[PHOTO - Nora Aunor with her Premio Bisato D’Oro award — Enie Reyes]

MANILA, SEPTEMBER 14, 2012 (PHILSTAR) By Nathalie Tomada - 'Thy Womb' lead actress Nora Aunor may not have won the top acting honors at the recently-concluded Venice Film Festival, the world’s longest-running filmfest, but she remains very grateful that an independent award-giving body in Italy recognized her performance in the movie directed by Brillante Mendoza.

Premio Della Critica Indipendiente recognized her portrayal as a Muslim midwife ironically struggling with infertility, saying in the citation, as translated in English: “The Jury of the Cinema Award Bisato D’ Oro Award awards Best Actress (to) Nora Aunor for the film Thy Womb by Brillante Mendoza. Her category and skill of a top-class actress gives light to a very important movie and meaningful film. Nora Aunor perfectly supports Brillante Mendoza. (She) reminds us that to be an actress means to communicate ideas with deep sensibility in order to make them extremely believable.”

Nora said in a presscon hosted by TV5 yesterday, “The award was given by an independent group of Italian critics. There were no Filipino members.”

She also confirmed that the award, while given yearly, is not confined to actors, but can also be awarded to directors.

Nora also earned raves for her acting from critics from the US media such as Variety and The Hollywood Reporter, but the Venice Filmfest’s top acting honor eventually went to the young Israeli actress Hadas Yaron for her role as the teen heroine of Fill the Void, while Pieta, directed by South Korean filmmaker Kim Ki-duk, was named the winner of this year’s Golden Lion. Other winners were American filmmaker Paul Thomas Anderson, Best Director Silver Lion for The Master, and Joaquin Phoenix and Philip Seymour Hoffman sharing the Best Actor trophy, also for The Master.

Thy Womb will be heading next to the Toronto Film Festival for a special screening. It will be shown in Philippine cinemas in November.

It will not be Nora’s first and last team-up with the Cannes-winning Brillante, whom she herself approached last year and personally asked if they could do a film together. Her next project with Brillante will reportedly cast her alongside Vilma Santos and Coco Martin.

Nevertheless, Nora’s participation in the Venice Filmfest makes her the only Filipino actor who participated in the world’s Top 3 film festivals — her Bona competed in Cannes, while her Himala in Berlin, pundits noted. “I’m just fortunate to have been able to do films na karapat dapat ipakita sa mga international festivals,” she said.

Nora added that when considering projects to do, she looks at the whole story and how it will go, and not on the role she is to tackle.

Meanwhile, Nora is set to return to TV via TV5’s Untold Stories (Saturdays after Artista Academy) and Third Eye (Sundays after Who Wants To Be A Millionaire), her first role in a thriller, this weekend as a “kick-off celebration” of her 45th anniversary in show business.

TV5 creative head Perci Intalan said that they have other plans for Nora including movies.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

All rights reserved