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From Bayani San Diego Jr. of Philippine Daily Inquirer

Filipino actor John Lloyd Cruz is one of three recipients of the Star Asia award, to be given during the 15th New York Asian Film Festival, which will be held in the United States from June 22 to July 5.

Cruz is the first Filipino and Southeast Asian actor to receive the honor.

Cruz joins South Korea’s Lee Byung-hun and Hong Kong’s Miriam Yeung in this year’s honor roll.

Another Filipino, teen actress Therese Malvar will receive the Screen International Rising Star Asia award, also to be handed out during the fest.

Cruz and Malvar are expected to attend the festival, for the screenings of their films, Erik Matti’s “Honor Thy Father” and Ralston Jover’s “Hamog,” respectively.

Also gracing the fest are cast members of Mario Cornejo’s “Apocalypse Child”: Sid Lucero, Annicka Dolonius and Gwen Zamora.

Programmer Stephen Cremin told the Inquirer that the festival is pulling out all the stops in highlighting Philippine cinema.

“We set out this year to champion a much broader range of Asian cinema,” said Samuel Jamier, fest executive director. “For example, we are particularly excited by a new breed of noir film, rooted in social issues, that is emerging in both China and Southeast Asia. With these and other selections in the lineup, we want to show that Asian films are still exploring new directions for world cinema.”

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