ACTRESS-comedienne Ai-Ai delas Alas won the Best Actress award in the recently concluded Los Angeles Philippine International Film Festival where critically acclaimed Filipino movies, Imbisibol and Birdshot, tied for the Best Picture Award.
Ai Ai was adjudged best actress for her moving portrayal of an aging prostitute in a rundown whorehouse in the red light district of Angeles City in Pampanga. The movie is titled Area.
Movie director Louie Ignacio received the award for Ai Ai during a modest ceremony at the Hilton Double Tree Hotel in the City of Carson last Sunday night (October 29).
“This (LAPIFF) is different from other international film festivals. The crowd is Filipino and this is a Filipino film festival in LA. So this is very special for us,” Ignacio said after accepting the award in behalf of Ai-Ai.
Actors Arnold Reyes (Birdshot) and Tommy Abuel (Dagsin) tied for the Best Actor Award. While young movie director Mikhael Red (Birdshot) bagged the Best Director Award.
The movie Imbisibol was awarded for Best Screenplay, “The Apology” was adjudged Best Documentary, “EJK” got the Chairman’s Award while the title of Best Short Film was shared by movies Diliman and Supot.
The competing films were show at South Bay Pavilion Cinemark, 20700 Avalon Blvd., Carson City.
The opening ceremony of the Philippine film festival featured youthful Filipino Americans showing off their talents through a collective screening of their short films.
The youthful actors and filmmakers, belonging to a group called FilAm Creative, put together a compilation of original and visionary short movie themes — ranging from forlorn, hilarious to scary — which demonstrated the uniqueness of the psyche of Filipino American youths.
“I think this a great platform to showcase all the wonderful creative works from our filmmakers. And this is solely between the networking and the environment that we are building together. We creating a movement of filmmakers that would feature our creative talents in front of the camera and behind the scenes,” explained Meriden Villanueva, FilAm Creative president, during an after-party gathering.
Josh Andowitt of GMA International and one of LAPIFF founders, expressed gratitude to those who participated and as well as those who supported the undertaking in various ways. He particularly thanked Weekend Balita for its sponsorship.
“This is a promotion of Filipino films and Filipino filmmakers all over the world,” Andowitt said as he noted that LAPIFF is becoming better and bigger. He added that a rise on viewers’ attendance for the film festival was also observed this year.
Liza Diño Seguerra of the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) assisted LAPIFF founder and Hollywood Fil-Am actor Abe Pagtama during the awarding ceremony.