It was sweet victory for the dark comedy Wanted: Border after it bagged seven trophies in the fifth Cinema One Originals Awards held last night, November 15, at the Dolphy Theater in ABS-CBN.
The Rosanna Roces-starrer Wanted: Border won Best Film, Best Screenplay and Best Director, for writer-director Ray Defante Gibraltar. When Direk Ray accepted his first trophy, he spoke in Hiligaynon (native tongue of Iloilo where the film was shot), and during his second speech, he spoke in Tagalog. Gibraltar thanked his mother from whom he draws inspiration, his staff, the stars and crew of Wanted: Border, his supporters in Iloilo, and everyone who helped him turn his film into reality.
Award-winning writer Ricky Lee and Cinema One head Ronald Arguelles presented the award for Best Film. According to the jury, Wanted: Border won for its "malikhaing pagsasanib ng mga yugto ng buhay ng isang aswang" and how it captures the "nakaraang marahas na pagdanas ng incest, torture sa panahon ng diktaturya, at ang hindi na maibabalik na pagtatangkang mamuhay ng tahimik sa kasalukuyan."
When Wanted: Border was announced as Best Film, lead actress Rosanna Roces was so overjoyed that she literally hoisted herself up the stage, ignoring the stairs located at the side.
In her speech, Rosanna told the audience, "Talaga pong pinagtagpo-tagpo kami para gawin ang isang obra, isang obra na bumabasag sa sistema ng nakalakihang karahasan at pananakot sa mga bata, at ang imahinasyon kung papaano lumikha ng kani-kanilang salbasyon na hindi nakukuha sa dami ng nobena o sa ilang beses na pagpunta sa simbahan."
Rosanna also received her second Best Actress Award for playing Mama Saleng, a flesh-eating aswang who kills her boarders, cooks the mutilated flesh, and later on serves the meat in her Iloilo eatery. As she prepared her speech, Osang jokingly asked the crowd if she could render a long speech, since it had been many years since she accepted her last award. Rosanna was last honored by Gawad Urian as Best Actress for the 2001 film La Vida Rosa.
She read her acceptance speech that goes: "Una sa lahat, pinasasalamatan ko at ibinabalik ang kapurihan sa Diyos na nagbigay sa akin ng talentong aking nagagamit." The audience applauded and she continued, "Parang medium sa anumang nais niyang iparating sa mga taong nawawalan na ng pag-asa at nakalilimot na, na ang buhay ay tulad ng isang sining at para sa akin, ang sining ay buhay." She went on to say that she accepted the film despite its purposely-misspelled title, and the offer came at a time when she was mired in hatred due to unfavorable circumstances.
She read on, "Kaysa maging agiw na kakain sa aking pagkatao, ang poot ay aking ginamit upang makagawa ng isang obra, isang obrang taglay ang kabaliwan ng bawat isa sa atin." Rosanna then spoke in Hiligaynon to thank the director, the production crew, as well as her children and grandchildren whom she said serve as an inspiration to continue living. The actress revealed that she once considered her life worthless.
Wanted: Border also received awards for Best Production Design (Al Alacapa, Winston Lazaro and Allan Hilado); Best Music (Malik Lopez and Eric Romulo), and Best Cinematography (Ogi Sugatan).
Mikel Campos was recognized Best Actor for his role in Maximus & Minimus, a mature comedy about the romantic adventures of a plus-sized woman. Mikel, who was able to beat Baron Geisler and Enchong Dee in this category, had abundant words of gratitude for Nap Jamir, the director of the film.
Child actor Jan Harley Hicana stuttered adoringly as he gave his speech for the Best Supporting Actor award. Veteran actress Rio Locsin gladly received the Best Supporting Actress trophy, saying, "sa katagal-tagal ko sa pelikulang Pilipino, ngayon pa lang ako nagka-award." Both of them were recognized for their roles in Si Baning Si Maymay at ang Asong si Bobo, a film about the alternative education that a young girl receives from an older student outside a formal classroom.
Paano Ko Sasabihin, a romantic comedy about two people who converse through sign language, won Best Editing (Anna Isabel Matutina) and the 2009 Viewer's Choice Award. It stars ABS-CBN talents Erich Gonzales and Enchong Dee as two people who spark a conversation in the MRT while pretending to be hearing-impaired.
Best Sound went to Bala-Bala (Mark Laccay), a film about faith healers and their quest to unravel the mystery behind the unexpected deaths of kids and animals in a provincial town. Laccay offered the award to the late Alexis Tioseco, a recognized supporter of the local film industry.
STAR-STUDDED AWARDING. Star Magic's Giggerboys— composed of Best Actor nominee Enchong Dee, Robi Domingo, Sam Concepcion, Arron Villaflor, Dino Imperial, and AJ Perez—opened the awarding ceremony with their production number. For an intermission number, American Idol semi-finalist AJ Tabaldo sang Beyonce's "If I Were A Boy" with Fil-Am singer Bernie Ann.
Providing laughs and spiels for the night as hosts were comedienne and last year's Cinema One Originals jury member Eugene Domingo and matinee idol Piolo Pascual. The two stars previously worked together as actress and producer, respectively, in the comedy hit, Kimmy Dora.
Special honorary awards were given to acclaimed director Danny Zialcita and Cannes-recognized filmmaker Brillante Mendoza. Moreover, the award-giving body honored 15 Cinema One Legends—Fernando Poe Jr., Dolphy, Susan Roces, Nida Blanca, Christopher de Leon, Vilma Santos, Nora Aunor, Maricel Soriano, Aga Muhlach, Robin Padilla, Judy Ann Santos, Claudine Barretto, John Lloyd Cruz, Sharon Cuneta and Piolo.
Piolo received the award incredulously while co-host Eugene hinted that she wanted her own trophy. KC Concepcion, Piolo's Lovers in Paris co-star, received the award in behalf of her mother Sharon Cuneta.
VIEWER'S CHOICE AWARDS. In celebration of its 15th anniversary, Cinema One commemorated the unforgettable Filipino films by giving out awards voted on by loyal Cinema One viewers through text. The winners were:
King and Queen of Hearts - Kim Chiu and Gerald Anderson
Kontrabidas (The Top Kontrabidas in Philippine Cinema) - Gladys Reyes
Pang-Award (Most Dramatic Lines in Philippine Movies) - Himala and Bituing Walang Ningning
Cinema Shockers (Scenes from Philippine Movies which generated great shock value) - Bona
Laban Kung Laban (Memorable Action and Fight Sequences in Philippine Movies) - Ang Utol Kong Hoodlum
Directed By (Most Popular Director of All-Time) - Olive Lamasan
Kilig Bits (Romantic Lines from Philippine Movies) - Got 2 Believe
Kiss Me (Most Memorable Kissing Moments in Philippine Movies) - Kailangan Kita
Theme Song Forever (Most Memorable Movie Theme Songs) - A Very Special Love
It List! (Stars of today who we predict to make it through the next 15 years) - Kim Chiu
Movie Hunks (Sexiest Male Stars / Most Popular Sexy Male Star) - Piolo Pascual
Movie Babes (Sexiest Female Stars / Most Popular Sexy Female Star) - Angel Locsin
Among those who received their awards that night were screenwriter Ricky Lee for Himala and Piolo Pascual for Sexiest Male. The final intermission number featured ASAP '09 mainstays Nikki Gil and Sam Milby as they performed select theme songs of well-loved Filipino movies.
The presentors that night included KC Concepcion, Mark Gil, Mylene Dizon, Rio Locsin, Chanda Romero, Tetchie Agbayani, Anita Linda, Cherry Pie Picache, Toni Gonzaga, Jon Santos, Dimples Romana, Baron Geisler, Enchong Dee, Rosanna Roces, and other familiar names in the independent film industry.
This year's jury includes renowned writer Ricky Lee, screenwriter Armando Lao, director Raymond Red, member of the Manunuri ng Pelikalang Pilipino and Dean of the UP College of Mass Communication Dr. Rolando Tolentino, and Star For All Seasons Vilma Santos.
This year's entries will be screened at Gateway, Cubao until November 17. The Cinema One Originals Digital Movie Fest is produced and owned by Cinema One and the Creative Programs, Inc. through the annual Cinema One Originals project.
(CLICK HERE to check screening schedules)