KaladKaren is the first transwoman to get nominated and win the Best Supporting Actress Award at the 2023 Summer MMFF for her performance as Wilhelmina in Chris Martinez’s comedy film “Here Comes the Groom.”
She bested fellow actress Maris Racal who played the role of Blesilda in the same movie, as well as Ana Abad Santos of “Love You Long Time,” another Summer MMFF entry.
KaladKaren on Tuesday shared a video of her embracing Dolly, the Summer MMFF jury chairperson, following her historic win.
“With Ma’am DOLLY!!!!! The head jury of the Summer Metro Manila Film Festival 2023. Maraming, maraming salamat po!!!!!!!!!!” she wrote on Twitter on April 11.
“Oh my God, thank you so much!” KaladKaren said in the video as she hugged Dolly.
“Sobra ka!” Dolly responded to her. The video has earned over 189,700 views and over 3,300 likes so far.
Dolly also said she is “more than proud” of KaladKaren’s win in the local film industry.
@SummerMMFF,” the Golden Globes nominee tweeted on Wednesday. Dolly also shared a clip of KaladKaren’s acceptance speech, where the latter said her win is “a victory for the whole LGBTQIA+ community.”
“Lahat ng mga batang nangangarap, mga LGBTQIA+ kids, mga batang beki, huwag kayong matakot maging kayo. At huwag kayong matakot mangarap because one day, hindi niyo alam, kayo rin ang nandirito,” the Summer MMFF Best Supporting Actress said.
“At sana huwag po natin kalimutan ang mensahe ng aming pelikula. Hindi po ang inyong itsura at ang kasarian ang mahalaga, kundi ang inyong puso at kaluluwa. Maraming salamat po!” KaladKaren added.
KaladKaren also thanked the jurors for putting her in a category that she identifies with.
“I’m really happy that I am nominated in the best supporting actress category of the Summer Metro Manila Film Festival 2023. It only goes to show na that there is diversity, that there’s inclusion, equity in Philippine cinema,” she was quoted as saying.
“This nomination is already a victory for the whole LGBTQIA+ community, that people like me are nominated in the gender identity that they belong to,” the TV host–actress said.
“Isang patunay din na art has no gender, so maraming, maraming salamat po sa MMFF, sa paniniwala po sa kakayahan ng mga taong katulad [ko],” KaladKaren added.
The sequel shows a solar eclipse triggering a soul–swapping incident among the following characters: Soon–to–be–groom Junior (Enchong Dee) and transwoman Wilhelmina; Junior’s dad Rodrigo Sr (Keempee de Leon) and Wanda (Xilhouete); and Blesilda (Maris Racal) and Whitney (Awra Briguela).
The movie centers on the idea that family can take on various forms and that everyone deserves to be treated with respect, regardless of gender.
Meanwhile, other transgenders who have made waves in the local film industry include actress Iyah Mina and filmmaker Rod Singh.
Iyah is the first transwoman who won the Best Actress Award at the 2018 Cinema One Originals Festival for her role as Mamu in the comedy film “Mamu; and A Mother Too.”
Rod, on the other hand, is the first transwoman to have won the Best First Feature Award at the 2018 Young Critics Circle for directing the film “Mamu and A Mother Too.” (J. Malasig, Interaksyon)