Come On, Irene actress Nats Sitoy criticized organizers of the Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino awards night after she was asked to accept an award on behalf of her co-star in the same category she was nominated in.
Both Sitoy and Hana Kino were nominated for Best Actress for the movie.
In an interview with Rappler via Messenger on Monday, December 14, the actress questioned how the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP), which organizes the festival, handled the awards night.
Sitoy said that while she was the movie’s representative for the awards night, she still thought it improper for her to receive the award on behalf of Kino, since she was nominated as well. The actress pointed out that one of the film’s producers was also in the Zoom call and could have accepted the award on Kino’s behalf.
“Parang wala pa po akong na-encounter na ganun kind of awarding (I’ve never encountered that kind of awarding). It’s insulting and very humiliating on my part,” she said.
Sitoy said that as the nominees were being announced, one of the technicians on Zoom unmuted her.
“Inan-mute po ako ng tech and they PMed (private message) me sa Zoom na mag-ready na daw po ako. So initial reaction ko ay I thought nanalo po ako. And when they announced na si Ms Kinosan ‘yung nanalo siyempre na shock ako. Yung sa isip ko [was] wait lang, bakit ako inan-mute kung ganun?” she said.
(The people from tech unmuted me and PMed me via Zoom to tell me to be ready. I thought I won. When they announced it was Ms Kinosan who won, of course, I was shocked. In my head I thought wait, why did they unmute me if I that was the case?)
“It was very fast kasi it was live po. So ang narinig ko na lang doon sa emcee na ako daw ‘yung tatanggap nung award. So nakita ko na sa screen na nandoon na ‘yung mukha ko. So siyempre, what I did was nag-smile ako and said, ‘Hi, my name is Nats…. Nag-thank you po ako.”
(It was very fast because the event was live. So I just heard from the emcee that I would be accepting the award. I just saw myself on screen and of course, what I did was smile and said, Hi, my name is Nats’…I said thank you after.)
Sitoy said that after the incident, she messaged festival organizers and told them that she felt bad about what happened. FDCP Chairperson Liza Diño-Seguerra has reached out and apologized for the incident.
The actress hoped that no one would go through the same experience.
“I want you to know this isn’t just about me, but accountability. The FDCP says they want to take a bigger role in looking after the welfare of film workers, but something basic like mindfulness and respect for actors, they couldn’t get it right? Sana hindi na to maulit (I hope this doesn’t happen again). I wouldn’t want this to happen to anyone else,” she said.
In a text message to Rappler, the FDCP said that they were already aware of Sitoy’s concern.
FDCP said that the production company, Epicmedia, had informed them beforehand that Sitoy would “was assigned as the official representative of the film Come On, Irene in all categories” and there was no updated advisory that there would be other representatives in the Zoom room.
“Hence, when Miss Hana Kino was announced as the winner for Best Actress, Miss Sitoy was asked to accept the award on her behalf as a co-actor and representative of the film. Had we been informed ahead of time that Miss Sitoy would not be inclined to receive the award should Miss Kino win, we would have accommodated this in the program,” they said.
“As a nominee this year, we are proud of Miss Sitoy’s performance in her film and we thank her for her acceptance of an award on behalf of her co-actor and co-nominee. The agency has already reached out to her and the production company and we hope to resolve the matter soon,” FDCP said.
The agency said that that the FDCP’s goal in hosting and conducting the PPP Awards Night “was to ensure that all nominees and winners had their space to be properly acknowledged for their work, whether they be represented personally or through their representatives of their production in the program.”
In Come On, Irene, Sitoy plays Irene, a Filipino girl from a poor family who meets a Japanese man named Iwao, who is in search of a bride. They head back to Japan only to find out that Iwao’s father has died. Hana Kino plays Iwao’s mother Tsuru, who is less than enthused over her son’s foreign bride. The movie is based on Hideki Arai’s 1990s manga series.
The movie, directed by Keisuke Yoshida, was screened at the QCinema Film Festival in 2018.– Rappler.com
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