Jake Cuenca, Barbara Miguel nominated in NYC film fest

Jake Cuenca and Barbara Miguel are nominated for their roles in 'Nuwebe,' a film about rape and incest

NUWEBE. The film is nominated for 4 awards. Screengrab from the film's facebook

MANILA, Philippines  Filipino actors Jake Cuenca and Barbara Miguel have both received nominations for acting awards at the 4th Queens World Film Festival, to be held in New York from March 4 to 9 for their roles in Nuwebe.

Nuwebe, also nominated for Best Narrative Feature, was inspired by the true story of the youngest mother recorded in Philippine history. (Read: Indie film Nuwebe tackles rape and incest)

Jake Cuenca plays Moises, an alcoholic pastor who sexually abuses and eventually impregnates his 9-year old daughter, played by Barbara Miguel.

According to an interview with Spot.ph, many actors were apprehensive about the character’s nature, but Cuenca said he jumped right in. “I didn’t even think about it” he said in the interview “I just sat down and said yes right away.”

Meanwhile, director Joseph Israel Laban, who is also nominated for Best Director (Narrative Feature), said he picked Barbara for the role because she was a “clear standout from the number of auditions.”

“She is a brilliant actress. Most young actors can shed a tear or cue or throw a line perfectly, but with Barbara she is not just playing a role, she is the character. When the camera rolls, she seems to inhabit the character of Krista in the film,” said Laban in an interview with InterAksyon.

Miguel also earned critical acclaim at the 2013 Harlem International Film Festival, where she won the Best Actress Award for the same role.

Watch the film’s trailer here:

In a previous interview, Director Joseph Laban told Rappler that the film was first written as a TV news documentary entitled Ang Pinakabata (The Youngest). Laban later on found that there are scenes better suited to a film rather than a documentary. 

“With films, you have the freedom to show what you want,” he said in Filipino.

The film premiered in the Philippines in the 2013 Cinemalaya film festival.

Watch G Tongi’s report here:

The Queens World Film Festival features over 100 films from all over the globe. According to its site, the festival aims to provide opportunities “for that overlooked, yet gem of a film.” With reports from Ina Sebastian/Rappler.com

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