Ryza, Mikhail win big in Osaka
First time’s the charm for actress Ryza Cenon. Much to her amazement, Ryza bagged the Yakushi Pearl Award for best performer for her work in Sigrid Andrea Bernardo’s “Mr. and Mrs. Cruz” at the 13th Osaka Asian Film Festival, held in Japan over the weekend.
For his part, filmmaker Mikhail Red scored the most promising talent (best director) honor for “Neomanila.”
“It’s overwhelming,” Ryza, who traveled to Japan for the event, told the Inquirer via Facebook Messenger on Saturday. “It’s my first time to attend an international film festival. So I feel super grateful and blessed that we won.”
Hours after the ceremony, she was still on cloud nine, she admitted. “Until now, it hasn’t registered in my mind yet. It’s because the blessings keep coming.”
Her popular afternoon series, “Ika-6 na Utos,” had just finished its run on GMA 7
on the same day that she won in Japan. She explained, “I worked on that show for over a year…” Then, from out of nowhere, she brought home a major award from an Asian festival!
When she went up the stage, she recounted, she had “no idea what I had just won.” “But it’s truly a huge honor to represent our country abroad and be recognized for my humble contribution.”
Ryza’s director was just as “stunned” by the “unanticipated” victory. “I was so glad for Ryza, because she had worked hard with coactor JC Santos.” Osaka is always special, Sigrid said, because it’s the first international event that selected her debut movie, “Ang Huling Cha-Cha ni Anita,” for a screening.
Unlike Ryza, though, Mikhail is a regular in the film festival circuit.
The young director told the Inquirer, “I’m thankful to the ‘Neomanila’ team, led by [actress] Eula Valdes, who received the trophy onstage on my behalf.”
Although Mikhail attended the film’s sold-out premiere in Osaka a week ago, he had to come home for the shoot of his latest horror movie, “Eerie,” which topbills Charo Santos-Concio and Bea Alonzo.
What’s next for “Neomanila”? More festivals in the next few months, he said. “The journey continues.”
According to the Osaka jury, Mikhail “blends and reconstructs a criminal genre film with fresh characters [who embark on an] unexpected journey … in our cruel and helpless world … [the film proves that] he is one of the most promising talents in Asia.”
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