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Pandemic movie 'Broken Blooms' wins awards at international film festivals

MANILA, Philippines, October 31 ------ Director Louie Ignacio is a veteran of many awards for film and television. But the prestigious Special Jury award he got from the 8th Brasilia International Film Festival in Brazil for "Broken Blooms" is different.

“It’s the first and only Filipino film that made it in the Brazilian filmfest,” he told the press in a thanksgiving event at the Manila Hotel. The director’s heart leaped for joy when he saw his kababayans wave tiny Filipino flags when he went up the stage after traveling 40 hours from Manila to Brazil to receive the award.

The Brazilians applauded, too. It turned out they identified with some of the scenes. The crystal clear waters where lead stars Jeric Gonzales (named Best Actor at Italy’s 4th Montelupo Fiorentino International Independent Film Festival and at India’s Mokkho International Film Festival) and Therese Malvar (Mokkho International Film Festival Best Actress) romped as a couple in the film, are reminiscent of Brazil’s long coastline. The Brazilians were also able to relate to the wedding scenes and the COVID-19 situation. Producer Ferdy Lapuz recalled a comment in the Q and A (Question and Answer) session following the film screening. “Someone said we handled the pandemic better. The Brazilians also commented that the film should be in competition because it tackled the COVID issue,” Lapuz shared.

The edge of "Broken Blooms," added Lapuz, lies in how it treated the themes of COVID-19, family and social matters. The themes were serious, but the treatment was not heavy-handed. The film's other awards are the Gold Remi Award at Houston International Film Festival and Best Narrative Feature at two festivals, namely, the Mokkho International Film Festival and the Tagore International Film Festival. The Tagore International Film Festival gave Gonzales and Jaclyn Jose Outstanding Achievements for Best Actor and Best Actress awards; Ignacio, the Critics’ Choice for Best Director and TM Malones, Best Cinematography honors. Gonzales also won Best Actor at the Harlem International Film Festival in New York.

The Mokkho International Film Festival gave Ignacio a Special Jury for Director. The director considers Gonzales his trophy actor since the former succeeded in bringing out the best in the GMA talent. “I motivated him by promising to give him a best actor award if he does his job well. An award is every actor’s dream. I know Jeric is good. His talent surfaced in 'Broken Blooms,'" the director said.

The film will be shown in the Philippines this year. It is the maiden venture of Engr. Benjamin Austria’s Bentria Productions.



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