4 World-Class Performances From Our Favorite Filipino Actresses
The Filipino independent film industry is an interesting scene to follow. There has been a growing interest in independent films from audiences, filmmakers, and celebrities, with some major movie stars such as John Lloyd Cruz, Vilma Santos, and Piolo Pascual starring in independent films.
At the same time, there has also been a clamor for compelling, high-quality films from major film outfits alike. Recently, four Filipino actresses have been recognized in various international film festivals. Get to know them, and the films that they have starred in:
1Jaclyn Jose in Ma’ Rosa
Jaclyn Jose won the Best Actress award in this year’s Cannes Film Festival, which marked the first time that a Filipina won an acting award in this film festival. Ma’ Rosa is the story of Rosa and her husband Nestor who run a sari-sari store that also sells illegal drugs. One day, police officers arrest Rosa and Nestor, and the only way for them to be released is through “bail money,” or a bribe. As Rosa and Nestor’s children are tasked to look for funds to bail out their parents, things start to unravel.
2LJ Reyes in Anino Sa Likod ng Buwan
Set in the early nineties at Marag, Anino sa Likod ng Buwan is a three-character drama that involves the interaction between a refugee couple and a soldier. The film is both personal and political, with Emma and her husband Nardo fighting for their freedom as internal refugees, and how Emma and Nardo’s relationship with Joel would play into their lives. The film won major prizes at the Pacific Meridian International Film Festival in 2015, such as Best Actress for LJ Reyes, Best Director for Jun Robles Lana, the FIPRESCI International Critics’ Prize, and Best Asian Film.
3Barbie Forteza in Laut
Laut tells the story of the Sama D’ Laut ethnic group and their struggles after being relocated to a poverty-stricken Badjao community in Mabalacat, Pampanga. The film also sheds light on the various customs and traditions of the Sama D’ Laut community as well. In an interview, lead actress Barbie Forteza shared that making the film opened her eyes to the plight of the Sama D’ Lauts. Her performance in this film granted her a Best Actress award in this year’s Fantasporto Film Festival in Portugal.
4Eugene Domingo in Barber’s Tales
Another film directed by Jun Robles Lana, Barber’s Tales is about Marilou, a newly widowed woman who inherits the only barbershop in her town after her husband died. She initially fails to attract customers in her barbershop, but an act of kindness will lead her to an unexpected opportunity. Eugene Domingo was named as Best Actress in the Tokyo International Film Festival last 2013, and was subsequently nominated in the 2014 Asian Film Awards.
With their wins in various international film festivals, these actresses have proven time and again that Filipino talent can compete in the international cinema circuit. We are hopeful that more people will appreciate Filipino films, and see the capabilities of our actors and filmmakers.