|"Thy Womb" director Brillante Mendoza and lead actress Nora Aunor. REUTERS
MANILA, Philippines – Veteran actress Nora Aunor failed to bag the best actress award for her performance in “Thy Womb” at the recently concluded 69th Venice International Film Festival.
The award for best actress was given to Hadas Yaron, who plays a fragile but passionate young girl becoming a woman in an Orthodox Hasidic community in Tel Aviv in Rama Burshtein's "Lemale Et Ha'Chalal" (Fill the Void).
The best actor award, on the other hand, was given to Joaquin Phoenix and Philip Seymour Hoffman for their performances in Anderson's "The Master."
South Korean director Kim Ki-duk's "Pieta," meanwhile, won the top prize at the film festival.
Before leaving for Venice on Tuesday night, Aunor said being recognized with an award for her portrayal in the film would only be a bonus.
"Ngayon, makasali lang 'yung pelikula nating 'Thy Womb,' ako'y masaya na. Siguro kung meron mang [award], mas masaya," she said.
While she was not named best actress, Aunor won the Bisato d' Oro Award from an independent award giving body in Venice for her portrayal in the same film.
The award was given by the Premio Della Critica Indipendente, a jury of independent film critics. Aunor is the first Pinay actress to win the award.
“Thy Womb” director Brillante Mendoza was also honored with a special award on Saturday.
The La Navicella Venezia Cinema Award was conferred by the Rivista del Cinematografo on Mendoza. Composed of film critics, Rivista del Cinematografo or Journal of Cinema, has been giving recognition to participating films at the yearly Venice film festival since 2000.
The La Navicella prize is given to a film director "particularly relevant for the affirmation of human values."
“Thy Womb” was up against 17 films which vied for the Golden Lion award at the Venice film festival.
The film’s cast, which includes Lovi Poe and Mercedes Cabral, received a five-minute standing ovation after the film’s screening at the prestigious film fest. – With report from Agence France-Presse