Filipino Actor Receives Standing Ovation at Venice Film Festival 

Prolific Filipino actor Soliman Cruz was emotional as he received a standing ovation at the world premiere of ‘To The North.’ 

Soliman Cruz plays Joel, the lead character in ‘To The North.’ | IMG Source: PEP.ph

Cruz plays the protagonist of the Romanian film written and directed by Mihai Mincan. The movie’s a part of the festival’s Orizzonti lineup which features debut films of up and coming talents. 

Despite being in the Filipino entertainment industry for decades, this is Soliman’s first time playing the lead role. A feat he finds pleasantly surprising. 

“Kami ang mga support, so kami yung ensemble na nag-aangat dun sa bida para lalo pa siyang maging star,” Soliman said. He said that he is amazed with this great opportunity God has given him. 

Significant parts of ‘To The North’ are based on true events that took place in 1996. Cruz plays Joel, a seaman who discovers a stowaway. The movie also features Bart Guingona as Alan, Joel’s coworker and friend. ‘To The North’ received a standing ovation and Cruz received acclaim for his portrayal. 

Guingona said that the indie art film shares a very powerful message. “It tells a really powerful story about Filipinos… Ang puso natin, even if it gets us into trouble,” he said. 

Both Cruz and Guingona said that they owe the opportunity to Filipino film director Lav Diaz as Mihai Mincan discovered them through his movies. 

After its critical acclaim in the Venice Film Festival, Cruz hopes that ‘To The North’ will be shown in the Philippines. 

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