Igorot actor Mai Fanglayan is Best New Actress at 2019 Urduja Film Festival

Mai Fanglayan, 23, has received yet another accolade for her “Tanabata’s Wife” role. The Igorot actress was named Best New Actress at the sixth edition of Urduja Film Festival.

“Thank you so much, Urduja Film Festival, for choosing me as your Best New Actress,” Fanglayan stated. “Thank you so much, ‘Tanabatas Wife,’ for the opportunity to play the role of Fas-ang, Tanabata’s wife. Because of that, I was able to work with other great actors and actresses as well as directors and production teams in the industry. Thank you so much.”

The 6th Urduja Film Festival awards night took place at the Sison Auditorium in Lingayen, Pangasinan on October 15, 2019. Fanglayan attended the ceremony to accept her trophy.

Filmed in Buguias, Benguet in 2018, “Tanabata’s Wife” was an entry to the 2018 ToFarm Film Festival, the third edition of the annual festival of Filipino films related to agriculture. Based on the classic short story of the same name by Sinai Hamada, the screenplay was written by Charlson Ong, who co-directed the film with Lito Casaje and Choy Pangilinan.

“Tanabata’s Wife,” which used Japanese, Kankanaey and Ilocano, marked Fanglayan’s full-length film debut. Playing the husband of her character in the film is Japanese actor Miyuki Kamimura, who received the Best New Actor at the 2019 Urduja Film Festival.

Kamimura and Fanglayan on the Best Actor and Best Actress awards, respectively, at the 2018 ToFarm Film Festival.  Among the actresses the Igorot actor beat were “Mga Anak Ng Kamote” actress Katrina Halili and and “Sol Searching” actor Pokwang.

Also for playing the “Tanabata’s Wife” title role, Fanglayan became the first ever Igorot actor to receive a major acting nomination from the Gawad Urian. On May 8, 2019, the Manunuri ng Pelikulang Pilipino announced her as one of the nominees for the Best Actress category.

The 2019 Gawad Urian Best Actress award was given to “Never Not Love You” actress Nadine Lustre. The other nominees were Oda sa Wala” actress Marietta “Pokwang” Subong, “Meet Me in St. Gallen” actress Bela Padilla, “Mamu: And a Mother Too” actress Iyah Mina, “Mamang” actress Celeste Legaspi, “Liway” actress Glaiza de Castro, “Sid and Aya” and “Buy Bust” actress Anne Curtis, “Kung Paano Hinihintay and Dapithapon” actress Perla Bautista and “School Service” actress Ai-Ai de las Alas.

Fanglayan earned her Mass Communication degree from Saint Louis University in Baguio City. Both of her parents are from Mountain Province.

After “Tanabata’s Wife,” Fanglayan will star in the Metro Manila Film Festival 2019 entry “Culion,” directed by Alvin Yapan and written by Ricky Lee, and an upcoming film by Brillante Mendoza. Here is an interview with the Igorot actor in 2018 before she started earning accolades:

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