Filipino films, stars, win top plums at ASEAN film fest

Filipinos are really world class when it comes to filmmaking and acting.

“Sta. Niña,”  one of the official entries for the New Breed Full Length Feature Category in Cinemalaya 2012 was adjudged best picture-drama  at the first ASEAN International Film Festival and Awards (AIFFA) held March 28-30 at Borneo Convention Centre Kuching in Sarawak, Malaysia.

The film, the first directorial venture of Emmanuel Quindo Palo, tells the story of a man who unexpectedly unearths the remains of his 2-year old daughter in a lahar-filled quarry. Despite the length of time the coffin has been buried, her daughter’s body remains uncorrupted and miraculously unchanged

The film also won the Best Actress award for Alessandra de Rossi and the Best Supporting Actress award for veteran actress Anita Linda. Aside from these awards, “Sta. Niña” was nominated for Best Director (Emmanuel Quindo Palo) and Best Film Editing (Chrissel Desuasido and Tara Illenberger).

Child star Bugoy Cariño took home the Best Supporting Actor award for the film “Alagwa.” Actor Jericho Rosales who was nominated for “Alagwa,” was bested by Malaysian Shaheizy Sam for the Best Actor award. Receiving nomination for Best Picture-Comedy was “Ang Mga Kidnaper Ni Ronnie Lazaro.”

The AIFFA screened 100 films from Malaysia, Brunei, Singapore, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Vietnam, Myanmar, Laos, India, USA, Russia, and Australia. The Philippines has 13 entries namely “Alagwa” by Ian Loreños, “Sta. Niña” by Emmanuel Quindo Palo, “Posas” by Lawrence Fajardo, “Ang Nawawala” by Marie Jamora, “Oros” by Paul Sta. Ana, “Colossal” by Whammy Alcazaren, “Supremo” by Richard Somes, “The Grave Bandits” by Tyrone Acierto, “Aparisyon” by Vincent Sandoval, “Qiyamahby” by Gutierrez Mangansakan II, “The Animals” by Gino Santos, and “Mga Kidnappers ni Ronnie Lazaro” and “In Bangka Ha Ut Sin Duwa Sapah,” both by Siegfried Barros-Sanchez.

Among the presenters during the awarding ceremony were Dominic Rocco and Jericho Rosales while Ima Castro was one of the performers.

Actor Ricky Davao sat as one of the five-man jury panel.