Sid Lucero and Emilio Garcia won the Best Actor Award for Selda (international title: The Inmate) at the 49th Thessaloniki International Film Festival held last November 23 in Greece. Directors Paolo Villaluna and Ellen Ramos accepted the award in behalf of their two stars.
It is the first time in the 49-year history of Thessaloniki IFF that they gave two Best Actor awards for a single film. Selda is also the first Filipino film to be in the main competition of the festival.
Jury President Michael Ondaatje, writer of The English Patient (1997), liked the film very much and said that Selda was "a powerful film."
Diablo Cody, scriptwriter of Juno (2007) and member of the jury also told Paolo and Ellen afterwards that she cried after watching the film. "It's "absolutely beautiful," she told the two directors of the film.
Also starring Ara Mina, Selda is about a young man (Sid) who is imprisoned and develops a close relationship with another prisoner (Emilio).
Selda also competed at the Montreal World Film Festival last August and was also the first Filipino movie to compete in that festival.
Brillante Mendoza's Serbis and Francis Xavier Pasion's Jay were also screened during the festival in the Independence Days section. Direk Francis was there to introduce the film while Brillante was supposed to be a member of the jury but did not make it due to conflicts with his schedule. He had just come from a press junket for his film Serbis in New York. Serbis has been acquired for distribution in Greece.
Selda and Jay are represented by Ignatius Films Canada and Serbis by Fortissimo Films.
The jury of the International Competition Section of the 49th Thessaloniki Film Festival comprised of jury presidentMichael Ondaatje, writer (Canada), Diablo Cody, screenwriter (USA), Yeşim Ustaoğlu, director (Turkey), Lita Stantic, producer (Argentina), Émilie Dequenne, actress (Belgium), David Robinson, film critic (UK), and Dionissis Savopoulos, composer (Greece).
Winners of the 49th Thessaloniki International Film Festival include:
- Best Feature Film Award - Golden Alexander (37,000 Euros) AAN JA, (Over There) by Abdolreza Kahani, Iran
- Special Jury Award - Silver Alexander (22,000 Euros) Pescuit Sportiv, (Hooked) by Adrian Sitaru, Romania / France
- Best Director Award to Celina Murga for Una Semana Solos (A Week Alone), Producers Juan Villegas, Inés Gamarci, Argentina
- Best Screenplay Award to Matthew Newton for Three Blind Mice, by Matthew Newton, Producer Ben Davis, Australia
- Best Actress Award ex aequo to Ioana Flora and Maria Dinulescu for Pescuit Sportiv (Hooked), by Adrian Sitaru, Producers Adrian Sitaru, Marie-Pierre Macia, Juliette Lepoutre, Romania / France
- Best Actor Award ex aequo to Sid Lucero and Emilio Garcia for Selda (The Inmate), by Ellen Ramos and Paolo Villaluna, Producer Josephine Saba, Philippines