No less than President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo honored the winners of the 8th Cinemanila International Film Festival (CIFF) held last Saturday, November 11, at the Malacañang Ceremonial Hall.
The Philippines' entry, Kubrador by Jeffrey Jeturian, won the Lino Brocka Award or the grand prize of the CIFF.
Kubrador, starring Gina Pareño, previously won the FILPRESCI Critics Award at the 28th Moscow International Film Festival last May and Best Picture at the Osian Cinefan Film Festival in New Delhi, India last July.
Stanley Kwan's Everlasting Regret (Hong Kong) was awarded the Special Jury Prize.
South Korean superstar Lee Young-Ae was named Best Actress for Sympathy for Lady Vengeance. Lee was the star of the hit GMA-7 Koreanovela, Jewel in the Palace.
The Best Actor trophy went to Alexei Chadov for his performance in 9th Company, a joint production of Russia, Ukraine and Finland.
In the Digital Lokal (Filipino digital films) category, the grand prize went to Manoro by Brillante Mendoza, who was also adjudged Best Director. Brillante's previous works were the critically acclaimed films Masahista and Kaleldo.
The Jury Prize was awarded to Khavn dela Cruz for Squatterpunk.
Diamond Star Maricel Soriano was named Best Actress for her performance in Numbalikdiwa while character actor Archie Adamos won best actor for Raket ni Nanay. Maricel and Archie both failed to attend the awarding ceremony.
John Ballesteros's Ballad of Mimiong's Minion was awarded the Ishmael Bernal Award for Young Cinema.
Best Short Film was Hopia by Janus Victoria while the Best Documentary was given to Paper Dolls by Tomer Heymann from Israel.
Lifetime Achievement Awards were also bestowed to Aruna Vasudev, festival director of the Osian Cinefan Festival of Asian Cinema, and Philip Cheah, festival director of the Singapore International Film Festival.
The Cinemanila International Film Festival, which ran from November 3-15, is a joint initiative of the Film Development Council of the Philippines, Independent Cinema Association of the Philippines, and the National Commission for Culture and the Arts.