Indie Bravo!

Newbie PH director wins in Italy

/ 12:40 AM June 01, 2018

Sonny Calvento (fourth from left) with the team (from left): Gina Alajar, associate producer Posh Develos, Billy Ray Gallion, Jameson Blake and JC Santos

Debuting director Sonny Calvento bagged the best film prize for “Ang Nabubulok” in the Newcomers category of the recent 15th Asian Film Festival in Bologna, Italy.

An entry in last year’s Cinemalaya, Calvento’s film shared the award with Tam Wai-ching’s “In Your Dreams” from Hong Kong.


The closing ceremony, Calvento recounted, was entirely in Italian. “An interpreter was seated beside me, to explain everything,” he told the Inquirer. “Still, when my name was called out as winner, I got surprised.”

Gina Alajar (left) and Lito Pimentel

Onstage, all he could say was “thank you.”


According to Calvento, the award is special because it’s the first time for his film to compete abroad. “This honor serves as inspiration for my next project.”

He dedicates the trophy to his late father, broadcaster and newspaper columnist Tony Calvento. In Bologna, all he could think about was his dad. “How I wished my father were alive to witness this victory. My dad did all he could to raise funds and even spent his personal savings to make this film happen.”

He likewise paid tribute to his mentor, scriptwriter Armando “Bing” Lao.

Jameson Blake (right) in “Ang Nabubulok”

According to its website, the annual event gathers “the best of the cinema” of the Far East. Past editions of the fest feted some of the region’s top auteurs, including Tsai Ming-liang, Hou Hsiao-hsien, Chen Kaige and Ann Hui.

Another Cinemalaya 2017 film, Joseph Israel Laban’s “Baconaua,” was also shown this year in Bologna. —BAYANI SAN DIEGO JR.

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TAGS: 15th Asian Film Festival, Ang Nabubulok, Entertainment, Indie Bravo!, news, Sonny Calvento
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