MANILA — Elijah Canlas, now more known for the BL (boys' love) series “Gameboys,” won Thursday the top acting prize in the 17th Asian Film Festival in Rome, Italy, for his role in the acclaimed film “Kalel, 15.”
The recognition was announced by “Kalel, 15” producer The IdeaFirst Company, with director Jun Robles Lana commending Canlas as an acting “chameleon.”
“When he takes on a role, he becomes the character, and you can’t imagine it being played by anyone else. He’s a gifted storyteller and he really works so hard at it,” Lana said.
Canlas portrayed the titular role in the film, which centers on the 15-year-old boy as he navigates a secret life and grapples with being HIV-positive.
“This means the world to me,” Canlas said of Lana’s praise. “Thanks, direk! For trusting me and squeezing the best out of me. I promise to always work hard.”
The latest accolade for Canlas’ performance in the 2019 film comes amid the wide popularity of “Gameboys,” which is also produced by IdeaFirst.