Sunday, August 23, 2009

Two Filipino Filmmakers to Watch

The Cannes Film Festival 2009 highlighted the talents of two up and coming Filipino Filmmakers, Brilliante Mendoza and Raya Martin.

Brilliante Mendoza won the Best Director Award (a first for the Philippines) for his indie feature "Kinatay" -- beating an illustrious field of directors, which included Ang Lee, Pedro Almodovar, Ken Loach, Alain Resnais, Quentin Tarantino, Jane Campion and Lars Von Tier for the coveted prize. Brilliante is a self-taught filmmaker with a background in Advertising and Production Design. He made his first movie "Masahista" in 2005 at the age of 45. "Kinatay" is his 8th feature-length film. Three prior films, "Serbis" "Tirador" and "Foster Child," were also entered in previous Cannes Film Festivals.

A refreshing breath of fresh air in Philippine Cinema, 25 year-old Raya Martin has been making stunningly imaginative films since debuting in 2005 with "Indio Nacional." "Independencia," his 7th feature-length film and the second installment to a planned trilogy that started with "Indio Nacional" on a particular period of struggle in Philippine History, is inventive and poetic at the same time. Stunningly photographed by French Cinematographer, Jeanne Lapoirie, it is stylistically shot entirely on a set, with painted backdrops, thick make-up and exaggerated theatrical gestures reminicent of early Hollywood.

"Independencia" was screened in Cannes 2009 in "Un Certain Regard," along with Martin's second entry "Manila" (co-directed with Adolfo Alix, Jr.) which was shown "Out of Competition."

--The interview and the trailer are taken from You Tube.

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