’s not the studio’s, it’s not the producers’, it’s not the actors’. It’s mine. I did the wrong film. I should not have done it. I didn’t know what I was doing.”

6. Ask yourself why you love film in the first place

After this failure, Cuarón hit a rough patch. “I lost my track,” he admitted. “Great Expectations didn’t do well commercially, so I wasn’t being sent good scripts. I was in another limbo where I was completely disenchanted by the whole thing.”

“But then I realized,” he continued, “that I was disenchanted not by cinema, but what I had been doing and the process and where I was. So I went to the video shop and impulsively just started renting the films that made me fall in love with the medium in the first place. I took piles of VHS and locked myself in a room for one week. And that’s the moment I decided to do Y Tu Mama Tambien.”

“Try to give as much thematic information—not explicit, but thematic—inside the frame as possible.”

7. Let go of old loves

Cuarón hates watching his own films. “Once I finish a film, I never see it again,” he admitted. “Sometimes I have to do an upgrade on format or whatever, but there’s no sound and it’s out of order, and I cringe anyway, watching the thing.”

“My friends and peers—Alejandro, Guillermo—consider their films their babies that they’ve nurtured through life,” Cuarón continued. “They love them and stuff. For me, it’s more like ex-wives. I love them so much, but I gave as much as I could. They gave me as much as they could. We move on and we love each other from a distance, but I don’t want to see them again.”

“Gravity” Credit: Warner Bros.

8. Limitations create form

As Cuarón’s career advanced, he started introducing more and more limitations into his work. “Limitations are frustrating because they cancel cool possibilities, but the consistency of a limitation is what starts to create an inner language,” he said. “They give you form.”

9. Every detail inside your frame matters

“How do you convey things without being explicit?” Cuarón asked. “Don’t be expository about them! How do you talk about things without talking about them?”

“Formally, I focused on how stories can be told visually,” Cuarón said. “Dialogue is a support for the cinematic experience—that includes sound and so on. Try to give as much thematic information—not explicit, but thematic—inside the frame as possible.”

10. Don’t dismiss things just because they’re popular

If weren’t for del Toro, we would have never had the best Harry Potter entry. That’s because del Toro convinced Cuarón to do The Prisoner of Azkaban after he found out that Cuarón wasn’t interested in the project.

“Del Toro asked, ‘Have you read the books?'” Cuarón recalled. “And I said, ‘I saw the film; it’s not my thing.’ And then he asked [again], ‘Have you read the books?’ And I said, ‘No, I have not read the books.’ And then he got so pissed off at me. ‘You fuckin’ arrogant bastard! Go right now, buy the fuckin’ books and call me back!'”

The rest is history.   




Free Lessons on Messaging for the Clueless Amateur Handlers of Leni


I really wonder how you can sleep at night knowing that you’re doing a sloppy job while getting big bucks for it. Very big bucks – a great portion of it in US dollars.

I’m talking about YOU – Ms/Mr Handler of Leni Robredo.

How do you do your work?

Do you sit around a table and talk about strengths and weaknesses of your principal?

Or, do you track the reactions of people on stuff you churn out on social media?

Or, do you measure – even informally, amongst your relatives and kasambahays – the key messages that resonate with the greatest number of Filipinos? Either coming from your saintly client or the evil DU30?

Or, do you merely let your collective imagination run wild (in front of a white board in some hotel function room) in the hopes of stumbling onto an Aldub-type “instant” hit.

Your latest work shows your utter lack of knowledge in the basic basic crafting of messages.

You’re messing up on TONE OF VOICE.

I personally define “tone of voice” as the sum total of how people and the world see you and think of you. It is the image they form in their minds based on how you behave in public, how you talk and write, how you handle answers when questioned, how you react in a crisis… a mental picture of you – formed effortlessly by your actions and words.

For example, my tone of voice would be: irreverent, unpredictable, non-conformist, whiner, kinda rude.

If, one day, I suddenly started talking about religion, salvation and the end of the world, this would totally confuse people because it is NOT my tone of voice.

Which brings me to my dilemma with Ms. Robredo’s tone of voice.

In the beginning, her tone of voice was that of a down-to-earth, low profile probinsyana lawyer who detested socializing with powerful people… and would rather wait in some darkly-lit highway for the provincial bus that will take her home to Naga.

“Country road… take me home…”

This was great until it was busted as a “set-up”

So her team decided to move on.

Someone in the group probably had the idea of heightening how “unpresidentiable” the sitting President was – with his cussing and his probinsyano wardrobe and manners – so the big idea was: change their VP’s “tone of voice” to that of one who is authoritative, knowledgeable, sympathetic, respectable, decent, ready to lead.

For good measure, the mandate was to always situate her behind a rostrum and in front of a microphone.

Then feed her with some great sounding… cliches.

“Democracy demands dissent.”

“This government is obsessed with monopolizing power.”

“I want to be remembered as someone who did the best she could given a very difficult situation.”

Etc. Etc.


The problem with the “Leni quotes” was… they stayed quotes. She couldn’t expand or expound on the ideas she was mouthing. Or, if she tried… she did it with lopsided logic. Un-vice presidentiable.

Apparently, the lady has not been gifted with the ability to summon original thought. Or think on her feet.

And so the team brought out the magic word: simplify.

Latching on a monumental hit video campaign by a burger company, the group set out to fashion a tone of voice that says: approachable, warm, human, caring.

What better way than with free burgers carrying cute one-liners on post-it notes.



And this is when… I gave up on this group and all their moronic efforts.

I think it is easier to teach a monkey to sing “Spain” than to fine-tune the brains of these “communicators”.

Their benefactors must be bleeding… and complaining.

Sorry. Tried my best.

Let’s have Warren Buffet end this piece.


OSCARS 2017: The Nominees

Oscar statuettes

This year’s Oscar nominations are out. Look at the list below, and come back to find out who’s won when the Academy Awards ceremony comes around on 26 February.


Best picture

  • Arrival
  • Fences
  • Hacksaw Ridge
  • Hell or High Water
  • Hidden Figures
  • La La Land
  • Lion
  • Manchester by the Sea
  • Moonlight

Best actress

  • Isabelle Huppert (Elle)
  • Ruth Negga (Loving)
  • Natalie Portman (Jackie)
  • Emma Stone (La La Land)
  • Meryl Streep (Florence Foster Jenkins)

Best actor

  • Casey Affleck (Manchester by the Sea)
  • Andrew Garfield (Hacksaw Ridge)
  • Ryan Gosling (La La Land)
  • Viggo Mortensen (Captain Fantastic)
  • Denzel Washington (Fences)

Best supporting actress

  • Viola Davis (Fences)
  • Naomie Harris (Moonlight)
  • Nicole Kidman (Lion)
  • Octavia Spencer (Hidden Figures)
  • Michelle Williams (Manchester by the Sea)

Best supporting actor

  • Mahershala Ali (Moonlight)
  • Jeff Bridges (Hell or High Water)
  • Lucas Hedges (Manchester by the Sea)
  • Dev Patel (Lion)
  • Michael Shannon (Nocturnal Animals)

Best director

  • Denis Villeneuve (Arrival)
  • Mel Gibson (Hacksaw Ridge)
  • Damien Chazelle (La La Land)
  • Kenneth Lonergan (Manchester by the Sea)
  • Barry Jenkins (Moonlight)

Best adapted screenplay

  • Eric Heisserer (Arrival)
  • August Wilson (Fences)
  • Allison Schroeder and Theodore Melfi (Hidden Figures)
  • Luke Davies (Lion)
  • Barry Jenkins and Alvin McCraney (Moonlight)

Best original screenplay

  • Taylor Sheridan (Hell or High Water)
  • Damien Chazelle (La La Land)
  • Yorgos Lanthimos and Efthimis Filippou (The Lobster)
  • Kenneth Lonergan (Manchester by the Sea)
  • Mike Mills (20th Century Women)

Best animated feature

  • Kubo and the Two Strings
  • Moana
  • My Life as a Zucchini
  • The Red Turtle
  • Zootopia

Best foreign language film

  • A Man Called Ove (Sweden)
  • Land of Mine (Denmark)
  • The Salesman (Iran)
  • Tanna (Australia)
  • Toni Erdmann (Germany)

Best documentary feature

  • Fire At Sea
  • I Am Not Your Negro
  • Life, Animated
  • OJ: Made in America
  • 13th

Best original song

  • La La Land – Audition by Justin Hurwitz, Benj Pasek and Justin Paul
  • La La Land – City of Stars by Justin Hurwitz, Benj Pasek and Justin Paul
  • Moana – How Far I’ll Go by Lin-Manuel Miranda
  • Trolls – Can’t Stop the Feeling by Justin Timberlake, Max Martin and Karl Johan Schuster
  • Jim: The James Foley Story – The Empty Chair by J Ralph and Sting

Best original score

  • Jackie by Mica Levi
  • La La Land by Justin Hurwitz
  • Lion by Dustin O’Halloran and Hauschka
  • Moonlight by Nicholas Britell
  • Passengers by Thomas Newton

Best cinematography

  • Arrival
  • La La Land
  • Lion
  • Moonlight
  • Silence

Best costume design

  • Allied
  • Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
  • Florence Foster Jenkins
  • Jackie
  • La La Land

Best make-up and hairstyling

  • A Man Called Ove
  • Star Trek Beyond
  • Suicide Squad

Best live action short

  • Ennemis Interieurs
  • La Femme et le TGV
  • Silent Nights
  • Sing
  • Timecode

Best sound editing

  • Arrival
  • Deepwater Horizon
  • Hacksaw Ridge
  • La La Land
  • Sully

Best sound mixing

  • Arrival
  • Hacksaw Ridge
  • La La Land
  • Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
  • 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi

Best documentary short

  • 4.1 Miles
  • Extremis
  • Joe’s Violin
  • Watani: My Homeland
  • The White Helmets

Best production design

  • Arrival
  • Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
  • Hail, Caesar!
  • La La Land
  • Passengers

Best visual effects

  • Deepwater Horizon
  • Doctor Strange
  • The Jungle Book
  • Kubo and the Two Strings
  • Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Best animated short

  • Blind Vaysha
  • Borrowed Time
  • Pear Cider and Cigarettes
  • Pearl
  • Piper

Best film editing

  • Arrival
  • Hacksaw Ridge
  • Hell or High Water
  • La La Land
  • Moonlight