The winners of the 2016 QCinema International Film Festival were honored during the awarding ceremony held before the film fest ends on October 22.
The winners received their trophies at the awards night held last October 19 at the QCX Interactive Museum in Quezon City.
ABS-CBN actor JC de Vera won his first-ever Best Actor trophy at the film festival for playing a gay inmate in HF Yambao's entry Best. Partee. Ever.
In the movie, JC played the role of Mikey, a young, gay man who was sent to jail for drug pushing.
In an interview after the ceremony, JC was speechless when asked about his latest achievement.
"Hindi ko alam, hindi ko alam," the Kapamilya actor told PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) and other members of the press.
He added, "Hindi ako makapag-salita as in, very overwhelmed ako."
The former TV5 star was just grateful that his sacrifices for the film paid off.
JC said this is his first time to do an indie film as well as his first time to portray a gay character.
He pointed out, "As in lahat nung hirap ko dun sa loob ng jail, yung 30-second na kiss, nag-pay off siya."
Meanwhile, newbie actress Laila Ulao was speechless when she bagged the Best Actress trophy at the QCinema 2016.
She won the award for her performance in the Sheron Dayoc's entry Women of the Weeping River, which took home the Best Picture award.
Laila told the press, "Hindi ko po ma-explain, parang nasa clouds. I don't know, hindi ko ma-explain."
Like JC, this is also Laila's first time to star in an independent film.
The actress originally works as a nurse in Zamboaga when Sheron tapped her to portray the lead character in his film.
When asked about the experience on filmmaking, Laila said, "Masaya naman po, masaya sila katrabaho lagi and ayun, basta masaya. Unforgettable and once in a lifetime experience."
Sheron was definitely suprised with Laila's Best Actress win knowing that seasoned actresses including Nora Aunor and Jaclyn Jose are also competing in the category.
The director feels that Laila deserves the award, especially since he considers her the best actress he has ever worked with.
On why he picked Laila for the role, Sheron explained, "Kaibigan lang namin siya sa isang play. We worked in an NGO and kakilala ko lang siya.
"I know a bit about her background and kasi yung beauty niya, it's very appealing sa camera."
Here are some scenes from the 2016 QCinema International Film Fest:
"Never ko naisip na makakarating ako sa point na makakareceive ako ng award," JC told the press after receiving his Best Actor trophy for his performance in HF Yambao's Best. Partee. Ever.
What made him accept the role? JC answered, "Honestly, I don't know. Sinabi ko lang yes!" He continued, "Of course, sinabi sa akin yung story pero hindi ko alam talaga yung mahihirap na bagay na ipapagawa nila sa akin. Sabi ko na lang sa director na yun nga, sorpresahin niyo na lang ako."
Laila Ulao was able to beat veteran actresses Nora Aunor and Jaclyn Jose for the Best Actress award.
Laila Ulao is a nurse by profession, and currently resides in Zamboanga.
Sheron Dayoc's Women of the Weeping River won the Best Picture award in this edition of the film festival organized by the Quezon City government.
Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista told members of the press that there are plans to open a Film Market in the 2017 edition of the film festival.
Hondo by Aedrian Araojo won the Best Short Film award.
Young filmmaker Inshallah Montero received the QCinema Shorts Jury Prize for her entry Papa's Shadow.
Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) Chairperson Liza Dino presented the award for Best Actor.
Aiza Seguerra accompanied wife Liza Dino at the awards night.
Ang Manananggal sa Unit 23B director Prime Cruz received the award for Best Director.
Bradley Liew, director of Singing In Graveyards, and Anton Juan, director of Woven Wings of our Children, received their certificate of participation at the QCinema International Film Festival 2016.
GMA-7 actress Barbara Miguel graced the awards night. She is part of the Asian Next Wave entry Woven Wings of Our Children directed by Anton Juan.
The Circle Competition Jury (L-R): Julian Ross, Programmer at International Film Festival Rotterdam; Vidayashangkar Neelakanta, Founder and Director of Bengaluru International Film Festival; Maggie Lee, Chief Asia Film Critic for Variety; Benjamin Illos, Programmer for Cannes' Director's Fortnight; with Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista and Festival Director Eduardo Lejano Jr.
Issa Litton hosted the awards night.