MANILA - What did the winners of the 5th Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival do after the awarding ceremony at the Cultural Center of the Philippines Sunday night?
Comedian Lou Veloso Jr., who won the most coveted best actor prize, attended a victory party thrown by his two sons.
During the awards night, Veloso thanked filmmaker Jose Javier Reyes for giving him a character he would portray the longest time in his acting career on film and television—that of the high-pitched colonial henpeck Truman.
“Sa stage lang ako nakakapag-drama,” said Veloso.
He also did some minor roles in independent films but they were all forgettable until new director, Jon Steffan Ballesteros, offered him a meaty role in “Colorum.”
Initially, Veloso was worried he couldn’t comply with the film requirements because he had to regularly attend to his council tasks.
“May trabaho ako sa munisipyo,” the Manila councilor quipped.
So he advised Ballesteros he couldn’t do an out-of-town shoot. The role seemed tailor-made for him, though, and the proponent wouldn’t take no for an answer.
Adjustments were made, nonetheless.
The role was meant for him because the calendar shoot was scheduled during the entire Holy Week, an opportune time for Veloso.
The result—a poignant portrayal of an ex-con in the road film “Colorum.”
“I had fun also traveling from Manila to Ormoc City in Leyte,” Veloso chuckled.
Ina Feleo, daughter of seasoned actors Laurice Guillen and Johnny Delgado, won the best actress award for her role in Milo Sogueco’s “Sanglaan.” Ina, a ballet and an outstanding ice skater, wasn’t around to receive her Balanghai trophy because of previous commitment.
Her sister, Ana Feleo, went up the stage and accepted the plum instead.
She got hold of her second Balanghai trophy just today, Monday.
During the awards night, movie writer Dennis Adobas was sharp enough to notice reactions from celebrities, however emphatic, some of them even too dramatic.
One of them was director Mike Sandejas of the “Dinig Sana Kita” fame.
“Alam mo, mula nang manalo si GB (Giuseppe Bede)Sampedro ng best director, hindi na ngumiti si Mike,” observed Adobas.
Sampedro won for his grim city tale, “Astig.” His film clinched 4 out of 14 artistic awards.
Sandejas’ entry just won one artistic and technical award for best musical score apart from two independent non-artistic awards. These non-artistic awards were National Council for Children’s Television and Audience Choice, which is a recognition given to the most viewed digital indie.
Sunday’s awarding ceremony was also a romantic rendezvous for lovers Sampedro and Candy Pangilinan, who left the venue after the director’s triumph in his movie directorial debut.
Sampedro admitted Pangilinan, apart from his three kids, was his inspiration.
Short filmmaker Rommel Tolentino, also known as Milo Tolentino, bagged the special jury award for his “Blogog” in Cinemalaya’s short film division. He wasn’t around to accept his trophy and his lady assistant received his plum instead.
Tolentino is in Lobo, Batangas since last week to shoot a Rio Locsin film with reliable actress Geraldine Tan.
Tan was part of Jowee Morel’s “Latak,” one of Cinemalaya’s NETPAC (Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema) entries.
Television and film writer Ralston Jover didn’t make it to the awards night when his creation, a documentary-type feature film “Baseco Bakal Boys,” won the NETPAC Award, a prestigious citation in support of young filmmakers in Asia.
He had to attend a very important meeting for a television soap opera Monday.
Best supporting actress Tessie Tomas, for her moving portrayal of a businesswoman in “Sanglaan,” went home immediately with mom Laura Hermosa.
Best supporting actor Arnold Reyes of “Astig,” meantime, readily reported to his manager Boy Abunda and celebrated the night with friends and colleagues.
All in all, the prevailing atmosphere after the awarding ceremony was free spirit of artists.