Cheer Factor: Filipino actors walk the red carpet in Udine, New York fests



They may not get star billing in local movies or soaps, but these underrated Filipino actors recently walked the red carpet in film festivals abroad.

Perennial bit player (now Urian best actress nominee) Lilia Cuntapay made heads turn in Udine, Italy. Antoinette H. Jadaone’s “Six Degrees of Separation from Lilia Cuntapay,” a mockumentary on the actress’ life, was screened at the Far East Film Festival, which wrapped up on Saturday.

Cuntapay said on her Facebook page that en route to Europe, her journey was made very comfortable by kind Filipinos, one a Changi Airport employee and another, a Qatar Airways stewardess.

The inimitable Cuntapay, who plays aswang and witches in horror movies, said she was over the moon when foreign journalists and autograph seekers showed interest in her. “I’m starting to believe I am famous,” she said.

In a black caftan accessorized by luminous rosary beads, she met with Udine fest organizers.

“DOING my favorite ‘aswang’ pose, right here in Udine, Italy.”

Tribeca scene

At the Tribeca Film Festival in New York, local actors Leon Miguel, Ella Guevara and Arnold Reyes walked the red carpet with Filipino-American director Ron Morales.

“I hope to meet foreign producers,” said Miguel, who has acted in numerous international movies shot in the country.

Morales’ “Graceland” has earned positive notices at the fest, which concludes Monday (Manila time).

FILIPINO pride in the Big Apple (from left): Filmmaker Ron Morales and actors Leon Miguel and Arnold Reyes at their film’s premiere. PHOTO BY MARK SHANDILI BACOLOD

Mark Young of Sound on Sight called it a “brisk and gut-wrenching thriller,” adding: “Reyes captures perfectly at the same time, the balance of being at the mercy of fate while blaming himself for his misfortune.”

Joe Bendel of Libertas Film Magazine agreed: “Tightly helmed. With its visceral sense of place and Reyes’ powerhouse performance, it’s one of the best in Tribeca.”

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