A surprise for Sid Lucero
Andi Eigenmann couldn’t help getting sentimental when talk turned to the back-to-back triumphs of her mom Jaclyn Jose (best actress for “Ma’ Rosa” at the Cannes Film Festival) and half-brother Sid Lucero (best actor for “Toto” at the 19th Los Angeles Comedy Festival).
It was as if Andi and Sid’s dad, the late actor Mark Gil, was watching over them with pride and joy. “Cinema is our family’s passion,” she said.
“Tita Jane (Jaclyn’s nickname) is now immortalized in world cinema history,” Sid said of the Cannes win. “And she pulled the entire country with her [up the global stage].”
Coincidentally, Jaclyn and Sid are costars in the GMA 7 soap opera, “The Millionaire’s Wife.”
For Sid, the best actor honor from a comedy festival came as a total shocker. “My character is the least comedic in the cast. I am truly surprised,” Sid told the Inquirer.
Known mainly for such serious movies as Lav Diaz’s “Norte, Hangganan ng Kasaysayan” and “Hele sa Hiwagang Hapis,” Sid ventured into comedy for the first time in John Paul Su’s “Toto,” an entry in the New Wave section of last December’s Metro Manila Film Festival.
“I am aware of the kind of discipline comedy requires,” he owned up. “It is something I have yet to learn. This film was sort of an experiment in acting for me.”
Said Sid’s director: “My initial reaction was: ‘Finally, Sid won!’ I’ve been rooting for Sid to win because I truly believe this is one of his most nuanced performances—and it really flexed his acting muscles.”
“Toto” tells the story of an ordinary hotel employee who dreams of securing a US visa—like countless Filipinos.
“It is rare to have comedies that actually have something say,” Sid explained as to why he accepted the project. “Sometimes, filmmakers have to lighten the delivery in order to get the message across.”
“This film served as a powerful medium in conveying its message,” he said. He admitted that he feels enormous pride for the film’s “international recognitions.”
The film also won best foreign film in the LA fest.
“It’s getting louder and louder,” he waxed optimistic. “This is a reflection of how our country supports the film industry, which years ago was nonexistent.”
In a lot of ways, the experience has bestowed on him precious life lessons on patience and perseverance. “Do not doubt yourself. Do things right, and things will eventually go your way.”
It is certainly not his first international award. In 2008, he shared the best actor prize with costar Emilio Garcia at the Thessaloniki fest for Paolo Villaluna and Ellen Ramos’ “Selda.” In 2014, he won best actor in the Asian-American and Pacific Islander section of the Equality International Film Festival (Oakland, California) for Lemuel Lorca’s “Mauban: Ang Resiko.”
“Every year, our country’s international awards are multiplied tenfold,” he asserted. “We are no longer invisible in world cinema.”
He remains radically hopeful about the future. “We have what it takes. We will keep growing as an industry and we are doing it faster than ever.”