Filipino directors, actors win major awards at Asian Film Festival in Italy

Filipino directors Asian Film Festival Italy
Filipino directors Brillante Mendoza and Erik Matti, actors Christian Bables and Vince Rillon were honored in the awards ceremony of this year’s Asian Film Festival in Italy. Photos from Center Stage Productions, Christian Bables, FDCP, FB accounts.

Filipino filmmakers and actors together won four major awards at the 19th edition of the Asian Film Festival held in Rome, Italy.

Brillante Mendoza, Erik Matti, Christian Bables, and Vince Rillon were honored in the international festival in Italy, widely regarded as one of the most important showcases of Asian films coming from South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Philippines, China, Hong Kong, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia.

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Erik Matti
Best Film for “On The Job: The Missing 8”

Filipino director Erik Matti’s film, “On The Job: The Missing 8” was named Best Film, the same movie that won the Best Actor award for John Arcilla in the prestigious Venice International Film Festival also in Italy. Inspired by true events, the thriller film was cited by the festival jury for its masterful cinematography, “unique sequence shots,” and soundtrack “that often contrasts with the drama of the situations.”

“The choral thriller by Erik Matti keeps the viewer glued to the screen for 3h30, for the fascination of the images and the frenetic rhythm of the story. Inspired by true events, the film intertwines political figures, gangsters, journalists and murderous prisoners, in the representation of a corrupt social and political reality of the Philippines. Shot with mastery, with unique sequence shots and a soundtrack that often contrasts with the drama of the situations, this work has an overwhelming force, and gives us a little-known portrait of this part of the East,” AFF describes Matti’s masterpiece.

Brillante Mendoza
Lifetime Achievement Award

Acclaimed Filipino director Brillante Mendoza, whose new feature films “Gensan Punch” and “Resbak” were both showcased in this year’s festival program, won the Lifetime Achievement Award in the annual film festival focused on Asian cinema.

Christian Bables (Big Night) and Vince Rillon (Resbak)
Best Actors

Actors Christian Bables (Big Night) and Vince Rillon (Resbak) were jointly named Best Actor for starring in their respective films.

AFF cites the Filipino actors: “Christian Bables was extraordinary in playing the character of ‘Dharna’, a gay beautician whose name is mistakenly placed on the checklist in the war on drugs. Dharna will have to prove his innocence in a flash of one night. Terrific Bables, who with his interpretation of him at times comic even when the situation is dramatic, makes the character lovable in the eyes of the spectator, for his sensitivity and for his desire for justice towards oppressed people.”

Vince Rillon won “For how he managed to play the difficult role of a boy who must survive in an environment dominated by violence, corruption and continuous abuse.”

This year’s edition of the Asian Film Festival was held at the Cinema Farnese in Rome, Italy from April 7 to April 13, 2022.

Filipino independent films “Leonor Will Never Die” and “The Headhunter’s Daughter” earlier bagged historic firsts for the Philippines in last year’s online edition of the Sundance Film Festival, the largest independent film festival in the United States.

SEND CONGRATULATIONS in the comments below to the Filipino directors and actors who won top awards in the 19th edition of the Asian Film Festival (AFF) held in Rome, Italy.

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Margo is a voracious reader - some might even say she reads too much for her own good. She majored in BS Psychology and hopes to become a forensic psychologist one day. She’s also an aspiring writer, mental health advocate, and a staunch believer of equality.