Triangle of Sadness featuring Filipino actress wins top award in Cannes Festival

·2 min read
CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 28: (L-R) Erik Hemmendorff, Dolly De Leon, Philippe Bober and Director Ruben Ostlund pose with the Palme d'Or Award for
CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 28: (L-R) Erik Hemmendorff, Dolly De Leon, Philippe Bober and Director Ruben Ostlund pose with the Palme d'Or Award for "Triangle of Sadness" during the winner photocall of the 75th annual Cannes film festival at Palais des Festivals on May 28, 2022 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Philip Rock/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Triangle of Sadness, a satirical film starring Filipino actress Dolly De Leon, bagged the Palme d’Or at the 75th Cannes Film Festival.

The film, directed by now two-time Palme d’Or recipient Ruben Östlund, was awarded the top award of the film festival on its last day on May 29.

In the film, de Leon played Abigail, a toilet cleaner who soon found herself as the top dog as the passengers of the luxury yacht where she works were stranded on a deserted island.

Known for her roles in indie films and theater plays, de Leon received praise and critical acclaim from organizations and artists both locally and abroad.

In a Facebook post, de Leon gleefully shared her experience in the creation of the film up to the awarding at Cannes. “This is my first ever Festival de Cannes experience and it’s one I’ll never forget. We got the Palme d’Or, the highest prize given to a film and I could not be happier,” De Leon shared. “Bilang competitive ang direktor namin he had his eye on this prize from the beginning (Because our director is competitive, he already had his eye on this prize from the beginning). He’s that driven and that determined. I just enjoyed the ride along with him and what a ride! What an incredible bonus,” she added.

In her interview with film and entertainment magazine Variety, de Leon shared that she placed herself in the shoes of friends and families who are overseas Filipino workers (OFWs). “I have relatives and friends who are OFWs and I know how they live, and I know them. So I know the struggle and hardship they go through, having to live in a foreign country and speak a different language they’re not used to, and having to be away from their families and do things to earn money. I just based it on that. I asked myself, ‘What if I, Dolly, was an OFW?’ That’s how I played her. A huge part of me is in Abigail,” de Leon said.

When asked about her plans after her successful stint in “Triangle of Sadness,” De Leon bared that she hasn't received acting offers from filmmakers yet. She shared that she will reserve the post-victory party period to sleep as long as she can and to spend time with her kids and meet friends. “No international things. I’m going back to Manila and shooting independent films again. I have one I’m doing there and I’m shooting it locally,” De Leon said in her Variety interview.

Basti Evangelista is a news and opinion writer who focuses on Philippine national politics and sectoral issues. His personal advocacy includes press freedom and social justice.

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