Paolo Contis and Ai-Ai delas Alas bested some of the mostrenowned actors and actresses in the 24th Star Awards for Movies organized bythe Philippine Movie Press Club (PMPC).
The three-hour awarding ceremony was held last night, June27, at the Henry Lee Irwin Theater of the Ateneo de Manila University. The StarCinema film One More Chance bagged four awards that night:Movie of the Year, Movie Director of the Year (Cathy Garcia-Molina), MovieEditor of the Year (Marya Ignacio), and Movie Cinematographer of the Year(Manuel Teehankee).
Paolo Contis emerged as the Best Actor for the Metro Manila Film Fest entry Banal,beating John Lloyd Cruz (One More Chance), Ryan Eigenmann (Baliw),Sid Lucero (Selda), Aga Muhlach (A Love Story), and Piolo Pascual(Paano Kita Iibigin).
The GMA-7 star was overwhelmed by his victory, especially since it was hisfirst acting award for a movie. "Unang acting award ko ito sa pelikula. Salamatsa mga hindi tumanggap ng role at ako ang nandito. Siyempre, kay Isabel Oli,thank you for inspiring me."
Paolo told PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal)that he was the third choice for the movie about errant cops directed by GMA-7reporter Cesar Apolinario.
Hailed as the Movie Actress of the Year, Ai-Ai delas Alas could not help but becomeemotional when she accepted the award from the PMPC. "Ang galing ni Lord, sakabila ng mga tsismis, nagbibigay siya ng balanse," said a teary-eyed Ai-Aiduring her acceptance speech. The comedienne had the crowd laughing when shepointed out, "Yung mga kalaban ko, umiiyak, ako nahulog lang ako sa hagdanan,nanalo na."
Ai-Ai, who starred in the Wenn Deramas comedy Ang Cute ng Ina Mo, wasable to beat another comedy film starring Lorna Tolentino (Katas ng Saudi),and dramatic movies starring Bea Alonzo (One More Chance), Cherry PiePicache (Foster Child), Judy Ann Santos (Sakal, Sakali, Saklolo),and Maricel Soriano (A Love Story).
Aside from Paolo, another first-time winner was Cathy Garcia-Molina, who helmedOne More Chance. "Noong nasa film school ako [at the University of thePhilippines-Diliman], sabi ko hindi ko kakalimutan ang mga taong tumulong saakin. Lord, thank you sa talent na pinahiram ninyo sa akin," said the femaledirector. "Pare, John Lloyd, salamat sa pagbibigay buhay kay Popoy. Kay Bea, salamatsa pagbibigay buhay mo kay Basya. Basya, anak, salamat sa pagpapahiram ngpangalan mo."
The hosts of the evening were Piolo Pascual, Dawn Zulueta, Pops Fernandez, andMariel Rodriguez. Piolo bagged the male Celebrity Fab of the Night award aswell as the Male Face of the Night. Young actress Maja Salvador, who waswearing a peach Grecian-inspired long gown, was named the female Celebrity Fabof the Night. Dawn Zulueta, the wife of Davao del Norte Congressman AntonLagdameo, was named as the Celebrity Mom of the Night.
The female Face of the Night was Pops Fernandez while the Stars of the Nightwere John Lloyd Cruz and Eula Valdes. John Lloyd managed to crack jokes when heaccepted his award. "I was actually hoping to win tonight para may [pambili ng]gas. Ang mahal na po kasi ng gas kaya bago mag-midnight, magpa-gas na po kayo."
Tapped to be trivia hosts were Aga Muhlach, Angel Locsin,and Luis Manzano—all of whom taped video segments that tackled the theme"Musical Moments At The Movies."
The artists cited for theiroutstanding musical legacy were Nida Blanca, Dolphy, Nora Aunor, Fernando PoeJr., Sharon Cuneta, Maricel Soriano, and Vilma Santos.
One of the highlights of the evening was the tribute to the late RudyFernandez, who was given a posthumous award as the Ulirang Artista this year.Singers Pops Fernandez, Erik Santos, and Gian Magdangal performed the songwritten by Tirso Cruz III titled "Awit ni Daboy." Rudy's sister, Marie,accepted the award and gave a touching speech about the actor's legacy.
"In the 38 years that Rudy was in the movie industry,pinahahalagahan niya ang bawat award. Last June 7, Rudy went away. When heleft, his family wept. Lumisan po ang isang tunay na uliran. Di po natinmalilimutan ang kanyang maamong mukha, his warm smile that greeted everyone.
"Rudy's life was short but it was a life that was blessed, a life that wasmeaningful, a life that was filled with love. Rudy left a legacy of kindness, alegacy of humility, and a legacy of compassion. It is a legacy that willcontinue to live on," said Marie in her speech.
The PMPC Star Awards for Movies was aired on ABS-CBN last Sunday, June 29, 2008.
Click HERE to view photos of the event.