Author: Conan Altatis

Brillante Mendoza’s ‘Alpha: The Right to Kill’ makes Philippine premiere; List of cinemas released

Brillante Mendoza’s ‘Alpha: The Right to Kill’ makes Philippine premiere; List of cinemas released

'Alpha: The Right to Kill' poster

The red carpet premiere of Brillante Mendoza’s film “Alpha: The Right to Kill” took place at the new Director’s Club Cinema at The Podium in Mandaluyong City, Metro Manila, Philippines on January 11, 2019. Joining the Cannes Film Festival 2009 Best Director at the event were the film’s scriptwriter Troy Espiritu and lead actors Allen Dizon and Elijah Filamor.

“Alpha: The Right to Kill” will be released in select theaters in the Philippines on January 16, 2019. Among the screening venues are Cloverleaf, Fairview Terraces, Gaisano, Gateway Cineplex, Glorietta 4, Market Market Cinema, Robinsons, SM Supermalls, Sta. Lucia, Starmall, Trinoma and Vista Cinemas.

'Alpha: The Right to Kill' screening cinemas

Film Development Council of the Philippines chairman Liza Diño-Seguerra attended the “Alpha: The Right to Kill” red carpet premiere with former National Youth Commission chairperson Ice Seguerra. Directors Joselito Altajeros and Louie Ignacio and former Tourism Promotions Board chief operation officer Cesar Montano also graced the event, which was a joint project of Solar Entertainment, Centerstage Productions and SM Cinema.

Baron Geisler was given warm welcome by members of the press during the event. “Alpha: The Right to Kill” marks the third time the actor starred in a full-length film directed by Mendoza.

Joining Dizon, Filamor and Geisler in the “Alpha: The Right to Kill” cast are Jalyn Taboneknek Perez, Angela Cortez, Apollo Abraham, Richard Manabat, Nikko de los Santos, JC Tan, Jim Libiran, Dexter Macaraeg, Raymond Rinoza, Xixi Maturan and Cataleya Surio. They were all present during the red carpet premiere.

Other special guests included Kiko Matos and Ketchup Eusebio, who are set to star in Mendoza’s upcoming film “Mindanao” with Dizon and Judy Ann Santos. The trailers of “Mindanao” and Mendoza’s collaboration project with Lav Diaz and Kidlat Tahimik titled “Lakbayan” (Journey) were shown during the “Alpha: The Right to Kill” red carpet premiere.

Before making its Philippine premiere, “Alpha: The Right to Kill” was screened in several film festivals abroad. It made its world premiere in September 2018 at the San Sebastián International Film Festival in Spain where it won the Special Jury Prize.

In October 2018, “Alpha: The Right to Kill” was shown at the Busan International Film Festival in South Korea and the Warsaw International Film Festival in Poland. It was then screened in November 2018 at the Minsk International Film Festival in Belarus, Shaken Aimanov International Film Festival in Kazakhstan, Tokyo FilmEx in Japan, Cairo International Film Festival in Egypt, Torino Film Festival in Italy and Singapore International Film Festival in Singapore and in December 2018 at the Kerala International Film Festival in India.

Paulo Coelho: ‘Kinatay’ has great screenplay, director, actors

Paulo Coelho: ‘Kinatay’ has great screenplay, director, actors


“Kinatay” (Butchered) was released in 2009 but Paulo Coelho was able to watch it only recently. On December 28, 2018, the Brazilian lyricist and novelist best known for his novel “The Alchemist” took to Twitter to praise the film that made Brillante Mendoza the first Filipino filmmaker to win Prix de la Mise en Scene (Best Director) at the Cannes Film Festival.

Directed by Mendoza, “Kinatay” was written by Armando “Bing” Lao. It starred Coco Martin as Peping, a newly wed criminology student who accidentally joins a syndicate to earn money for his family.

Joining Martin in the cast were John Regala, Maria Isabel Lopez, Jhong Hilario, Julio Diaz, Mercedes Cabral, Lauren Novero and Benjie Filomeno. Produced by Centerstage Productions and Swift Productions, the film made its premiere on May 17, 2009 at the 62nd Cannes Film Festival.

Including “Kinatay,” “Inglorious Basterds” by Quentin Tarantino of the United States and “Looking for Eric” by Ken Loach of the United Kingdom, 20 films from 13 countries competed for the Palme d’Or. The grand prize was given to “Das weiße Band, Eine deutsche Kindergeschichte” (The White Ribbon) by Michael Haneke of Germany.

French actress Isabelle Huppert was the President of the Jury at the 62nd Cannes Film Festival. In 2012, she played Thérèse Bourgoine in Mendoza’s “Captive,” which was screened in competition at the 62nd Berlin International Film Festival.

Edited by Kats Serraon, “Kinatay” featured Teresa Barrozo’s music, Albert Michael Idioma’s sound and Odyssey Flores’s cinematography. For the film, Barrozo won Best Original Soundtrack at the 2009 Sitges-Catalonian International Film Festival, which also awarded Best Director to Mendoza.

In 2010, “Kinatay” won Best Picture at the Gawad Urian Awards along with Best Direction for Mendoza and Best Sound for Idioma. In the same year, the film won Best Picture at the Golden Screen Awards Philippines along with Mendoza as Best Director, Martin as Best Actor and Lopez as Best Supporting Actress as well as Best Editing for Serraon and Best Sound for Idioma.

Brillante Mendoza, Lav Diaz, Kidlat Tahimik collaborate in omnibus film ‘Lakbayan’

Brillante Mendoza, Lav Diaz, Kidlat Tahimik collaborate in omnibus film ‘Lakbayan’

For the first time, Brillante Mendoza, Lav Diaz and Kidlat Tahimik collaborated in one film. The omnibus project of the three legendary filmmakers of the Philippines is titled “Lakbayan” (Journey).

The three parts of “Lakbayan” are titled “Defocado” (Defocused), “Hugaw” (Dirt) and “Lakaran ni Kabunyan” (Kabunyan’s Journey). They were all filmed in the Philippines in 2017.

“Defocado” was written by Conan Altatis and directed by Mendoza. It stars Joem Bascon, Soliman Cruz, Fe Ging Ging Hyde, Perry Dizon, Japo Parcero and Vince Rillon.

“Hugaw” was written and directed by Diaz. It stars Nanding Josef, Bart Guingona and Don Melvin Boongaling.
“Lakaran ni Kabunyan” was written and directed by Tahimik. It stars his son Kabunyan de Guia.

Mendoza, Diaz and Tahimik have all won in the Berlin International Film Festival. Mendoza and Tahimik won the Caligari Film Award for “Tirador” in 2008 and “Balikbayan #1: Memories of Overdevelopment Redux III” in 2015, respectively, while Diaz won the Alfred Bauer Award for “Hele Sa Hiwagang Hapis” in 2016 and the Golden Berlin Bear Award for “Ang Panahon ng Halimaw” in 2018.

Mendoza has five works featured in the Cannes International Film Festival, namely “Foster Child” in 2007, “Serbis” in 2008, “Kinatay” in 2009, “Taklub” in 2015 and “Ma’ Rosa” in 2016. “Kinatay” made him the first and still the only Filipino filmmaker to win Best Director in the annual film festival in Cannes, France.

Diaz is the first and still the only Filipino filmmaker to win Best Director in the Dublin International Film Festival, which he received in 2017 for “Ang Babaeng Humayo.” He has one work screened in the Cannes Film Festival, which was his 2013 film “Norte, Hanggang ng Kasaysayan.”

Tahimik is the first and still the only Filipino filmmaker to win the Prize of the City of Amiens at the Amiens International Film Festival. He received the award for “Mababangong Bangungot” in 1977.

“Lakbayan” will make its world premiere in 2018 Busan International Film Festival. The 23rd edition of the annual film festival in Haeundae-gu, Busan, South Korea will run October 4-13, 2018.

Brillante Mendoza directs Duterte’s SONA production again pro bono

Brillante Mendoza directs Duterte’s SONA production again pro bono

Martin Andanar, Brillante Mendoza
Martin Andanar, Brillante Mendoza

Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar has tapped Brillante Mendoza to direct the production of President Rodrigo Duterte’s State of the Nation Address (SONA) for the second time. Like in 2016, the 2009 Cannes Film Festival Best Director is offering his service again pro bono.


At first, Andanar was hesitant to ask Mendoza again to direct the SONA production. The PCOO Secretary thought the director would charge a huge talent fee.


On July 17, Mendoza conducted his first ocular inspection at the Batasang Pambansa compound. The director and his team will occupy one of the booths in the area, where a mini studio had been set up.


On July 20, Duterte started rehearsing his second SONA. He will deliver his speech without a teleprompter as he had to resort to ad libs after having trouble reading his speech from the device in 2016.


Mendoza received the copy of Duterte’s SONA 2017 speech on July 24, Monday, hours before the President delivers it. The director reviewed the speech to decide the portions where he can show photos related to the topic.


Duterte is expected to arrive at the Batasang Pambansa at around 3:30 pm and deliver his second SONA at 4:00 p.m. The theme of his speech is “A Comfortable Life for All.”


In Duterte’s SONA 2017, he is expected to submit the 3.767 trillion pesos national budget proposed by his administration for 2018. Much of the budget will be allotted for education, health care and infrastructure development.


To follow security measures and maintain the solemnity of the occasion, no camera operators are allowed on the floor of the Plenary Hall of the Batasang Pambansa. Mendoza will use 16 to 18 cameras including a robotic camera as well as long-range, zoom cameras to be positioned in front of the podium.


The PCOO will assign sign language interpreter for those with hearing impairment. Former president Benigno Aquino III will not attend the event like in 2016.


In 2016, Andanar was one of the students of the third installment of Brillante Mendoza Film Workshop (BMFW). Among his classmates were Daniel Palacio, Vanju Alvaira, Amen Clavio, Nimrod Sarmiento, Dexter Macaraeg, Adrianne Mendoza, Noel Perez and Conan Altatis.

Brillante Mendoza
Brillante Mendoza
Brillante Mendoza, Lav Diaz join Academy Class of 2017

Brillante Mendoza, Lav Diaz join Academy Class of 2017

Internationally acclaimed Filipino filmmakers Brillante Mendoza and Lav Diaz are among the 774 new members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS). Hailing from 57 countries, the new members bring the organization’s Class of 2017 to a total of approximately 8,500 members.

This is part of the move of the AMPAS to promote diversity among its members. Currently, 13 percent of the members are people of color (POC), an increase from 11 percent in 2016 and 8 percent in 2015.

“We are not looking to increase membership,” outgoing AMPAS President Cheryl Boone Isaacs said in a statement obtained by Deadline. “The goal is instead to increase a diverse membership that represents us around the world.”

There are more than 20 Asians among the new AMPAS members, including Gal Gadot, B.D. Wong, Donnie Yen, Ming-Na Wen, Fan Bingbing, Johnnie To, Tony Leung, Peter Ho-sun Chan, Ann Hui, Priyanka Chopra, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Amitabh Bachchan, Maggie Cheung, Aamir Khan, Irrfan Khan, Salman Khan, Deepika Padukone and Tran Anh Hung. Mendoza and Diaz are the only new members from the Philippines.

Since 1953, the Philippines has been submitting an entry to the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film but has yet to receive a nomination. Both Mendoza and Diaz have one film submitted as an entry.

In 2014, Diaz’s “Norte, Hangganan ng Kasaysayan” (Norte, the End of History) was submitted as the Philippine entry to the 87th Academy Awards. The film starred Sid Lucero, Angeli Bayani, Archie Alemania, Angelina Kanapo, Soliman Cruz, Mae Paner and Hazel Orencio.

In 2016, the Philippines submitted Mendoza’s “Ma’ Rosa” to the 89th Academy Awards. The film starred Jaclyn Jose along with Julio Diaz, Felix Roco, Andi Eigenman, Jomari Angeles, Baron Geisler, Neil Ryan Sese, Mercedes Cabral, Mark Anthony Fernandez, Mon Confiado, Maria Isabel Lopez and Vince Rillon.

Both “Norte, Hangganan ng Kasaysayan” and “Ma’ Rosa” were featured at the Cannes Film Festival. Diaz’s film was screened at the Un Certain Regard section in 2013 while Mendoza’s film made Jose the first Southeast Asian recipient of the Best Actress award from the prestigious annual film festival in Cannes, France in 2016.

Check the full list of the Academy Class of 2017 members here.

Brillante Mendoza’s ‘Ma’ Rosa’ receives multiple Gawad Urian 2017 nominations

Brillante Mendoza’s ‘Ma’ Rosa’ receives multiple Gawad Urian 2017 nominations

The 2017 Gawad Urian nominees have been announced. Among the films with multiple nominations is “Ma’ Rosa” by Brillante Mendoza.

“Ma’ Rosa” was filmed in Mandaluyong City in 2015. It made its debut at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival and was the Philippines’ entry for Best Foreign Language Film at the 2017 Academy Awards.

One of the major 2017 Gawad Urian nominations received by “Ma’ Rosa” is Best Film. Its fellow nominees in the category are “Ang Babaeng Humayo” by Lav Diaz, “Baboy Halas” by Bagane Fiola, “Paglipay” by Zig Dulay, “Pamilya Ordinaryo” by Eduardo Roy Jr. and “Women of the Weeping River” by Sheron Dayoc.

Mendoza is nominated for Best Director along with Diaz, Fiola, Dulay, Roy and Dayoc. They have three other competitors in the category namely “Saving Sally” director Avid Liongoren, “Ned’s Project” director Lem Lorca and “Pauwi Na” director Paolo Villaluna.

“Ma’ Rosa” actress Jaclyn Jose is nominated for Best Actress along with “Hinulid” actress Nora Aunor, “Ned’s Project” actress Angeli Bayani, “Pamilya Ordinaryo” actress Hasmine Killip, “Ang Babaeng Humayo” actress Charo Santos-Concio, “Pauwi Na” actress Cherry Pie Picache, “Oro” actress Irma Adlawan, “Women of the Weeping River” actress Laila Ulao, “Mrs.” actress Elizabeth Oropesa and “Area” actress Ai-Ai delas Alas. In 2016, Jose won the award for the same category at Cannes Film Festival.

Jose’s “Ma’ Rosa” co-actor Julio Diaz is nominated for Best Supporting Actor. He has six competitors namely Santos-Concio’s “Ang Babaeng Humayo” co-actors John Lloyd Cruz and Noni Buencamino, Aunor’s “Hinulid” co-actor Jess Mendoza, Ulao’s “Weeping of the Weeping River” co-actor Taha Daranda and “Die Beautiful” actor Christian Bables.

Vying for Best Actor are Bables’ “Die Beautiful” co-actor Paolo Ballesteros, Killip’s “Pamilya Ordinaryo” co-actor Ronwaldo Martin and Picache’s “Pauwi Na” co-actor Bembol Roco. Their fellow nominees are “Paglipay” actor Garry Cabalic, “Dagsin” actor Tommy Abuel, “Singing in Graveyards” actor Pepe Smith and “2 Cool 2 B 4gotten” actor Khalil Ramos.

For Best Supporting Actress, Cabalic’s “Paglipay” co-actors Anna Luna and Joan Dela Cruz will compete against Abuel’s “Dagsin” co-actor Janine Gutierrez, Bayani’s “Ned’s Project” co-actor Lui Quiambao Manansala, Oropesa’s  “Mrs.” co-actor Lotlot De Leon and Ulao and Daranda’s “Weeping of the Weeping River” co-actor Sharifa Pearlsia Ali-dans. “Seklusyon” actress Rhed Bustamante and “Tuos” actress Barbie Forteza and are also nominated for the category.

For Best Screenplay, “Ma’ Rosa” writer Troy Espiritu will go against the directors of “Ang Babaeng Umayo,” “Pamilya Ordinaryo,” “Paglipay,” “Women of the Weeping River,” “Pauwi Na” and “Ned’s Project,” who wrote the screenplays of their respective films. Also nominated for the category are “Patay na si Hesus” writer Fatrick Tabada and “Ned’s Project” writer John Paul Bedia while Villaluna shares his nomination with his “Pauwi Na” co-writer Ellen Ramos.

The Natatanging Gawad Urian 2017 will be given to Vilma Santos during the awards ceremony on July 20 at ABS-CBN Studio 10 in Quezon City. Here are the other nominees:


Best Cinematography

  • Odyssey Flores for “Ma’ Rosa”
  • Lav Diaz for “Ang Babaeng Humayo”
  • Albert Banzon for “Paglipay”
  • Albert Banzon for “Pamilya Ordinaryo”
  • Rommel Sales for “Women of the Weeping River”
  • Raphael Meting and Mark Limbaga for “Baboy Halas”
  • Mycko David for “Tuos”


Best Production Design

  • Dante Mendoza for “Ma’ Rosa”
  • Harley Alcasid for “Women of the Weeping River”
  • Harley Alcasid for “Pamilya Ordinaryo”
  • Ryan Cuatrona and Celine Belino for “Hinulid”
  • John Paul Sapitula for “Ned’s Project”
  • Aped Santos for “Paglipay”
  • Angel Diesta for “Ned’s Project”
  • Joel Geolamen for “Baboy Halas”
  • Erik Manalo and Rommel Laquian for “Saving Sally”


Best Editing

  • Diego Marx Dobles for “Ma’ Rosa”
  • Lav Diaz for “Ang Babaeng Humayo”
  • Carlo Francisco Manatad for “Women of the Weeping River”
  • Carlo Francisco Manatad for “Pamilya Ordinaryo”
  • Zig Madamba Dulay for “Paglipay”
  • Ellen Ramo and Paolo Villaluna for “Pauwi Na”
  • Benjamin Gonzales Tolentino for “Die Beautiful”


Best Sound

  • Albert Michael Idioma for “Ma’ Rosa”
  • Albert Michael Idioma and Immanuel Verona for “Women of the Weeping Rviver”
  • Albert Michael Idioma and Emmanuel Verona for “Pamilya Ordinaryo”
  • Corinne De San Jose, Mark Locsin and Che Villanueva for “Ang Babaeng Humayo”
  • Mark Laccay for “Hinulid”
  • Andrew Milallos for “Paglipay”
  • Willie Apa, Jr. and Charlie Daclan for “Baboy Halas”


Best Music

  • Pike Ramirez, Paolo Villaluna and Veena Ramirez for “Pauwi Na”
  • Gian Gianan for “Paglipay”
  • Kit Mendoza for “Women of the Weeping River”
  • Jema Pamintuan for “Tuos”
  • Pablo Pico for “Saving Sally”