'Birdshot' star named Best Actress in ASEAN Film Awards

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, November 30) — Actress Mary Joy Apostol won the Best Actress Award in the 1st ASEAN Film Awards in Da Nang, Vietnam for her role in the 2016 independent film "Birdshot."

The news was announced by Film Development Council of the Philippines chair Liza Diño-Seguerra, who congratulated the 19-year-old actress and "Birdshot" director Mikhail Red.


In "Birdshot," Apostol portrayed 14-year-old Maya, a farm girl who mistakenly shoots and kills the Philippine Eagle, a critically endangered species, in a reservation forest.

"Birdshot" is Apostol's first full-length starring film, following her stint in the 2012 short film "Unawa."

With the theme "Cinematography connects the ASEAN community," the ASEAN Film Awards, celebrates movies and filmmakers in the region. It is a supplementary awards show of the 20th Vietnam Film Festival.

Singaporean film "A Yellow Bird" bagged the Best Film Award, with its lead actor Sivakumar Palakrishnan named as Best Actor.

"Birdshot" premiered in the Philippines at the 13th Cinemalaya Film Festival on August 2017, after winning the Asian Future Best Film Award at the Tokyo International Film Festival in 2016.

It also film features actors John Arcilla, Arnold Reyes, and Ku Aquino alongside Apostol.

"Birdshot" won the Critics' Choice Award at the Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino in August 2017.

The thriller film is also the country's entry to the Best Foreign Film category of the 90th Academy Awards, also known as the Oscars, to be held in 2018. Members of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences' Foreign Language Film Award Committee still have to select the final five nominees for this category from various entries submitted by countries outside the United States.