MANILA, Philippines -- Veteran actress Nora Aunor and Cannes-winning director Brillante Mendoza have arrived home from the 69th Venice International Film Festival.
|Nora Aunor (left), seen here with Brillante Mendoza, holds her trophy for the the Bisato d' Oro Award at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) on Tuesday afternoon. Photo by Raoul Esperas
Aunor and Mendoza arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) on Tuesday afternoon after the success of "Thy Womb," the lone Filipino film at the yearly film festival in Italy.
In the film directed by Mendoza, alternately titled "Sinapupunan," Aunor plays a Badjao midwife who is coping with the irony of her own infertility.
For her portrayal in the independent film, Aunor was handed the Bisato d' Oro Award. The trophy was conferred on the veteran actress by the Premio Della Critica Indipendente, a jury of independent film critics.
"Masayang-masaya po [ako], at ito ay para sa sambayanang Pilipino. Inaalay ko sa lahat ito, lalung-lalo na ang mga fans, at sa lahat ng mga kaibigan na naniniwala at may tiwala pa rin sa 'kin hanggang ngayon, sa amin," Aunor told reporters on Tuesday afternoon.
"Lahat nung nangyari ay kakaiba sa akin, dahil unang-una ko naka-attend ng ganitong klaseng festival, tulad ng Venice, kaya hindi maipaliwanag 'yung kaligayahan na nadarama ko ngayon," she added.
Mendoza, for his part, won the La Navicella Venezia Cinema Award, a recognition given to a film director "particularly relevant for the affirmation of human values" by the Rivista del Cinematografo, or Journal of Cinema.
Set on the islands of Tawi-Tawi in Mindanao, "Thy Womb" also won the P. Nazareno Taddei Award (Special Mention), which is given to films that "express authentic human values."
Also starring Lovi Poe, Mercedes Cabral and Bembol Roco, "Thy Womb" was accorded a five-minute standing ovation after its premiere screening in Italy.
The Filipino film is also among the 62 films that will be screened in Contemporary World Cinema program of the Toronto International Film Festival, which runs until September 16.