The Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) handed out its first Parangal ng Sining trophies to some of the biggest names in the industry on Sunday night.
Dolly De Leon, Soliman Cruz, and filmmaker Martika Escobar received the Annual Achievement Award, while Vilma Santos, Nick Deocampo, Lily Monteverde, and Cinemalaya (represented by festival president Laurice Guillen) were awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award.
“Parangal ng Sining” (Honor of the Arts) is FDCP's initiative to give homage to Filipino filmmakers, artists, and institutions who continue to achieve and strive for excellence, leading to acclaim in international film festivals across the globe. De Leon has been in the industry for decades playing minor roles in television shows and movies. Still, it was her breakout performance in the Cannes-winning film “Triangle of Sadness” where she drew recognition globally from various film festivals and prestigious award-giving bodies.
“I'm so happy that in all of the years I've struggled as an actress, all of these were worth it. It's worth it. It is worth all the pain,” she said during her speech.
“I can't help but cry. I mean, I was literally next to Ate Vi (Sanots), whom I've been a fan of since I was a little girl. So, you can imagine that it was such an honor for me to be awarded at the same time as her. I think it's very important that the FDCP is recognizing the efforts of artists in the film industry because we need that to boost cinema and the Philippine film industry. After all, it's a struggle now, especially after Covid. So, I hope because of this, people are more inspired to go out and watch films,” de Leon said during a media interview after the event.
Meanwhile, an emotional Soliman Cruz, who played the lead character for the first time in his career through the Romanian film “To the North,” which won the Venice International Film Festival Premio Bisato D'Oro 2022, dedicated his award to her mother, whom she brought to the event. In his speech, he said in the vernacular, “Nay, this is for you.
To my children, the rest of my family and my mentors in theater, thank you very much.”Martika Escobar made history as the first-ever Filipino director to win at Sundance Film Festival, the largest independent film festival in the United States, with her feature film debut “Leonor Will Never Die.”
“Alongside triumphs, I would also like to say that it has not been easy — it has not been easy at all, not just for me or us, but for many artists in the industry. The support we need is more than recognition. It is resources, audience literacy, a higher value for education and labor and mindfulness. I dream of seeing and feeling this in the future of our lives as artists,” Escobar said.
“So, as I receive this award on behalf of filmmakers and artists alike, I also want it to be a symbol of togetherness in the difficult journey of pursuing the arts and hopefully with the help of institutions like FDCP, we will be able to navigate this world of creating with more ease and smiles,” she added.
For the awards night's highlight, Star for All Seasons Vilma Santos personally received her Lifetime Achievement Award from perennial screen partner Christopher de Leon. “Tonight, I've been honored again by the FDCP after 24 years, especially by Chair Pipo, with due respect — thank you very much,” she said in a mix of Filipino and English.
“I want you to know that tonight, I am a fan. Great artists are here tonight and great people from the industry are all here tonight. I cannot express my heart's happiness to see them all and to be with them, especially the great artists with me at the table. This is such a huge honor for me.”
In his speech, FDCP Chairman Tirso Cruz 3rd said the event celebrates excellence, achievement and the power of art to inspire, uplift and transform: “Let us honor these great artists and institutions for their lifetime of hard work, dedication and exceptional talent. Let us all be inspired by their example as we strive to achieve greatness in our own lives and in the world around us.”
Other celebrities who attended FDCP's Parangal ng Sining included Maricel Soriano, Agot Isidro, Ruby Ruiz, Ina Feleo and directors Jose Javier Reyes, Carlos Siguion-Reyna, Jun Lana, Mark Meily, Ruel Bayani, Dennis Marasigan and Chris Millado. Roselle Nava, Ana Feleo, Jason Dy and 92 AD performed during the program, which was hosted by Robi Domingo.
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