‘Transit,’ ‘Sana Dati’ sweep Cinemalaya 2013; Vilma Santos wins best actress
MANILA, Philippines—Two films clearly stood out from the pack at this year’s Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival, now in its ninth year: Hannah Espia’s “Transit” and Jerrold Tarog’s “Sana Dati.”
Hannah Espia’s “Transit” won best film in the New Breed category and nine other awards—including best actress for theater stalwart Irma Adlawan and best supporting actress for show-biz newcomer Jasmine Curtis-Smith.
In the New Breed section, “Transit” won the Netpac prize and Audience Choice honor, too. The entire “Transit” cast also won a special citation for ensemble acting.
Jerrold Tarog’s “Sana Dati” won best film in the Directors’ Showcase section and seven other trophies—including best sound, music, editing and direction for multi-hyphenate Tarog.
Batangas Gov. Vilma Santos, known as local cinema’s Star for All Seasons, won best actress for Jeffrey Jeturian’s “Ekstra” in the Directors’ Showcase category.
Santos was cited by the jury “for her bold decision to deglamorize herself and play a lowly . . . bit player.”
Santos, however, was unable to attend the awards ceremony held at the Cultural Center of the Philippines Sunday night.
In a text message, Santos told the Inquirer that winning feels like “heaven . . . especially since it’s for my first indie film.”
“Ekstra” won the Netpac prize and the Audience Choice honor, too.
Special jury prize in the New Breed section went to Eduardo Roy’s “Quick Change,” which also won best actor for Mimi Juareza, a real-life transgender just like the character he portrays in the film.
Juareza wore a stunning blue gown for the occasion. He was cited by the jury for “his bold take on a gender-bending role.”
“Quick Change” also won best sound (Michael Idioma) and screenplay (Roy) in the New Breed category.
Another gender-bending role won for Joey Paras the best supporting actor award for his work in “Babagwa” in the New Breed section.
In the Directors’ Showcase section, TJ Trinidad won best supporting actor for “Sana Dati.” No best actor award was given in the Directors’ Showcase section.
In the Shorts section: Paolo O’Hara’s “The Houseband’s Wife” won best film and screenplay; JE Tiglao’s “Onang,” best director; Adi Bontuyan’s “Taya,” special jury prize; and Nica Santiago’s “Sa Wakas,” special citation.
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