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IFFI 2023: Philippine Director Brillante Mendoza Calls Filmmaking An ‘Art To Say Truthful Stories’

Brillante Mendoza made history by winning the Best Director award at Cannes for Kinatay in 2009, the first Filipino to do so.

Aanchal Sharma

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Philippine director and producer Brillante Mendoza at IFFI Goa 2023
Philippine director and producer Brillante Mendoza at IFFI Goa 2023. (Image: ScreenBox)

FILMS are considered to be a director’s medium. But different directors have different ways of finding ideas, constructing the narrative, creating the mise-en-scene, working with actors, using the visual language, designing sound, handling actors. Brillante Mendoza, the eminent contemporary director from Philippines, spoke on Wednesday at IFFI Goa 2023 during a Masterclass.

Brillante Mendoza is a celebrated Philippine director and producer, stands as a cinematic icon. He made history by winning the Best Director award at Cannes for Kinatay in 2009, the first Filipino to do so. Mendoza also received France’s prestigious “Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Arts et Lettres” in 2014.

His journey began with Masahista in 2005, which won Locarno’s Golden Leopard. His recent works, including Amo on Netflix and Gensan Punch on HBC GO, have maintained his international acclaim, and Resbak is currently available on Amazon Prime. Mendoza’s influence extends far beyond Philippine borders.

The behind the scenes of Ma’Rosa were shown as part of the Masterclass, and then the filmmaker further went on to entertain some questions. Mendoza said that he makes films for the people and leaves it up to them to define his work.

“If a person connects with a film, it becomes part of his life and that is the power of storytelling,” he said during the Masterclass. As for aspiring filmmakers, he had a special message, “You must find yourselves as filmmakers and remain true to your craft. It is not going to be easy. Filmmaking is not just a passion, but a commitment to say truthful stories.”

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