Child actor from EV wins best actor

Howling Wilderness cover

A child actor named Justine Samson, who confronted Sid Lucero after the gala screening of Khavn dela Cruz’s “Balangiga: Howling Wilderness,” won the Best Actor trophy on October 26, 2017 during the QCinema International Film Festival 2017 Awards Night at  the Novotel, Quezon City.

In the movie, the kid portrayed the role of Kulas, a 10-year-old survivor of the Balangiga Massacre. He turned 9 last September while shooting the movie. He beat the older contenders Timothy Castillo (“Neomanila”) and Charles Salazar (“Dormitoryo: Mga Walang Katapusan Kwarto”).

According to the film’s co-assistant director, Gianfranco Morciano, Samson was in Tacloban City upon hearing the news about the award. One of the relatives of Samson saw the festival’s announcement on Facebook.

Gianfranco Morciano who is a Taclobanon was the one who gave Samson an introductory acting workshop.

“Excited na raw si Justine na makuha ang trophy nya,” 

Morciano told ABS-CBN News last Friday.

“Noong nalaman nila na nominated si Justine, masayang masaya na sila. Mas lalo na ngayon.” 

Morciano continued.

They didn’t expect to win because of the fact that his contenders are older than him and have more experience.

“The good news they relayed back to us was that they used Justine’s talent fee from the film to buy a small lot where they can build a house someday,”

Gianfranco added.

Samson has two younger brothers; they are with their grandmother named Marilyn after their parents got separated.

According to Morciano, they are living at a ‘nearly squatter’s’ area in Brgy. Calvary Hill in Tacloban City.

In spite of the controversy, where it hurdled over the abrupt reclassification from General Patronage to R13, the “Balangiga: Howling Wilderness,” won as the Best Film.

The jury of QCinema gave the award for “its solid vision, with sensitive performances paired with strong visual, aural and poetic narrative. It is an elegy to the tragic history of the Philippines as seen through the eyes of a boy that is both a celebration and a lamentation of humanity.”

Dela Cruz also won as the Best Director. It is his first award from a local international film festival.

Aside from the corresponding cash prizes or their equivalent for some selected categories, the winners received a Pylon trophy that was designed by visual artist and sculptor Reg Yuson.