Jake Cuenca won the Best Actor trophy while Liza Diño bagged the Best Actress award at the 2014 International Film Festival Manhattan (IFFM).
Jake won for his role in the film Mulat (international title: Awaken) while Liza was recognized for playing the lead role in In Nomine Matris.
Directed by Will Fredo, In Nomine Matris was also chosen as the Best Feature Film of the IFFM.
Diane Ventura also bagged the award for Best Director for her film Mulat.
Both Jake and Liza personally accepted their trophies during the IFFM awarding held in New York on October 23.
Jake was recognized for his role in the film Mulat wherein he falls for a mysterious woman with a “strange mental affliction” (portrayed by Loren Burgos).
Jake's character clashes with Ryan Eigenmann who portrays the other man in the story.
Directed by Diane Ventura, the film Mulat is described by IFFM as follows:
"How much choice do we have in shaping our destinies? Sam is about to make the big leap and marry her boyfriend when a powerful dream convinces her otherwise. Starting over, she meets Jake and it seems she has finally found her soul mate. But a strange mental affliction threatens to change her life once more and possibly her last chance at happiness for good."
In his Instagram account, Jake shared a video of his acceptance speech wherein he thanked his director Diane Ventura.
The Best Actor winner said: "This is an amazing thing. You express something that you really believe in, regardless of the fact that it makes money, regardless of the fact that people watch it.
"I'm going to go home and shed a tear."
Jake held up his trophy as he exclaimed, "Mabuhay ang Pilipinas!"
In his Instagram account, Jake posted this update: "My first best actor award and I got it here in New York! #dreamscomingtrue"
My first best actor award and I got it here in New York! #dreamscomingtrue— Jake Cuenca (@ijakecuenca) October 24, 2014
Jake is currently finishing his method acting workshop at the prestigious Lee Strasburg Theater and Film Institute in New York.
He was previously nominated as Best Actor in the 4th Queens World Film Festival held in New York.
In the Cinemalaya 2013 entry Nuwebe, Jake was nominated for his portrayal of a father who sexually abused his daughter.
SECOND BEST ACTRESS WIN AT IFFM. This year marks the second time that Liza Diño received a Best Actress award from the International Film Festival Manhattan (IFFM).
This year, the girlfriend of Aiza Seguerra was recognized for her role in In Nomine Matris as Mara, a young dance protege seeking to land a major role in a project.
Liza previously won as Best Actress at the 2011 IFFM for her movie Compound.
Filipino short films were also featured in the IFFM this year namely TNT (directed by Roberto Reyes Ang, starring Perry Escano); Milky Boy (directed by Arnold Arre); Traffic Light / Semaporo (directed by Regis Gabriel De Guia) and Astray (directed by Nerissa Picadizo, starring Angel Aquino).