Ruby Ruiz wins first int’l best actress award for ‘Iska’
Ruby Ruiz recently bagged her first international best actress trophy for her performance in Theodore Boborol’s “Iska” from the 15th Harlem International Film Festival in New York City in the United States.
“It’s an answered prayer for me, especially now that we’re in a pandemic. It’s a confidence and morale booster … a validation of my performance,” said Ruiz when asked how important winning this award was for her.
Ruiz also won best actress in Cinemalaya last year.
“Iska” tells the story of a loving but impoverished grandmother of an autistic boy who tragicomically loses everything and turns into someone that society reckons her to be.
“Despite all these things that are happening globally, there’s a silver lining that artists can look forward to. While being careful not to get sick, we should continue telling stories and honing our craft,” Ruiz pointed out. “This experience has made me realize that, there are people who continue to appreciate good work, even while we’re battling this pandemic.”
The Harlem IFF, held virtually this year, ran from Sept. 10 to 13.
Ruiz said she considered “Iska” a “lifetime gift to me” by its director Boborol. “Prior to this movie, I always played supporting characters. In fact, when Direk called me up for this, I thought I’d play Iska’s best friend. Iska has brought me to places and made me experience various firsts.”
“Iska” also features Jonic Magno as the autistic boy Dongdong, Soliman Cruz as Iska’s womanizer husband Joven, and Angie Castrence as her reliable best friend.
Ruiz commended “Iska” writer Mary Rose Colindres, as well. “Mabigat talaga sa dibdib [ang role], especially knowing that she had to fight for the boy, and struggle with poverty. I cried the first time she told me about the story.”
Imagine the effect on Ruiz when she eventually met the real Iska, the actress said. “She inspired me, motivated me. I said if I could capture on cam even only half of the way she is in real life, then I’d be very glad. That was my goal. I didn’t even think of winning any award then. Iska’s story is of resilience in the face of hardship.”
Six months after the lockdown was first ordered, Ruiz said she’s ready “physically and emotionally” to get back to work. “This award is really an inspiration, because I will be starting a new ABS-CBN teleserye, where I will play a surrogate mother to one of the lead characters,” she declared.
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