Nora Aunor, Cherie Gil, Filipinos bring home 5 awards from Malaysia
The Philippines made waves at the recently concluded 2nd Asean International Film Festival and Awards (Aiffa) held at the Borneo Convenion Center, in Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia on Saturday evening.
The country won a total of four trophies in the official competition, plus a special award.
The country’s winning streak started with 25-year-old Benjamin Tolentino who won best editing for Ralston Jover’s “Bendor.”
Tolentino, who is in Manila, told the Inquirer: “More than anything else, I am glad that a lot more people got to watch our film [in Malaysia]. It wasn’t able to get a commercial release in our country.”
Then came Cherie Gil’s “expected” win as best actress for Peque Gallaga and Lore Reyes’ “Sonata.”
Gil was a shoo-in for the honor, according to Dennis Evangelista, a Filipino manager-producer who attended the event.
Gallaga, who is in Manila, told the Inquirer: “I am so happy for Cherie. No Filipino actress can do what she did in our film. Bravo!”
Best director went to another Filipino, Joseph Israel Laban who won for “Nuwebe.” Laban told the Inquirer via SMS: “I am shocked, surprised, but grateful. Competition was stiff.”
The Asean Spirit Award was given by festival organizers to Filipino filmmaker Carlo Obispo for “Purok 7.”
Filipino producer Mammu Chua, who attended the event, related that Obispo was at a loss for words upon accepting the surprise award. “He was speechless.”
The country’s biggest honor, however, was the Asean Lifetime Achievement Award given to Superstar Nora Aunor.
Two years ago, Malaysian actress Michelle Yeoh was accorded the same honor that Aunor received.
This year, Aunor shared the stage with Hong Kong action hero Jackie Chan, who was given the Asean Inspiration Award.
The country scored big with 17 nominations this year.
In the Aiffa’s inaugural edition in 2013, the country won four trophies. Alessandra de Rossi and Anita Linda won best actress and supporting actress, respectively, for “Santa Niña,” while Bugoy Cariño won best supporting actor for “Alagwa.” Emmanuel Quindo Palo’s “Santa Niña” also won best film-drama that year.
Other Filipino celebrities were invited to the event this year.
Actor Piolo Pascual performed at the ceremony, while siblings Ruffa Gutierrez, Richard Gutierrez and Raymond Gutierrez presented awards.
Actress Mercedes Cabral and best actor nominee Allen Dizon graced the awards show, too.
Aunor, Laban and Obispo were honorees in past editions of the Inquirer Indie Bravo Awards. TVJ
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