By Tara Yap
ILOILO CITY — The province of Antique is celebrating the major win of home-grown film “John Denver Trending” at the 2019 Cinemalaya: the Philippine Independent Film Festival.
“This film shows how Antiqueños have what it takes to become the best,” said Governor Rhodora Cadiao.
The film, directed by Arden Rod Condez, won Best Film while Jansen Magpusao, the newbie actor who played the titular role, won as Best Actor.
“This film has put Antique in the national map,” Cadiao told the Manila Bulletin.
The film, which tells the story of a teenage boy who becomes a victim of cyber bullying, also picked up awards for Best Cinematography, Best Editing, and Best Original Music Score.
With the exception of multi-awarded actress Meryll Soriano, the rest of the cast were non-professional actors from Antique.
The filmmaker and Magpusao paid homage to their hometown of Pandan, the province’s northernmost town that served as the filming location.
The dialogue of the film is also in Karay-a, the language spoken by Antiqueños and people in other parts of Panay Island.
Condez and the film’s crew were honored in Pandan with a parade.