Pinoy wins ‘best director’ title at Cannes
|Posted by Manila Mail under Around DC, Headline, Philippine News|
â€œI feel like Iâ€™m floating,â€ Mendoza told the Philippine Daily Inquirer in an exclusive phone interview from France, minutes after his win in the worldâ€™s most prestigious film festival. â€œIâ€™m so happy.â€
Mendoza bested past Oscar and Cannes winners, like Taiwanâ€™s Ang Lee, Spainâ€™s Pedro Almodovar, New Zealandâ€™s Jane Campion, Denmarkâ€™s Lars von Trier, and the United Statesâ€™ Quentin Tarantino.
As the first Filipino to win the Best Director prize in Cannes, he joins the list of revered filmmakers who have won the coveted prize, including Martin Scorsese, Ingmar Bergman, Francois Truffaut, Luis BuÃ±uel, Robert Bresson, Costa Gavras, Bernard Tavernier, Werner Herzog, Robert Altman, Joel Coen and Gus Van Sant.
Calling from backstage at the Palaisâ€™ Salle Lumiere, where the awards ceremony was held, Mendoza told the Inquirer that winning the Best Director prize was â€œvindicationâ€ after his film was pummeled by critics, just like â€œSerbis,â€ his Main Competition entry in Cannes last year.
[ad#kinataytheatricalrel120x150]â€œKinatay ,â€ which means massacre, is a gritty look at the slow butchering of a prostitute with blunt kitchen knives.
â€œSerbis,â€is about a family who lives in and operates a run-down porn shop with long close-ups of festering boils and overflowing toilets.
Both films background the Philippinesâ€™ poor, with â€œKinatayâ€ chronicling a day in the life of a young police officer that begins with his wedding and closes with his involvement in the rape, murder and hacking into pieces of a prostitute.
â€œThis is not just entertainment, these kinds of stories are real,â€ Mendoza said.”He said he felt validated standing by his aesthetic choices. â€œIt feels good. The sting of all the negative reviews is lessened because, in the end, the directorâ€™s message was heard.”
Mendozaâ€™s Cannes triumph is all the more significant because it came only two days after National Artist Lino Brockas 18th death anniversary on May 22.
Filipino filmmaker Mel Chionglo told the Inquirer: Itâ€™s a first for Philippine movies. Dante has triumphed where even the great Lino Brocka had failed to win a prize. Now, Dante has really flung open the doors for Filipino films internationally.”
[ad#moviesatamazon300x250]Chionglo added that his colleagues in the Directorsâ€™ Guild of the Philippines Inc., of which Mendoza is also a board member, are â€œmighty proud of this historic triumph.
Raymond Redâ€™s film â€œAninoâ€ won the Palme Dâ€™Or for Short Film in 2000, but itâ€™s the first time for the country to win in the Cannesâ€™ Main Competition. â€œItâ€™s the first major award from one of the top three festivals in the world: Cannes, Berlin and Venice,” Chionglo said.day.
Brocka, the first Filipino to be exhibited and to compete in Cannes in the 1970s, never won in the festival, but is largely credited for paving the way for todayâ€™s generation of Filipino filmmakers, he related.