Independent film Broken Blooms, top-billed by Jeric Gonzales and Therese Malvar, continues to wave the Philippine flag on the international stage after scooping 14 awards and recognition in international film festivals this year.
Directed by Louie Ignacio, the film also stars Jaclyn Jose, Royce Cabrera, Normal Balbuena, Mimi Juareza, and Lou Veloso. It had its world premiere in the Directors’ Week competition program of the Oporto International Film Festival in Portugal in April.
A few weeks later, the film, the maiden offering of Engr. Benjamin Austria’s Bentria Productions, won a Gold Remi at the Houston International Film Festival in Texas. Then in May, lead actor Gonzales won his first international acting award at the Harlem International Film Festival in New York.
Two film festivals in India gave recognition to the film written by Ralston Gonzales Jover. The Mokho International Film Festival recognized Gonzales (Best Actor in an Indie film), Malvar (Best Actress in an Indie film), and director Ignacio (Special Jury for Director). It also bagged the Best Narrative Feature Film plum.
Outstanding Achievements for Best Actor was bestowed on Gonzales at Tagore International Film Festival. Jose won Best Actress, while the film walked home with Best Narrative Feature award, Critics’ Choice for Best Director (Ignacio), and Best Cinematography (TM Malones).
Gonzales won his fourth Best Actor trophy from the Montelupo Fiorentino International Independent Film Festival in Italy in July. And Just last weekend, the 8th Brasilia International Film Festival in Brazil gave Broken Blooms the Special Jury Award.
“It was a 40-hour flight going to Brazil but we decided to be there to represent the country and tell the world our story,” Ignacio told the press during a thanksgiving press conference held at the Manila Hotel’s Café Ilang-Ilang over the weekend.
According to the director, the film tackles a relationship that bloomed during the pandemic – Jeremy (Jeric) and Cynthia (Teri) were wed at the beginning of the pandemic.
“In their poor community, life is filled with so many difficulties. But solidarity and warmth among members are evident. And that is what makes the film universal, that is what makes the film resonate with audiences across the globe,” Ignacio noted.
Broken Blooms is set to join more international film festivals and will have a local screening before the year ends. Ignacio and the producer of the film hope that the recognition it earned overseas would help create buzz to inform local audiences that Broken Blooms is a must-watch.
“More than the box office performance of the film, we wanted the audience to see how brilliant the cast is. As a director, it’s my trophy na yung mga actors ko ay nabibigyan ng award,” Ignacio expressed with great pride.
Ignacio shared that motivating the lead actor to “give his best” was no easy task. But he shared some nuggets of wisdom with Gonzales to see his launching movie as a vehicle to showcase his acting flair.
“I constantly told him that as an actor, it’s better to grow old in the industry with acting awards tucked under his belt,” Ignacio stated.
“Jaclyn Jose is already an established and seasoned actor. We already know the capacity of Therese as a dramatic actor. With Jeric, I told him that if he would give his best in this film, I promise that I will help him win an award,” the directed ended.