• Sonny Calvento, a debuting director won the best film prize for “Nabubulok” in the Newcomers category of the 15th Asian Film Festival held in Italy
  • He dedicated the trophy to his late father, Tony Calvento
  • Nabubulok was an entry in last year’s Cinemalaya

Sonny Calvento, a debuting director, bagged the best film prize for “Nabubulok” for the Newcomers category in the recently concluded 15th Asian Film Festival held in Bologna, Italy.

Nabubulok shared the award with Tam Wai-ching’s “In Your Dreams” from Hong Kong.

“An interpreter was seated beside me, to explain everything… still, when my name was called out as winner, I got surprised,” Calvento reportedly told the Inquirer while recounting the ceremony which was in Italian language.

He was almost speechless on stage, and he simply said “thank you.”

The award was special for him because it’s the first time for his film to compete abroad. He dedicated the trophy to his late father, Tony Calvento.

“This honor serves as inspiration for my next project… How I wished my father were alive to witness this victory. My dad did all he could to raise funds and even spent his personal savings to make this film happen,” he said.

His mentor was scriptwriter Armando “Bing” Lao.

According to the Asian Film Festival, the annual event gathers “the best of the cinema” of the Far East.

Calvento’s film was an entry in last year’s Cinemalaya. Another Cinemalaya 2017 film, Joseph Israel Laban’s “Baconaua,” was also shown this year in Italy.

‘Nabubulok’ movie poster (Image by Cinemalaya)

‘Nabubulok’ plot: A woman goes missing. But there are many eyes in a small town. Blood-covered bed sheets, secret lovers, distressed sons, an irate husband, and a pervading smell of decay soon come to the surface pushing a townspeople poised to celebrate a fiesta to grapple with a crime committed against one of their own.

Calvento shared a trailer two weeks ago on his Facebook account:

Congratulations, Direk Sonny Calvento!