Internationally acclaimed Filipino director Brillante Mendoza is once again recognized as the Best Director, this time at the 54th Gijon International Film Festival held in Spain for his most recent film, Ma’ Rosa.
Back in 2009, director Mendoza was also given the Best Director award during the 62nd annual Cannes Film Festival for the film Kinatay.
The international jury was chaired by Judith Collell. Other personalities given recognition by the Spanish-based award-giving body this year were David Matamoros, Kathleen Haney, Nima Javidi, and Claudia Pinto.
Ma’ Rosa is a critically acclaimed film starring veteran actress Jacklyn Jose as Rosa Reyes, a mother and a sari-sari store owner who sidelines together with her husband as drug peddlers to make ends meet.
Brillante Mendoza’s Best Director win isn’t the first big award for the film. For her role, Jacklyn Jose bagged the Best Actress trophy at the prestigious Cannes International Film Festival in France just this May. It was the first time for a Filipina and a Southeast Asian actress to win such award.
Brillante Medoza Film Goes to the Oscars
Last September, the film Ma’ Rosa got the nod by the Film Academy of the Philippines as the country’s entry to the 89th Academy Awards, which will be held at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, in February 2017.
The films also star actors Julio Diaz, Mercedes Cabral, Baron Geisler, Neil Ryan Sese, Mon Confiado, Maria Isabel Lopez, Mark Anthony Fernandez, Allan Paule, Ruby Ruiz, Jomari Angeles, and Andi Eigenmann.
Brillante Mendoza has always been known for his bold take on different issues surrounding his country. Featuring explicit scenes, his films are often faced with heavy censorship in the country. But it’s with this bravery in discussing delicate issues that Brillante Mendoza has made a name for himself and for his country. His 2008 film Serbis, which was screened at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival and was nominated for Palm d’Or, was praised by Academy Award–winning actor Sean Penn and also Oscar-winning screenwriter and filmmaker Quentin Tarantino.
Looking forward to making more films that tackle social issues, Brillante Mendoza is hoping that his works will pave the way for the difference the Filipinos and the rest of the world have always wanted. In an interview with the Inquirer, Mendoza once said, “I’m hopeful that things will change for the better. And I think that at the end of the day, that’s my goal . . . why I do this kind of films.”
Besides this magnificent film by Brillante Mendoza, there are other Filipino-produced films that shortlisted by the FAP to represent the country for Oscars 2017, including Ang Hapis at Himagsik ni Hermano Puli by Gil Portes, Felix Manalo by Joel Lamangan, Honor Thy Father by Erik Matti, Pamilya Ordinaryo by Eduardo Roy, Tuos by Derick Carido, Hele sa Hiwagang Hapis and Ang Babaeng Humayo by Lav Diaz.