Nora Aunor film holds successful premiere in Davao
MANILA, Philippines – International recognition for locally made films do not only bring "pride" to Filipinos; it should also serve as a push for local moviegoers to find out why film likes "Thy Womb" are earning raves even overseas, the film's director said.
"'Pag may award, dapat siguro alamin natin kung bakit. Hindi lang ‘pag nananalo, 'Salamat, proud kami.' Siguro hudyat na 'yun para sa mga Pilipino para alamin ba't siya na nananalo, dapat siguro panoorin natin," said Brillante Mendoza, the acclaimed director of "Thy Womb."
"So pakiusap ko po sa mga kababayan natin, pag naa-appreciate tayo sa ibang bansa, hindi lang doon, kundi dito rin naman sa Pilipinas [para] maramdaman natin bilang artists na naa-appreciate kami ng mga kababayan natin," Mendoza added Friday afternoon, speaking to ABS-CBN News at the sidelines of a press conference for the premiere Davao screening of "Thy Womb."
Before Mendoza won Friday night the Achievement in Directing for "Thy Womb" at the 6th Asia Pacific Screen Awards (APSA), the Nora Aunor-starrer was recognized at international film festivals in Venice and Toronto.
Leading up to its nationwide screening of "Thy Womb" in the Philippines on Christmas Day -- it earned a last-minute slot in the 38th Metro Manila Film Festival -- Aunor also garnered raves for her portrayal in the film as a Badjao midwife coping with her own infertility.
Moments before the Friday premiere of the film at the Sineng Pambansa festival at the SM Lanang, Mendoza formally announced Aunor's most recent honor for her "Thy Womb" role. She won Best Performance by an Actress, also at the 6th APSA.
"Hindi ko po ito makukuha kung wala kayo," Aunor said of her latest acting award, addressing the audience. "Nagpapasalamat po ako na nandito kayo ngayong gabi."
"Masayang-masaya po ako na nakarating ako muli dito sa Davao, sa lugar ninyo," she added, "Kasi po dati, concert ho pag nandito ako, ngayon naman pelikula."
For his part, Mendoza sees Davao as his "second home," having filmed there a number of times.
"Ganoon 'yung pakiramdam ko dito, dahil ilang beses na tayo nagpunta dito, at 'yung pelikula natin, ramdam talagang welcome kami, at pinagmamalaki rin namin 'yung kultura nila," Mendoza said, referring to "Thy Womb" being set in Tawi-Tawi, reflecting Mindanao's prevalent culture and religion.
"So it's a mutual admiration from us, from the people of Mindanao, and from us na gumawa ng pelikula," the Cannes-winning director added.
With the nationwide premiere of "Thy Womb" underway via the MMFF, Mendoza also shrugged off intrigues linked to his latest film on its participation in the yearly film festival.
"Siguro na-timing-an lang. Siguro kung maaalala natin, dati hindi kami natanggap ta's natanggap kami, so kumbaga sumasakay lang naman kami kung ano 'yung dumarating sa 'min," he said.
"So without any bad feelings toward anyone, basta makagawa ka ng magandang pelikula at ma-share mo sa kababayan mo, 'yun na 'yun," Mendoza added.