Vilma Santos and Yul ServoQuezon City, March 10, 2003 -- Actress-Lipa City Mayor Vilma Santos, new actor Yul Servo, and the independent film, "Mga Munting Tinig," proved that the local movie industry recognizes talent and good films, veteran or newcomer, when they bagged top honors at the 19th Star Awards for the Movies held last Saturday night at the UP Theater in Diliman, Quezon City.

Santos was named "Movie Actress of the Year" for her role as a mother who experienced awakening during the '70s turmoil in "Dekada '70." Santos, one of the country's most awarded actresses, admitted she still feels the tension from the announcement of nominees to the winner. "Nakakakaba pa rin po hanggang ngayon (I still feel nervous even now)," she said in her acceptance speech.

Meanwhile, newcomer Yul Servo was named "Movie Actor of the Year" for playing a young husband subjected to extreme culture shock when he finds life hard in a Manila suburb in the controversial movie, "Laman."

The rest of the major trophies went to Gil Portes, "Movie Director of the Year" for "Munting Tinig;" Piolo Pascual, "Movie Supporting Actor of the Year" for "Dekada '70"; and Kris Aquino, "Movie Supporting Actress of the Year" for "Mano Po."

"Mga Munting Tinig" won most of the awards, copping with seven out of 16, including Child Performer of the Year (Brian Ronquillo), Musical Score (Joy Marfil), Production Design (Arthur Licdao) and Original Screenplay.

According to its director and scriptwriter, Portes, the group completed "Munting Tinig" in only 15 days. He added, "This movie just won in the Sta. Barbara International Film Festival and is the first locally produced movie bought by Warner Bros. for worldwide distribution."

Other winners at the 19th Star Awards were "Agimat" for Best Special Effects; Jordan Herrera, New Movie Actor of the Year for "Gamitan;" Nancy Castiglione, New Movie Actress of the Year for "I Think I'm in Love;" Ogie Alcasid for "Kailangan Kita," Best Movie Theme Song; and Lualhati Bautista for Best Adapted Sceenplay, "Dekada '70."

Special awards given were the "Darling of the Press" for Onemig Bondoc, the "Male Star of the Night" for Bong Revilla, the "Female Star of the Night" for Maricel Soriano and the "Lifetime Achievement Award" for Sen. Ramon Revilla, Sr. Trivia host was Charlene Gonzales.

Hosts of last night's Star Awards were Cesar Montano, Bong Revilla, Philip Salvador, Kris Aquino, Maricel Soriano and Vilma Santos. Performers were Sharon Cuneta, Jolina Magdangal, Ogie Alcasid, Jaya, Angelika de la Cruz, Patricia Javier, Karylle, and Zsa Zsa Padilla.

Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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