Yet another win for Filipino pride, director Sam Lee's coming-of-age film Billie and Emma just won an award at the Inside Out LGBT Film Festival! Having been around for two decades, the international film circuit annually held in Toronto showcases the best of LGBTQIA films from Canada and around the world.
This year's festival, that ran from May 23 to June 2, awarded Billie and Emma with one of its Audience Awards, specifically for Best Narrative Feature. Other winners from the category included titles such as We Are Radical Monarchs for Best Documentary Feature and Thrive for Best Short Film. Meanwhile, the Best Feature award went to Xiang Zi's A Dog Barking at the Moon, while Garin Nugroho's Memories of My Body received the Inside Out Special Award for Innovation.
Sam's humorous, tender, and heartwarming film follows the unfettered, blossoming relationship between two highschool girls: the headstrong and intelligent model student, Emma; and the enigmatic new girl in town, Billie. It first premiered to a wide Filipino audience as an entry for the QCinema International Film Festival last year, and subsequently won the Gender Sensitivity Award. Billie and Emma stars newcomers Gabby Padilla and Zar Donato, backed by Cielo Aquino, Beauty Gonzalez, and Ryle Paolo Santiago.
Sam first made her big screen directorial debut with Baka Bukas back in 2016 starring Jasmine Curtis-Smith and Louise de los Reyes. It also won an international award at the 29th Vancouver Queer Film Festival in Canada two years ago, garnering its highest accolade for Best Feature.
If Sam's impressive award-winning streak hasn't convinced you to give Billie and Emma a chance yet, read up on our review, here!