At the age of 83, Eddie Garcia has won his first international award for his portrayal of a grumpy gay man in the drama-comedy film Bwakaw.
This happened at the 55th Asia-Pacific Film Festival, where the Filipino actor was given a standing ovation as his name was called out as the winner in the Best Actor category.
Eddie was accompanied by his wife Lily at the awarding ceremony held at the Venetian Hotel in Macau last Saturday, December 15.
He beat five other actors from the region: Lee Byung-hun (Masquerade), Lau Ching Wan (Life Without Principle), Joseph Chang (Girlfriend, Boyfriend), Masato Sakai (Key of Life) and Tony Leung Kar Fai (Cold War).
Nora Aunor (Thy Womb) was also nominated in the Best Actress category, but the award went to Taiwanese actress Gwei Lun Mei of Girlfriend, Boyfriend.
In an interview with PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal), Eddie recalled the moment he was given a standing ovation.
“It’s an honor na binigyan nila ako ng recognition na standing ovation. Sa entire night, sa akin lang may standing ovation, so malaking karangalan, ‘ika nga.
“I was surprised because matitindi rin ang kalaban from different countries. Sa mga nominees, it’s anybody’s win. Either of the six, pwedeng manalo.”
When asked to recall his acceptance speech that night, the veteran actor said: “Pinasalamatan ko yung mga organizers because it was a very organized event. Pinasalamatan ko rin ang selection committee and yung jurors.
“Then after that, nagkaroon kami ng press con. Dahil bawat winner, diretso ka sa likod kung nasaan ang press and they start interviewing.”
Eddie’s wife, Lily, recalled that, in his speech, the Bwakaw star mentioned: “In Manila, we always say Mabuhay! Mabuhay, Macau!”
Lily also revealed that they met the internationally famous action star Jackie Chan during one of the events of the Asia-Pacific Film Festival.
Would Eddie say that he is even more inspired because of this accolade from an international award-giving body?
“Para sa akin, whether may award or wala, I’m always inspired. Sa akin, trabaho lang ‘yan,” he pointed out.
He added, “Para sa akin, an award is a bonus for a job well done. Hindi naman ako gumagawa ng pelikula, aiming for awards. Pag nagkataon na na-recognize, well and good.”
Directed by the multitalented Jun Lana, Bwakaw is also the Philippine representative to the 85th Academy Awards.
The five shortlisted Best Foreign Feature Film contenders—out of a total of 71 films in the category—will be revealed on January 10, 2013.
The winner will be announced during the Academy Awards ceremony on February 24, 2013.
Incidentally, a U.S.-based arts and culture magazine has listed the Philippines’ official Oscar entry Bwakaw as one of this year’s best undistributed films. Film Comment placed Bwakaw in the fifth slot of this year’s “50 Best Undistributed Films of 2012.”
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