When Prosti was released in 2002, it won the Urian best-actor trophy for Jay Manalo in May 2003. Earlier, it went to the Far East Film Festival, held from April 24 to May 1 in the Italian city of Udine (pronounced the Tagalog way, with three syllables).
Director Erik Matti was there to introduce his baby to European aficionados of Asian movies. When a presscon was held for Prosti, he was surprised at how much the critics knew about the Philippine movie industry: "They knew that Assunta got married. They knew that I launched Joyce Jimenez. They had seen Scorpio Nights 2. They wanted to know, ‘So what's the breast size of...' Ang dami nilang alam."
But Erik admitted, however, that he got depressed after the public screening of the movie. He started emailing friends: "I think they don't like my movie. It didn't get really warm applause. They were quiet after the screening."
The next day, however, the critics started coming up to Erik. "I really liked your movie," a French critic told him. "It's a new take on prostitution. There's no self-pity about the women being in prostitution." The filmfest programmer said the Italian critics "felt it was the best movie in the festival."
"And then, would you believe," Erik said, still unbelieving, "lumapit na 'yong iba, 'no, ang dami nang nagpapirma ng autograph."
Buoyed up by the "magandang reception," direk Erik went off to Venice, about an hour away from Udine, for some serious sightseeing. As for Prosti, it had its rounds of international filmfests afterwards—Barcelona, Brussels, Pisan in Korea, among others. Buyers expressed their interest in distributing the video in Germany and France.