Donor named Best Film; Meryll Soriano and Brillante Mendoza honored at the 37th Brussels International Film Festival

Mark Meily (left) directs Meryll Soriano (seated in wheelchair) and Jao Mapa for one of the scenes of Donor. This Cinemalaya film won Best Film and Meryll won Best Actress during the 37th Brussels International Film Festival.

Mark Meily's Donor, his Cinemalaya entry about organ trafficking, was named Best Film during the awards night of the 37th Brussels International Film Festival (BIFF).

This is actually Meily's third time to take part in the filmfest that took place recently in Belgium.

"Na-invite na ako dati sa Brussels in 1988 for my short film Ang Pangako ng Bagong Simulain starring Pen Medina and Ricky Davao," said Direk Mark in a previous interview with PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal).

"Nakakatuwa nga kasi twenty-two years later, babalik ako doon."

The lead actress of Donor, Meryll Soriano, tearfully accepted her Best Actress trophy during the awards night.

"Thank you very much to the jury and to the organization of Brussels International Film Festival. I'm so proud to be part of this and I'm very honored and I would like to congratulate the whole film Donor and to congratulate all the films included in this festival," ABS-CBN quoted her as saying during the November 7 awards night held in Belgium.

The daughter of Willie Revillame won the coveted award for her role as Lizette, a woman who sells her kidney to raise money for her placement fee so she can work abroad.

In 2004, Direk Mark's film Crying Ladies also earned the Best Actress award for Sharon Cuneta for her role as a grieving woman-for-hire.

Renowned Filipino director Brillante Mendoza was honored with a Visionary Award for his innovation and valuable contribution to independent films.

He was quoted as telling the crowd, "I'm happy to be back here. I was here two years ago for Foster Child. Thank you so much for this award. I really didn't expect this."


The 37th edition of the BIFF also marked the first time that a Filipino actor sat as one of the jurors in the person of Marvin Agustin.

The GMA-7 actor is one of the stars of the period film Sigwa, which was one of the films in exhibition. Directed by Joel Lamangan, this film tackles the intertwining lives of activists who lived during the First Quarter Storm of 1970.





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