Philippine cinema has received another international milestone as Zig Dulay’s Bambanti won Best Film at the inaugural Festival International du Film de Bruxelles (Brussels International Festival of Films); and the Golden Elephant Best Actor award for Micko Laurente at the Asian Panorama of the 19th International Children’s Film Festival India (ICFFI).
The film, produced by Wilson Tieng and Brillante Mendoza, follows the story of Belyn and her son Popoy as they are accused of stealing a watch. Bambanti is an Iloko term for scarecrow. The film screened at this year’s Cinemalaya and Sinag Maynila, and stars Alessandra de Rossi as Belyn and Micko Laurente as Popoy.
The Festival International du Film de Bruxelles is an annual film festival that discovers strong narratives in cinema from all over the world. This year, Bambanti beat entries from Iran, Algeria, Japan, Morocco, and France.
The ICFFI is a biennial that brings imaginative children’s cinema to young audiences in India. At the ICFFI, Laurente won against actors from Japan, India, and Canada.
Apart from the wins at the Festival International du Film de Bruxelles and the ICFFI, Bambanti also won the Best Actress trophy at the first Sinag Maynila this year for de Rossi’s portrayal.