‘Die Beautiful’ wins Audience Award
Portraying a Chinese-Filipino transgender whose dying wish is to be dressed as Lady Gaga for his funeral in the movie Die Beautiful, TV host-actor Paolo Ballesteros bagged the Best Actor at the Tokyo International Film Festival (TIFF) on Thursday.
Ballesteros was a hit, not just in the movie, but at the awards ceremony too where he turned heads dressed as Julia Roberts. Ditto when the festival opened with a red-carpet event last week dressed as Angelina Jolie.
With his win, Ballesteros is the second Filipino actor to bring home a TIFF trophy, along with Eugene Domingo in 2013 as Best Actress for Barber’s Tales. And with the festival officially accredited by the FIAPF (Fédération Internationale des Associations de Producteurs de Films or International Federation of Film Producers Associations), he also joins the ranks of Nora Aunor who won at the 1995 Cairo International Film Festival for The Flor Contemplacion Story; Therese Malvar at the 2016 Moscow International Film Festival for Hamog; and Jaclyn Jose at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival for Ma’ Rosa.
Earlier in the day, producer Perci Intalan was already on social media, jubilantly announcing that Die Beautiful, which he produced and directed by his life partner Jun Robles Lana, had just been proclaimed winner of the TIFF’s Audience Award.
Another Filipino movie, Birdshot, starring Arnold Reyes,Mary Joy Apostol, Ku Aquino and John Arcilla won the Best Asian Future Film Award.
Meanwhile, Die Beautiful has been submitted to the 2016 Metro Manila Film Festival, and hopes to be chosen as a finalist for the December 25 nationwide run.