Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large

Indie films the big winners at Filipino 'Oscars'

This year's Gawad Urian Awards honour young stars and low-budget movies.

Independent, low-budget films beat out mainstream blockbuster fare at the Gawad Urian Awards, considered the Oscars of the Philippines, which were held on Wednesday night in Manila.

The 23-year-old Maja Salvador won her first best actress trophy, for her role in the independent drama Thelma, about a provincial girl who becomes a national track athlete. "So this is how it feels to win," said Salvador, who couldn't hold back her tears on stage.

Another young actor triumphed: Paulo Avelino, 24, was awarded best actor for his performance in Ang Sayaw ng Dalawang Kaliwang Paa. The small independent film, about a student falling in love with his dance teacher, was the night's big winner, receiving seven of the 12 major awards, including best film, best director, best screenplay for the writer and director Alvin Yapan, and best supporting actress for Jean Garcia.

The best supporting actor award went to the theatre actor Art Acuņa, for his debut film performance in the operatic family saga Niņo. The Gawad Urian also honoured the veteran cinematographer Rody Lacap for his work in many Philippine classics.

The ceremony was hosted by the actress Angel Aquino and the beauty queen Venus Raj, and featured performances by Frenchie Dy, Eric Santos, Bituin Escalante and Jed Madela.

The awards, held since 1977, are judged by a 10-member panel composed of film scholars, critics and industry members.

Back to the top

More articles

Editor's Picks

 Hajer Almosleh, the winner of the last year's short story competition, at her home in Dubai. Duncan Chard for the National

Get involved with The National’s short-story competition

Writers have two weeks to craft a winning submission, under the title and theme "The Turning Point".

 It is believed that the desert-like planet of Tatooine is being recreated for Star Wars: Episode VII. Could that be where filming in the UAE comes in? Courtesy Lucasfilms

Could the force be with us? The search for Star Wars truth

On the hunt for the Star Wars: Episode VII set, which a growing number of people are sure is in Abu Dhabi, but no one can seem to find.

 With an estimated 18,000 comic and film fans having already paid a visit to this weekend’s Middle East Film and Comic Con, organisers are hopeful they will have surpassed last year total, of 21,000, by its close. Jeffrey E Biteng / The National

In pictures: Middle East Film and Comic Con in Dubai

Dubai's World Trade Center was awash with people visiting this weekend’s Middle East Film and Comic Con. Here's some of our best pictures.

 Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak, the Minister of Culture, Youth and Community Development, presents Quincy Jones with the Abu Dhabi Festival Award as the Admaf founder Hoda Al Khamis-Kanoo applauds. Courtesy Abu Dhabi Festival.

A candid talk with Quincy Jones about the UAE, Lil Wayne and the Abu Dhabi Festival award

The Abu Dhabi Festival honoree Quincy Jones discusses his legendary career as a music producer, the return of Dubai Music Week and why he can’t handle the rapper Lil Wayne.

 Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Prince George of Cambridge arrive at Wellington Military Terminal on an RNZAF 757 from Sydney on April 7, 2014 in Wellington, New Zealand. Chris Jackson / Getty Images

In pictures: Will and Kate visit Australia and New Zealand

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Prince George of Cambridge are on a tour Down Under for three weeks.

 A protester gives a victory sign during clashes near Tahrir Square in Cairo in November 2011. Goran Tomasevic / Reuters

Street life: humanity’s future depends on ability to negotiate and sustain public space

Negotiating our ever more crowded cities and maintaining vibrant public spaces are among the major challenges facing humanity in the coming decades.


To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National