Category: Brillante Mendoza

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.

Hilom, A film by Brillante Mendoza about Doctors to the Barrio

Hilom, A film by Brillante Mendoza about Doctors to the Barrio

HILOM is a film about Doctors to the Barrio produced by the Department of Health
Directed by Brillante Mendoza
and Written by Boots Agbayani-Pastor

*Updated as of December 1, 2018

Starring Julia Montes and Kean Cipriano.

Elenita “Doc Ellen” Sancho-Peralta M.D. and Alexander “Doc Alex” Peralta M.D., both 27, are a newly married couple who are bound for Bicol to fulfill their return service after finishing their medical studies as scholars of the Department of Health (DOH) Doctors to the Barrio (DTTB) program.

Shooting dates: Sept. 20, 24,25 and 28

Location: Manila and Tanay Rizal

Brillante Mendoza is Jury Member in CAIRO

Brillante Mendoza is Jury Member in CAIRO

In this years edition of Cairo International Film Festival, Brillante Mendoza is a jury member, happening on November 20-29, 2018.

The jury president is Danish film director Bille August, one of the very few people who received the Palme d’Or award twice.

Sixteen films will be viewed by the international jury members composed of:

Brillante Mendoza – Director – Philippines
Hala Khalil – Director – Egypt
Natacha Regnier – Actress – Belgium
Dhafer L’Abidine – Actor – Tunisia
Diamand Bou Abboud -Actress – Lebanon
Juan Vera – Producer – Argentina
Samal Yeslyamova – Actress – Kazakhstan
Francesco Munzi – Director – Italy

Brillante Mendoza’s ‘Alpha, The Right to Kill’ to make world premiere at San Sebastian International Film Festival 2018

Brillante Mendoza’s ‘Alpha, The Right to Kill’ to make world premiere at San Sebastian International Film Festival 2018

Written by Troy Espiritu and directed by Brillante Mendoza, “Alpha, The Right to Kill” will make its world premiere in the 66th edition of San Sebastian International Film Festival, which runs September 21-29, 2018. The film stars Allen Dizon, Elijah Filamor and Baron Geisler.

Dizon plays P03 Moises Espino, a cold, ruthless and amoral non-commisioned police officer who conducts illegal activities through his informant Elijah, who is played by Filamor.

A small-time drug peddler turned police informant, Filamor’s character is a survivalist determined to earn an ample for his family. Meanwhile, Geisler plays Norman “Abel” Bautista, a syndicate leader running his crystal meth business in the metro.


Set against the backdrop of the Philippines Government’s crackdown on illegal drugs, a SWAT-led police force launches an operation to arrest Abel, one of the biggest druglords in Manilla.

Police Officer Espino and Elijah, a small-time pusher turned informant, provide the intelligence for the operation which quickly escalates into a violent and heavily-armed confrontation in the slums between the SWAT and Abel’s gang.

Before the investigators arrive at the crime scene, Espino and Elijah walk off with Abel’s backpack full of money and methamphetamine.

This gesture of survival for one and corruption for the other will soon set off a dangerous series of events, both of them risking their reputations, families and lives in the process.

Director’s Treatment

The script is the product of a compilation of found stories based on research and interviews with people involved with the drug trade in the Philippines. The challenge was how to put together so many perspectives in a cohesive point of view (POV). Of late, drug dealers in the Philippines have resorted to a novel and clean way of “shipping” drugs (in this case shabu or meth) to clients if only to avoid detection and arrests: pigeons.

In telling the story, we resort to the cinéma-vérité style of filmmaking; we go to where the action is, where the action is taking place, the people involved. There is some sort of voyeurism, in that we peek into and show how things are done beyond closed doors, (at least in the drug trade). The audience gets a ringside view of how a sting operation is planned and executed.

Nonprofessional actors are cast to achieve unrehearsed and impromptu movements and action; likewise real-life police officers and SWAT team members whose actions and movements are spontaneous during operations. Real and actual locations make up the overall production design.

Director’s Statement

At the core of the story is a police asset (a modern-day version of the “makapili,” a Filipino who readily betrayed Filipino guerillas, by pointing them out to Japanese authorities during the Japanese occupation of the Philippines). The world today may not have a “makapili,” but it has a rough equivalent: the whistleblower.

The presence of an asset or a would-be whistleblower within an organization or an institution is a clear indication that the institution is under threat of lawlessness or is open for infiltration of corruption. No organization is ever safe from this threat, for as long as it harbors, albeit unknowingly, rotten eggs within its walls. No society, despite its good intentions, will ever be the ideal people’s domain for as long as evil spirits reside in their midst. This is exactly the conflict that is impairing the Philippine’s war against illegal drugs.

Raymund Ribay Gutierrez

Raymund Ribay Gutierrez

Raymund Ribay Gutierrez is the first Filipino director and screenwriter to compete for the Palme d’Or twice in the short film category at the Festival de Cannes.

He is a graduate of Brillante Mendoza Film Workshop Batch 1 where he was awarded as best director for his film Anggulo.

Gutierrez’s first short film Imago (2016), received a nomination for the Palme d’Or Best Short Film in Cannes and won Best Short Cuts in Toronto International Film Festival, Best Short Film Award in Stockholm International Film Festival, and Best Short Film in London Short Film Festival. In 2018, his second short film, Judgement (2018), received a nomination for the Palme d’Or Best Short Film in Cannes and has been selected for this year’s Toronto Film Festival, 2018.

Gutierrez is mentored by Cannes favourite, Brillante Mendoza, who won the prestigious Best Director Award at the festival for Kinatay (2009) and has received a long list of major industry awards and honours around the world, for his cinematic works centred on issues of social justice.

Read the full interview of Amy during the 2018 Cannes Film Festival:

Brillante Mendoza Film Foundation

Brillante Mendoza Film Foundation

Film is a potent medium in the exchange of ideas, information, and experiences, regardless of one’s stature in life. Film does not discriminate; one can live in a Third World or developing country, and still feel the need for art film to enrich his mind, knowledge, dignity, and humanity.

Film is a major form of art, being both visual and aural; therefore it encompasses the ultimate art form, providing the nourishment that the soul and spirit hunger for but which the other art forms cannot lend. In art as in life, one needs to nourish the soul and feed the spirit.

Brillante Mendoza Film Foundation is an organization that merely focus on helping those who want to explore the vast horizons of filmmaking.

Brillante Mendoza’s AMO premieres April 9 on Netflix

Brillante Mendoza’s AMO premieres April 9 on Netflix

Global streaming giant, Netflix has picked up drug war drama “AMO” as its first series from The Philippines. The show was produced by broadcaster TV5 and directed by Brillante Mendoza.Netflix will roll it out worldwide from April 9, 2018.

AMO tells the story of Joseph, a high school student who starts out as a small-time “shabu” peddler, whose involvement in the drug trade eventually gets him entangled in the violent and dangerous circle of drug lords, crooked cops, and corrupt government officials.

Catch Brillante Mendoza’s AMO premieres April 9 on NETFLIX

Aug September 20, 9:30PM every Sunday on TV5. *updated March 21

“The AMO series is a bold and suspenseful show that has the potential of capturing thrill-seeking audiences worldwide,” said Robert Roy, VP of Content Acquisition at Netflix.

BRILLANTE MENDOZA at Sinag Maynila 2018

BRILLANTE MENDOZA at Sinag Maynila 2018

By Mae Aniceto

Twenty-eighteen marks a centennial of film in the Philippines, and there is no other way to celebrate it but to make this year’s festival nothing less than grandeur of artistic expression through the lens of both aspiring directors and actors, and those who have been celebrating the festival alongside SINAG MAYNILA since the beginning.

Brillante Mendoza, in partnership with SINAG MAYNILA CEO and Founder Wilson Tieng, keeps on making each festival diverse and extraordinary, creating bridges for international recognition of local talents – breaking barriers and making the country flourish as one of the best in the craft of filmmaking and cinematography.

To make this festival possible, SINAG MAYNILA Independent Film Festival 2018 is partnering with the Film Development Council of the Philippines, Cinelokal, and McDonalds.

This year’s SINAGMAYNILA will feature the finalists for full length films (5), short films (6) and documentaries (6)


ABOMINATION by Yam Laranas

A young lady named Rachel, who escaped from a mental institution, is discovered oblivious in a city road claiming to be someone else who was mercilessly killed two months sooner. The story reveals how she lost herself due to trauma and eventually finds it.

BOMBA (The Bomb) by Ralston Jover

Pipo makes a decent living by going up against life which is more troublesome in light of the fact that he’s hard of hearing. Like a bomb, Pipo’s ticking to detonate due to difficulties and struggles; He underpins himself and his high school sweetheart Cyril, his perturbed supervisor is getting troublesome, and Ben keeps on asking for her daughter Cyril back.

EL PESTE by Richard Somes

A dreary, discouraged, and lone individual, Abner finds himself in an illicit affair with Viola – a married woman, a client who has the same presence as his.  He initiates a tragedy – something that will inevitably change their lives forever.


This film is Matthew Victor Pastor’s story of Aries Santos, a Filipino-Australian producer attempting to complete her narrative and Melody, a sex worker roaming the lanes of Melbourne.

TALE OF THE LOST BOYS by Joselito Altarejos

An account of two entirely unassociated individuals, Alex, a Filipino repairman, and Jerry, a Taiwanese native understudy going through a journey of finding love, identity, and value.  What started as a search of their respective mothers, ended up finding themselves instead.



CESAR & MAGDA – Pamela Barrios

FIRESTARTER – Jill Urdaneta
KALYE FM – Tom Nava
POMPOMS – Angelo Amar
THE DUWENDE – Odin Fernandez


AM-AMMA – Dexter Macaraeg
HALAGA – Kristine Anne Escamillas
JOURNEYMAN FINDS HOME: THE SIMONE ROTA STORY Albert Almendralejo and Maricel Cariaga
MAHAL, 2017 – Janine Santos
TSUPER – Rina Abary

VOLTAIRE – Jaimee Bernardo

All films are screening in the following SM cinemas from March 7 to 15, 2018: SM Mall of Asia, SM Megamall, SM North Edsa, SM Fairview, SM Southmall, SM Bacoor, SM Manila, and SM Sta. Mesa.

To check the show dates and event schedules, visit

Brillante Mendoza Head Jury at 2nd Malaysia Film Festival

Brillante Mendoza Head Jury at 2nd Malaysia Film Festival

Early last year at Malaysia International Film Festival’s first edition, Brillante Mendoza won the best director award with his film “Ma Rosa” “Mendoza’s gritty, powerful socially-conscious films are proof that cinema can play a vital role in illuminating and eliminating the social ills that plague our modern societies,” said Joanne Goh, MD of MIFFest.

Other jurors at the second edition will include directors Dain Iskandar Said (Interchange”), Tran Anh Hung (“Scent of the Green Papaya,” “Norwegian Wood”), Patrick Tam (“After This Our Exile”), actor-producer Lee Lieh (“Jump Ashin!,” “Monga”),  actor-writer-director, Suhasini Maniratnam (Bandhana, Suprabhata”). and Naomi Kawase (Japan)


Brillante Mendoza | Philippines
; Patrick Tam | Hong Kong
; Tran Anh Hung | Vietnam/France
; Lee Lieh | Taiwan
🇲🇾 Dain Said | Malaysia
; Suhasini Maniratnam | India
; Naomi Kawase | Japan



Brillante Mendoza as French film fest jury

Brillante Mendoza as French film fest jury

Director Brillante Mendoza was invited to be a member of the jury in the 8th MyFrenchFilmFestival, in Paris, France, ongoing until Feb. 19, 2018.  Italian director Paolo Sorrentino (The Great Beauty, Youth) will preside over the Filmmakers’ Jury of this 8th edition. He will be accompanied by four other filmmakers: French directors Julia Ducournau (Raw) and Kim Chapiron (Sheitan, Dog Pound), French-Moroccan director Nabil Ayouch (Les Chevaux de Dieu, Much Loved) and Filipino director Brillante Mendoza (Kinatay, Captive, Ma’ Rosa).


The film selection
Organised in six thematic sections, mixing short films and feature films, MyFrenchFilmFestival offers “Internet festivalgoers” the chance to discover the many aspects and talents of French and Francophone cinema, exactly as they wish, from 19 January to 19 February 2018!

In one of his television  interviews he talked about his support for President Duterte and his campaign on war against drugs.