John Lloyd Cruz is first Southeast Asian Star Asia awardee at New York film fest

MANILA, Philippines – John Lloyd Cruz has been recognized as one of 3 honorees of the Star Asia award at the 15th New York Asian Film Festival (NYAFF).

He is the first Filipino and Southeast Asian actor to receive the honor. He joins Hong Kong's Miriam Yeung and South Korea's Lee Byung-hun – all box office stars in their own countries – as this year's recipients of the award.

He starred in and produced Honor Thy Father, which is set to make its New York debut at the festival.

The three recipients of the Star Asia award will be at the festival to discuss their recent films and talk about their careers.

Also from the Philippines, actress Teri Malvar is set to receive a Screen International Rising Star Asia award. She appears in Ralston Jover's Hamog, one of the Filipino films screening at the festival along with Honor Thy Father and Apocalypse Child.

This year, the NYAFF highlights Southeast Asian cinema, among others. NYAFF Executive Director Samuel Jamier said they want to "champion a much broader range of Asian cinema," as quoted in a Film Society Lincoln Center news release.

"For example, we are particularly excited by a new breed of noir film, rooted in social issues, that is emerging in both China and Southeast Asia. With these and other selections in the lineup, we want to show that Asian films are still exploring new directions for world cinema."

In this regard, Sid Lucero, Gwen Zamora, and Annicka Dolonius, stars of Apocalypse Child, will also be joining John Lloyd and Teri in gracing the festival.

The NYAFF is co-presented by Subway Cinema and the Film Society of Lincoln Center. It will be held at the Film Society's Walter Reade Theater (June 22 to July 5) and the SVA Theater (July 6 to 9). – Rappler.com