Pinays score wins at Asian Oscars
Written by : Alvin I. Dacanay
FILIPINO actresses Eugene Domingo and Shamaine Centenera-Buencamino earned acting honors at the 6th Asian Film Awards in Hong Kong on Monday night, giving the Philippine independent film community more feathers to its already heavy cap.
Domingo, who starred in hit comedies like Kimmy Dora and Here Comes the Bride, won the People’s Choice Awards: My Favorite Actress prize—an accolade given by online voters—for playing a destitute mother and an over-the-top version of herself in Marlon Rivera’s Ang Babae sa Septic Tank.
The satirical movie, which was the country’s official entry to the Academy Awards last month, follows two aspiring filmmakers who are determined to make the ultimate film festival-friendly flick.
Its screenwriter, 100 and Temptation Island director Chris Martinez, was nominated for Best Screenplay but lost to Iran’s Asghar Farhadi for Nader and Simin, A Separation.
Buencamino, who is best known for her stage work, clinched the Best Supporting Actress award for her role as the closeted lesbian daughter of a faded opera singer in Loy Arcenas’ Niño.
The film, which shared the New Currents Award for first-time directors in the 2011 Busan International Film Festival, deals with the turmoil a once-wealthy family is plunged into when a prodigal member of the clan returns and the patriarch falls into a coma.
Both Babae and Niño were top winners in the 2011 Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival, which has become an important launchpad for up-and-coming Filipino directors since it was established in 2005.
But the festival found itself mired in controversy recently after it disqualified budding filmmaker Emerson Reyes’ MNL 143 from this year’s edition over his offbeat casting choices.
Domingo and Buencamino’s wins mark the second time the Philippines was honored at the Asian Film Awards, dubbed by some as the region’s version of the Oscars. In 2009, veteran performer Gina Pareño won Best Supporting Actress for her role as the matriarch of a movie theater-owning family in Brillante Mendoza’s Serbis.
‘A Separation’ big winner
But the big winner at Monday night’s ceremony was A Separation, which not only garnered Best Screenplay, but also Best Film, Best Director for Farhadi and Best Editing for Hayedeh Safiyari.
The wins cap a great year for the complex Iranian drama, which received numerous prizes—including the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film in late February—since its debut at the 2011 Berlin Film Festival, where it earned the prestigious Golden Bear.
In other categories, Indonesia’s Donny Damara won Best Actor for Lovely Man, while Hong Kong’s Deanie Ip received the Best Actress prize for A Simple Life. Taiwan’s Lawrence Ko was named Best Supporting Actor for Jump! Ashin and China’s Ni Ni was picked as Best Newcomer for The Flowers of War.
The People’s Choice Awards: My Favorite Actor prize went to A Simple Life actor and Hong Kong superstar Andy Lau, who received a kiss from Domingo as they collected their trophies.
Established in 2007, the Asian Film Awards not only aims to honor filmmakers who have contributed outstanding work in the field of Asian cinema, but also brings together the continent’s best cinematic talents.
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