Even after his death, Kristofer King wins int’l award
“The award celebrates Kristofer King’s legacy as an actor,” declared director Howard Yambao, who accepted the best actor trophy for the late actor for his performance in “Kristo” at the recent 2019 Asean (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) International Film Festival and Awards (Aiffa) ceremony in Malaysia.
Yambao, who described King as “a diamond in the rough in this industry,” said the award was important for “Kristo” also because it acknowledges King’s “immense talent and dedication to his craft. It is our pride that ‘Kristo’ paved the way for this recognition.”
King, whose real name was Christopher Reyes, passed away last February due to complications caused by diabetes. He was 36.
At the award ceremony that took place in Kuching Sarawak, Malaysia, Yambao could not help but get emotional as he accepted the award on King’s behalf.
“I’ve known King for a long time, even before I became a filmmaker. He was considered an underrated actor in the Philippines but he was one of the best. He has worked with some of the greatest Filipino filmmakers of our time and also with young maverick filmmakers such as myself,” said Yambao in his speech.
“Whenever you tell Kristofer that he was a good actor, he would just brush it off with a smile. And now, wherever he may be, I know he is smiling—this is for him. And this is also to inspire Filipino actors to continue working hard on their craft,” said Yambao, before requesting for a moment of silence for the late actor.
Yambao recalled how it was like to work with the actor. He stressed: “It didn’t feel like work, maybe because I’d known him for quite some time to be able to consider him a friend. It was easy collaborating with him because he didn’t consider acting as a job; I think that it was innately in his DNA, so he became the person, the character. His coactors would say he was generous with his talent and was always able to inspire them to do better.”
Meanwhile, eight movies from the Philippines made it to the shortlist of 29 films that received award nominations at the Aiffa, which has been held every two years since 2013.
Chito Roño’s “Signal Rock” bagged the best film, while Carlo Obispo’s “1-2-3” (Wan-Tu-Tri) won for Barbara Miguel the best supporting actress plum.
Rody Vera, who wrote “Signal Rock,” was in Malaysia to accept the award. “This was by far the first international best film award for ‘Signal Rock,’” he told the Inquirer.
“I was so nervous and excited, I forgot to even mention Chito Roño’s name (during my speech). Parang Steve Harvey lang,” he quipped, referring to the American host who mistakenly called another contestant’s name instead of Pia Wurtzbach’s, the actual winner of the 2015 Miss Universe title.
“I talked, instead, about how it took about six years to finally finish this film; and how wonderful the people of Biri Island in Samar (where the film was shot) are for all the stories they shared, which became the foundation, structure and flow of the film itself,” Vera said. “This is the heart of the film.”—MARINEL R. CRUZ
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