'Thy Womb' wins audience award in San Francisco

By Rommel Conclara, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 25 2014 03:14 PM | Updated as of Jun 25 2014 11:14 PM

SAN FRANCISCO, California - Nora Aunor's critically acclaimed movie "Thy Womb" had its official US premiere in San Francisco over the weekend.

The Brillante Mendoza-directed movie also won the audience favorite film award at the annual New Filipino Cinema Festival at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts.

Moviegoers were also treated to various Filipino films in the festival including Vilma Santos' "Ekstra," and Jasmine Curtis-Smith’s "Transit" -- the Philippine's official entry to the Academy Awards.

Curators Philbert Ortiz Dy and Joel Shepard were instrumental in bringing the films from the Philippines to the US.

"I've been trying to get the film for a year and half and bugging the director Brillante Mendoza over and over. I finally met with him with the help of one of his actresses. I had a meeting with him and told him how much people were dying in San Francisco to see this film,” Ortiz Dy said.

Aunor, dubbed as the Philippine superstar, is one of the most beloved actresses in Philippine cinema.

A recent Huffington Post blog written by a Filipino praised "the brown and beautiful" Aunor as the "greatest" Filipina actress.

The article pointed out that while the mestizos and mestizas rule Manila's tinseltown, Aunor is a breath of fresh air in "the city of bleached-brown faces and light skinned faces that magically don't tan in the tropical sun."

The blog also lamented that Aunor was not chosen as one of the National Artists of the Philippines.

While fellow Bicolanos and fans of Aunor continue to question why she was snubbed, her film spoke for itself.

Last weekend's screening of “Thy Womb” was sold out, and a few more screenings will be available in San Francisco for one more weekend.

"I don't know if you notice but the Noranians are here, the Nora Aunor fan club. We're sold out and we have more screenings next week," Ortiz Dy said.

Huffington Post blogger Bino Realuyo concluded his piece by saying that Aunor "has proven time and again that her brown Filipino face is worth a ticket to a movie -- defying skin whitened blockbusters."