It took 37 long years, but actor Ian Veneracion finally bagged his first international best actor trophy.
To be accurate, it’s his first acting award ever—
local or foreign, says Ian, who started as a child star in the TV sitcom “Joey & Son,” before becoming a teen idol in the youth show “That’s Entertainment” in the 1980s.
After topbilling a few action flicks in the 1990s, he experienced an unexpected resurgence later in his career as a seasoned heartthrob for the titillating titas of Manila.
His winning streak continues with a best actor prize for Dan Villegas’ horror movie, “Ilawod,” at the 38th Oporto International Film Festival, held in Portugal last weekend.
“I’m very much honored, especially knowing that the award given was based purely on the work submitted,” Ian tells the Inquirer.
“Professionally,” he explains, the honor “feels like validation for all the years of hard work and joyous effort of being an artist.”
“Personally,” he quips, the award has just earned him “10,000 pogi points from my kids! They’re all ecstatic about this piece of good news!”
Speaking of his family, Ian relates that he is dedicating this latest achievement to wife Pam, children Draco, Dids and Duccio, “for their full support, which allows me to continue exploring and honing my craft as an artist.”
Direk Dan, who received Ian’s trophy in Oporto, recounts via Facebook Messenger: “The audience liked the film. Some viewers approached me after the screening to ask about the movie and the mythology (behind it). They also commended Ian’s performance. I’m super glad for Ian.”
Producer Joji Alonso points out: “Ian is such an underrated actor. Maybe, in that regard, his good looks work to his disadvantage.”
In the thriller, Ian portrays a father whose family is being tormented by a malevolent water spirit.
Meanwhile, Joel Lamangan’s gritty urban drama “Bhoy Intsik” won the Special Jury Award in the Oporto fest’s Orient Express competition, too.
“It’s an honor to bring home an award from an international film festival,” Direk Joel, who attended the event, shares with the Inquirer via SMS. “It further cements the fact that Filipino films are indeed comparable to, or even better than, foreign counterparts. Mabuhay ang pelikulang Pilipino!”