Filipino actor Eddie Garcia won best actor for Jun Robles Lana’s “Bwakaw” at the 55th Asia Pacific Film Festival held at the Venetian Resort Hotel in Macau on Saturday.
The screen legend received a standing ovation from the foreign audience on winning his first international acting award at age 83, according to his wife Lilibeth who attended the festival with him.
The report reached the Philippine Daily Inquirer through line producer Tonee Acejo and producer Ferdinand Lapuz, who were told about the victory by Garcia’s wife.
Garcia was one of 10 actors honored by the Inquirer at the 3rd Indie Bravo! Tribute held at the newspaper’s office in Makati last Monday.
“Eddie Garcia’s staying power in the industry is primarily due to real talent, hard work and professionalism. Today’s young stars have a lot to learn from him,” director Lana, one of 10 filmmakers in the 3rd Indie Bravo! honor roll, told the Inquirer.
Garcia, who arrived in Manila Sunday, said he was happy for the international recognition, no matter how long it took.
“I don’t really mind the long wait. I’ve always believed—if it comes, thank you; if not, I’ll be fine too. As I always say, it’s a nice bonus for a job well done.”
He said the recognition was sweeter because it came “from peers from all over Asia.”
Garcia is the only Filipino actor elevated to the Famas Hall of Fame for his achievements as a supporting actor, actor and director.
Another Filipino, Nora Aunor, was nominated for best actress in this year’s Asia Pacific fest for Brillante Ma. Mendoza’s “Thy Womb.” The prize went to Taiwan’s Gwai Lun-mei for “Gf*Bf.”
The other awards were: best film, Johnnie To’s “Life Without Principle” of Hong Kong; best director, Hirokazu Koreeda’s “I Wish” of Japan; best supporting actor, Hoi-pang Lo for “Life Without Principle,” and best supporting actress, Makiko Watanabe for “Capturing Dad” of Japan.
Garcia said one of the earlier films he directed, 1963’s “Historia de un Amor,” was entered in the Asia Film Festival by its producer, Sampaguita Pictures. “Mga Anak sa Pagkakasala,” a 1962 Sampaguita drama that he directed, was also entered in the Cairo film fest, he said.
“Unfortunately, we were not able to provide subtitles for Mga Anak sa Pagkakasala. The foreigners didn’t understand the movie,” he recalled.
According to online reports, the Asia Pacific Film Festival (then called Asia Film Festival) was the same event where National Artist Lamberto Avellana’s “Anak Dalita” won for best picture in 1956. In the same year, two other Filipinos won—Gregorio Fernandez was best director and Rogelio de la Rosa was best actor, both for “Higit sa Lahat.”
Other Filipinos who topped the Asia Film Fest in the past were Avellana as best director, with his team bringing home individual citations for “Badjao” in 1957; Rebecca del Rio as best supporting actress for “Malvarosa” in 1958; Leroy Salvador as best supporting actor for “Biyaya ng Lupa” in 1960; Charito Solis as best actress for “Dahil sa Isang Bulaklak” in 1967, and Charo Santos as best actress and Mike de Leon as best director for “Itim” in 1978.
“Bwakaw” was chosen by the Film Academy of the Philippines as the country’s entry to the best foreign language film category of the Academy Awards to be held in Hollywood next year.
“It would be great to be chosen among the top five, but my only hope is that the Oscars people will have the chance to see our film,” Garcia said.
Originally posted: December 16, 2012 | 7:31 pm