Miel Espinoza, 7, did not win the Best Actress award at the 2018 Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival for her lead role in “Pan de Salawal.” But her excellent performance in the drama comedy film did not go unnoticed.
Marking Che Espiritu’s directorial debut, “Pan de Salawal” was one of the 10 full-length film finalists at the 14th edition of Cinemalaya. The other films were “Mamang” by Denise O’Hara, “Kung Paano Hinihintay ang Dapithapon” by Carlo Enciso Catu, “Kuya Wes” by James Robin Mayo, “Liway” by Kip Oebanda, “School Service” by Louie Ignacio, “ML” by Benedict Mique, “Musmos na Sumibol sa Gubat ng Digma” by Iar Lionel Arondaing, “Pan de Salawal” by Che Espiritu, “Distance” by Perci Intalan and “The Lookout” by Afi Africa.
In “Pan de Salawal,” Espinoza played Aguy, a mysterious kid with magical healing powers. In an exclusive interview with Conan Daily during the film’s gala night, she said her favorite scene in the film was the part when she was not asked to cry but she did in response to a co-actor’s dialogue.
Espinoza had to be absent from school for a week while filming “Pan de Salawal.” Among her co-stars in the film are veteran actors Bodjie Pascua, Soliman Cruz, Ruby Ruiz and Madeleine Nicolas.
For the magical portrayal of Aguy in “Pan de Salawal,” Espinoza was one of the three child actors who received the Special Jury Prize for Acting at the 2018 Cinemalaya. The awards night took place at the Cultural Center of the Philippines in Pasay City, Metro Manila, Philippines on August 12, 2018.
Espinoza’s “Pan de Salawal” co-star JM Salvado, who also starred in “Musmos na Sumibol sa Gubat ng Digma,” received the same special award. The other recipient was Kenken Nuyad, who starred in “Liway” and “School Service.”
The Best Actress award was given to “School Service” actress Ai Ai de las Alas. Therese Malvar won the Best Supporting Actress award for her roles in “School Service” and “Distance.”
Watch the exclusive interview with Espinoza here: