Filipino first time feature director Sheron R. Dayoc picked up the $5,000 prize on the eve of the Asia Pacific Screen Awards.

The APSA NETPAC Development Prize was given to first-time feature director Sheron R. Dayoc from the Philippines for his film Halaw (Ways of the Sea).

Written, directed, and produced by Sheron Dayoc, the film centres around illegally trafficking from the Philippines to Malaysia. The jury chose the film “for its seamless storytelling and documentary quality.”

“This award inspires me to do more films which distinctly capture not only the Filipino spirit, but, in essence, represent the Asian value of resilience as well. Thanks for this very important recognition of the film, which is also a recognition of my country’s vibrant independent cinema industry,” said Dayoc.