May 26, 2017, 1:32 pm
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Brillante off to 70th Cannes Film Festival

Filmmaker Brillante Mendoza is joining the 70th Cannes Film Festival next month.

Mendoza, who won the Palme d’Or winner for “Kinatay” in 2009, will be flying on May 20 to the France seaside town to bring the local series, “Amo.” “Amo,” a TV5 production featuring actor Derek Ramsay, is the first Philippine-made series to be showcased in the by-invitation-only international film festival, which made news recently for embracing in its lineup productions from streaming companies Netflix and Amazon. 

“It’s exciting,” said Mendoza, “I’m more excited [to know the] reaction ng mga tao kasi free TV, iba kasi. ‘Pag film, alam mo ang market mo sa arthouse: cineastes and film enthusiasts. Dito [sa TV], everybody. Wider audience. Buong mundo. Hindi limited sa festival.”

TV5 president Chot Reyes said they are proud of Mendoza. Aside from “Amo,” the network has partnered with the director for “Brillante Mendoza Presents,” a monthly presentation that are viewed as an alternative to the usual TV fare. Since January, “Brillante Mendoza Presents” has been tackling issues some networks refuse to touch, including teen suicide in “Pagtatapos,” which will air this April 22, 9:30 p.m.

“Pagtatapos” is about Shaira, played by newcomer Gabby Padilla, a maladjusted product of a broken home. She is ably supported by real-life couple Nonie and Shamaine Buencamino, who lost their daughter Julia to suicide in 2015. 

“This is a lot different from ‘Tsinoy’ and ‘Everlasting.’ It’s set in Mount Makiling and we infused the legend in the arts. Nag intertwine ang kwento sa thesis nung estudyante,” related Mendoza.

“Ang lead ay may suicidal tendencies. Feeling ko it’s an important topic that we should all be aware of, lalung lalo na makikita natin na may kinalaman ang pamilya sa mga sitwasyong ganito. Dapat pinag-uusapan siya para maging aware hindi lang miyembro ng pamilya but even the community. Dito na involve ang school and teachers. Importante ‘yun kasi madalas ito ‘yung mga iniiwasan bagay at usapin na hindi binibigyan ng pansin.”

He acknowledged that the Buencaminos’ presence in the project is bound to create a stir, but, he cleared, “Of course we don’t want to capitalize on the situation na ‘yun. I think the reason I got Shamaine and Nonie kasi meron silang sariling advocacy.

They want people to know about suicide. Gusto rin nilang mapag-usapan especially after dun sa nangyari sa anak nila. It’s part of their therapy. Nung una, according to Noni, part of their therapy but at the same time advocacy na rin nilang mag-asawa,“ he explained. “Hindi naman sila naging mahirap kuhanin because nakita naman nila ‘yung script hindi exploitative. Hindi talaga naka-focus (sa suicide) pero pinakita ‘yung bata merong tendencies na either namamana, according to studies, or may malaking involvement ang pamilya.”
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