Blockbuster and multi-award-winning actor John Lloyd Cruz might add another trophy to his fully packed shelf with a Best Actor nomination at the prestigious 15th Asia Pacific Screen Awards.
While John Lloyd Cruz is known to many as the box-office king and heartthrob in his romantic movies like One More Chance and Miss You Like Crazy, his acting prowess is also present in the independent scene; gracing art house films with his undeniable talent and appeal. And as proof of that, Cruz was recently nominated for Best Performance for his work on Lav Diaz’s When The Waves Are Gone at this year’s Asia Pacific Screen Awards (APSA), the region’s highest accolade in film.
JLC AND LAV’S COLLABORATION
This is not the first time that the award-winning actor and the Filipino auteur have collaborated. John Lloyd Cruz has shown his range in Diaz’s past works like A Lullaby To A Sorrowful Misery acting alongside Piolo Pascual and in Historya ni Ha as the ventriloquist Hernando Alamado, which also earned him a Gawad Urian Best Actor nomination this year.
“Malaking factor ‘yung mga kaibigan namin. It’s based on trust,” shares Cruz in an interview, relating to how his collaboration with the director started. “Ang alam ko lang [tungkol kay] Lav Diaz is meron tayong representation, especially sa iba’t ibang dako ng mundo, through his cinema.” This year, the Gawad Urian and FAMAS awardee has starred in two Diaz pictures: A Tale of Filipino Violence, an historical epic based on National Artist Ricky Lee’s short story Servando Magdamag, and in Diaz’s latest offering, When The Waves Are Gone, which premiered out of competition at this year’s Venice Film Festival.
If there’s a filmmaker who has evidently put Filipino cinema on the world stage, it’s Lav Diaz. In 2014, he won the prestigious Golden Leopard at the Locarno Film Festival. After this, Diaz won the Silver Bear trophy at the 66th Berlin International Film Festival (the jury was headed by Meryl Streep) for A Lullaby To The Sorrowful Mystery and the coveted Golden Lion prize at the 73rd Venice International Film Festival for his film The Woman Who Left (besting Damien Chazelle’s La La Land) both in 2016.
“Sila ni Piolo ‘yung mukha ng pop culture. You’d see them everywhere—billboards, ads, pagbukas mo ng magazines, andoon sila. And you’d hear good things about them. So it’s great na finally nagkasama kami sa sine,” the award-winning director says about his partnership with John Lloyd Cruz. “Cinema for me is not confined to just one sector. Para sa akin, gusto kong isama lahat. I want to work with popular actors, with non-actors, theater actors.”
Diaz’s cinema (which some critics brand as “slow cinema”) is known for its contemplative nature and uncompromising runtime. To give you an idea, his magnum opus, Evolution Of A Filipino Family, clocks in at almost 11 hours while his 2006 crime drama, Heremias: (Book One: Legend of the Lizard Princess), is told in 9 hours of pure cinematic storytelling. But don’t fret, his films, which tackle historical themes (e.g colonization) and the Filipino identity, prove to be a transcendent, spiritual experience allowing his viewers to reconnect with the past and reevaluate the present. Add to that the amount of talented actors like Cruz that he works with and that cinematic experience, rest assured, is elevated.
Apart from Cruz’s performance, When The Waves Are Gone is also nominated for Best Film and Diaz (who was nominated in 2019 for The Halt) for Best Director at the 15th edition of APSA. Karl Malakunas’s documentary, Delikado, which chronicles the destruction of forests and wildlife in Palawan, has also been nominated for Best Documentary. Filipino filmmaker Baby Ruth Villarama, known for her award-winning documentary Sunday Beauty Queen, is also part of this year’s APSA Youth, Animation, Documentary International Jury.
Founded in 2007, the APSA aims to acclaim and honour the filmmaking in the Asia Pacific region “that best reflects its culture, origins and cinematic excellence.” Not only does it simply give out awards, but it also helps bring people together, develop international relationships, and foster cultural awareness helping connect the region’s rich stories and cinematic diversity to the world. It is presented by the Asia Pacific Screen Academy and endorsed by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and International Federation of Film Producers Associations (FIAPF)
Some notable Filipinos who’ve either received nominations or won awards from the ASPA include Nora Aunor as Best Actress for Thy Womb, Max Eigenmann as Best Actress for Verdict, Hasmine Killip as Best Actress for Pamilya Ordinaryo, Paolo Ballesteros as Best Actor for Die Beautiful, Shamaine Buencamino as Best Actress for Lorna, Ryan Cayabyab for his musical score in The Portrait, and Marlon Rivera and Sheron Dayoc who won the NETPAC Development Prizes for The Woman In The Septic Tank and Ways of the Sea respectively.
The winners of the 15th Asia Pacific Screen Awards will be announced at the Asia Pacific Screen Awards Ceremony on November 11.
Continue Reading: Chai Fonacier Takes Control In Chilling ‘nocebo’ Official Trailer