By Bayani San Diego Jr.
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines—Filipino actress Nora Aunor won the best actress prize while Brillante Mendoza bagged the best director award for “Thy Womb” in the 6th annual Asia Pacific Screen Awards held in Brisbane, Australia, Friday night.
Mendoza and Aunor were clearly ecstatic about their movie’s latest triumph.
“After winning abroad, we hope our countrymen would become more curious to watch our films so that indie films will be recognized not only by foreigners, but by Filipinos well,” said Mendoza.
Founded in 2007, the Asia Pacific Screen Awards seeks to “recognize and promote cinematic excellence and cultural diversity in the vast Asia-Pacific region … and is considered as the region’s highest accolade in film.”
All APSA winners and nominees are inducted into the Asia Pacific Screen Academy. They are some of the most respected names in film from the region.
Four years ago, Ishmael Berna’s “Himala,” which also starred Aunor, won the CNN APSA Viewers’ Choice award for best Asia-Pacific film of all time.
Aunor and Mendoza were informed of the good news while at the Philippine premiere of “Thy Womb,” held during the second Sineng Pambansa at the SM Lanang in Davao City.
They chose to hold the local premiere of “They Womb” in Davao because the film was set in Tawi-Tawi.
Both Aunor and Mendoza fell in love with the island-province and have dedicated the film’s many triumphs to its “gentle, peace-loving” people.
Co-star Mercedes Cabral also graced the Davao screening,
APSA celebrates “the finest, bravest and most audacious cinema in the region,” according to its web site.
Chris Martinez, who attended the event in Brisbane, told the Inquirer that Marlon Rivera, the director of “Septic Tank,” was awarded the APSA Netpac award which comes with a film development cash prize of $5,000.
In September, “Thy Womb” won three awards at the 69th Venice International Film Festival: Bisato D’Oro, La Navicella or Venezia Cinema prize and the P. Nazareno Taddei Award Special Mention.