Erik Matti’s film Honor Thy Father may have been disqualified from the 2015 Metro Manila Film Festival’s (MMFF) Best Picture category, but the film and its lead star John Lloyd Cruz are winning awards abroad. In the past two months alone, both Cruz and the movie have bagged awards from international film festivals in New York City and Switzerland.
Last month, Cruz became the first Filipino and Southeast Asian to win the Star Asia award at the New York Asian Film Festival. He was one of three recipients of the award, along with Hong Kong’s Miriam Yeung and South Korea’s Lee Byung-hun.
Cruz’s win at the NYAFF marks the actor’s first international win.
Stephen Cremin, NYAFF senior programmer, told NBC News, “Cruz was actually our first choice for this year’s Star Asia Awards. Honor Thy Father captures Cruz at a very interesting moment in his career, when he is changing audience pre-conceptions of him.”
This July, Honor Thy Father was awarded Best Asian Film in the Asian Competition section of the Neuchâtel International Fantastic Film Festival, an award-giving body in Switzerland that focuses on “fantastic films.” Honor Thy Father is the first Filipino film to win in the festival.
Honor Thy Father tells the story of a man trapped in a Ponzi scheme involving a religious group.
Despite the disqualification from the MMFF, Honor Thy Father received accolades in the Philippines. The Gawad Urian awarded the film Best Actor for Cruz, while the Gawad Tanglaw awarded the film Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor for Cruz, Best Supporting Actress for Meryll Soriano (tying with Pilar Pilapil for Etiquette for Mistresses), Best Musical Scoring for Erwin Romulo, and Best Screenplay for Michiko Yamamoto. The PMPC Star Awards for Movies also awarded the film Movie Supporting Actor for Tirso Cruz III, Movie Screenwriter for Yamamoto, and Movie Cinematographer for Ber Cruz.
Earlier this month, 15 year old actress Teri Malvar was also acknowledged at the New York Asian Film Festival for her roles in Ralston Jover’s Hamog and Sigrid Andrea Bernardo’s Ang Huling Cha-Cha ni Anita (Anita’s Last Cha-Cha). She was one of three actors who received the Screen International Rising Star Award.
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