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Wednesday, January 13, 2016

IFFM Best Actor-- Pagadian’s pride
By Gideon C. Corgue

The International Film Festival Manhattan (IFFM), a prestigious award-giving body in New York, USA recently conferred the Best Actor award to a Pagadianon, Alberto C. Paran who is now based in Cebu City.

Paran, 42, born and raised in Pagadian City was very happy that his talents and skills in acting and producing short films were recognized in a foreign land such as Manhattan.

He recently paid a surprise visit to the city and met with his classmates at Anastacia Restaurant here to share stories of his outstanding achievements and contribution to the American film industry.

Stunned, teary-eyed

Paran, an alumnus of Saint Columban College (High School Batch 1991) was surprised when his batchmates called for a press conference during his visit. He thought that it was only a simple gathering of all his batchmates but when he entered the venue, the backdrop onstage surprised him which read: “Welcome Albert Paran! IFFM Best Actor, Pagadian’s pride!” He was then introduced to the local media for the presscon proper.

Paran was stunned, speechless, teary-eyed, and his voice cracked when he finally spoke and expressed his gratitude to his batchmates and the media for the surprise event.

“It is a great feeling that you came from your own hometown where you were born and raised and you came back after 25 long years, then you’re given this kind of heartwarming welcome and inspiring press conference. It’s really uplifting. Thank you very much!” Paran exclaimed.

Quite emotional

“I’m quite emotional because this is the first time that my Alma Mater gave me this kind of presscon. I did not experience this in Cebu. There were no acknowledgements yet given by the city government to me,” Paran said. 

However, Paran said his success story was published already in Manila Bulletin, Philippine Star and other national dailies. 

Short film submitted, approved

Paran said in 2014, he met an American best actor during the  Quezon City Film festival and  he introduced to him the IFFM.   

“We submitted the short film entitled “Julie” and when the festival director reviewed it, he cried right there and then and our entry was approved,” Paran recounted.  

Julie, a drama 

Paran said “Julie” is a 30-minute short film. “It tells a story of a gay construction worker trying to hide his sexual orientation for him to become a construction worker to be able to support his single parent. The film is more on drama,” Paran elucidated.
Paran said he earned his very first National Best Actor Award during the Nabunturan Indie Film exhibition in Nabunturan, Compostela Valley, Davao province last September and the Best Actor Award during the IFFM awarding ceremony in Times Square, New York on October, 2015.

Proud, happy

“I am extremely honored and grateful to receive the prestigious IFFM Award. Indeed, this is my first International best actor award for the short film. I have fulfilled my long time dream to become an actor. I feel like I am in the Academy Awards or Oscars,” Paran said adding that the ceremony was attended by celebrities in USA.

Paran said he is the first Filipino film actor/producer who received the Best Actor Award in the IFFM.

Paran has also produced another short film entitled “Ina-tay”(Mother-Father), a gay comedy film and an entry to Cinemalaya 2014. 

Best Actor 

Paran said he was shocked to hear the news that he was chosen as the Best Actor for the short film category in the International Film Festival Manhattan IFFM) in New York City, USA. 

“At first, I couldn’t believe the news but when I received the official invitation letter from IFFM inviting me to come to New York City, I did not hesitate to fly to New York to receive the award,” Paran added . 

Paran said in the best actor for short film category, his co-nominee was the well-known American actor Eric Roberts, the director of actress Julia Roberts.  “It’s Philippines versus USA,” Paran quipped.

Passion, creativity

Paran encouraged the would-be film producers and actors not to put  money in their mind, instead let their passion drive their creativity to work.

“To those who aspire to become a film producer and actor, continue dreaming and praying. Just hold on to your dreams, work hard and pray  that someday you will be noticed,” Paran advised.