The lead stars of Ralston Jover’s “Bomba” (The Bomb) won the Special Jury Award for acting at the 33rd Warsaw International Film Festival in Poland. Allen Dizon and Angellie Sanoy topped a lineup that included acclaimed Mexican actor Gael Garcia Bernal, Jover told the Inquirer via e-mail.
Jover attended the fest with Dizon, who received the trophy at the closing ceremony on Oct. 21.
“It’s an honor to win in a prestigious, A-list festival,” Dizon told the Inquirer. “I am indebted to my director for bringing out the best in me. I want to give special thanks to my sign language tutors who taught me patiently—not only how to communicate using my hands, but also the appropriate emotions of a deaf person. This is my most difficult role to date.”
Young screen partner Sanoy related: “No words can describe my feelings. I didn’t really expect to win, and I’m grateful to everyone who made this possible.” She recalled that the entire team had put a lot of time and effort in the film. “All our hard work has finally paid off!”
Jover recounted that the material had pushed the actors to the limit. “It was very demanding. But Allen played his role to perfection and Angellie gave her all-out support.” Jover explained that Dizon is “way ahead of his contemporaries, when it comes to portraying daring and bold characters. He has mastered the art of ‘indie’ acting—with absolute subtlety and profound intensity.”
“Bomba” centers on Pipo, a hearing impaired worker, “a ticking time bomb” who is being pushed by an unjust society over the edge.
Jover recalled that the screenplay of “Bomba” had undergone “several revisions … a veritable evolution.”
“We toyed with the idea of a desperate worker who would do anything to earn a living,” he said.
The lead character, Jover pointed out, “represents every laborer in the country … who can’t even pause to reflect on the state of things … who doesn’t have the luxury of time … to complain of exploitation.
Like the film’s hero, “most workers are unaware of the ‘ticking time bomb’ in them.”
Jover noted that “Bomba” tells “a Filipino story of constant struggle, perseverance and resilience, of our innate optimism in spite of the gloom that surrounds us.”
He asserted: “I hope Pipo’s journey resonated with foreign audiences … that they saw the fortitude and integrity of the Filipino spirit.”
The director said his wish was that “Bomba” would make the rounds of the festival circuit around the world. “And hopefully, find an international distributor.”
Meanwhile, another Filipino film was shown in Warsaw. Prime Cruz’s “Ang Manananggal sa Unit 23B,” which features Ryza Cenon and Martin del Rosario, was included in the fest’s Free Spirit section.
Cruz shared with the Inquirer that he’s elated that his movie was shown in Warsaw. “Everyone in the team was excited, as well. The organizers appreciated the effort that we had put in crafting the film.”
The thriller, which recounts the impossible romance between a supernatural creature and her clueless neighbor, was an entry in the QCinema fest last year.
“It’s about mood more than anything else,” Cruz remarked. “I tried to echo what I feel is the prevailing mood in our country right now: the darkness, the uneasiness, the helplessness, the lustful violence and, above it all, the desire for normalcy despite the absurdity.”
Like Jover, Cruz said that he hoped “foreign viewers would get a glimpse of what it feels like to live in the Philippines right now.”
Warsaw is one of the top 15 A-list festivals accredited by the International Federation of Film Producers Association
(FIAPF)—along with Berlin, Cannes, Shanghai, Moscow, Karlovy Vary, Locarno, Montreal, Venice, San Sebastian, Tallinn, Tokyo, Cairo, Mar del Plata and Goa.