‘Die Beautiful’ was awarded Audience Award and one of its cast, Paolo Ballesteros, wins Best Actor in the Tokyo International Film Festival.

On November 3rd, the award ceremony of the Tokyo International Film Festival took place and ‘Die Beautiful’ won Audience Award and Paolo Ballesteros won Best Actor. The film is about a life of Trisha, a Filipino transgender woman who dies after winning a beauty pageant.

Audience Award goes to the best film that receives the most ‘like‘ votes from the audience. There were 16 films, in competition, chosen from 98 countries and regions this year. The film’s director, Jun Robles Lana, and its executive producer, Perci Intalan came up on the stage at the award ceremony. (Both of them are gay and a great couple. They had a wedding ceremony in 2013 and are now raising their adopted child.)

“I got really nervous and surprised when I heard my film was nominated for the award. I am very honored to win this award and I still can’t believe it. But, now I am really sure that films have the power that unites people together regardless of their race, language, and skin color.” The director, Jun Robles Lana, with a trophy, flowers and prizes, expressed his joy in his speech.

On the same day, Paolo Ballesteros, who played the role of Trisha, a Filipino transgender woman in ‘Die Beautiful’, was awarded Best Actor at the award ceremony at EX Theatre Roppongi. Paolo, who had flown to Japan as soon as he had heard about the award, came up on the stage. He was fabulously dressed as Julia Roberts. The audience welcomed him with a round of applause.

“Jun, thank you very much for entrusting me with Trisha’s character.” Paolo, choked up with tears, made a speech on the stage.

At a press conference, he told reporters it was hard for him to walk in heels, but he was very thrilled and excited about the award. He can’t get

any happier that this award means a lot to him. His smile was as good as Julia Robert’s during the press.

It is fantastic that the Filipino film about a transgender woman touched the hearts of the audience in Tokyo International Film Festival and won two big awards. Other LGBT-related films also won over the hearts of the audience in the festival, such as ‘O Ornitologo’, ‘The Neon Demon’, and

‘Lovely Man’. It means so much to me that now we can see many LGBT- related films like these in a film festival in Japan. Films like these could never win any awards in the past.