One of the most prominent and important Filipino filmmakers today. He is the first Filipino to compete and won in 3 major international film festivals. His film, Captive, competed in coveted Berlin International Film Festival in 2012, while Tirador (Slingshot) won the Caligari Film Award in 2007. Thy Womb, on the other hand, won the La Navicella Venezia Cinema Award in the equally prestigious Venice Film Festival in 2012, while Lola was nominated for the Golden Lion in 2009.
But his most notable achievement is when he won the elusive Best Director in the well-renowned Cannes Film Festival for the film, Kinatay in 2009. The year before, his film, Serbis (Service) was nominated for the acclaimed Palme d’ Or Award.
Known to his peers as Dante, he started as a Production Designer in various films and Television advertisements. In 2005, he founded Centerstage Productions (CSP), an independent film production outfit that aims to rethink and rebrand Filipino cinema by producing meaningful and relevant films.
His debut film, Masahista (The Masseur) immediately won the Golden Leopard Award in the 2005 Locarno International Film Festival in Switzerland and paved the way for the rise of Alternative Cinema in the Philippines.
Since then, Mendoza has produced a body of work that garnered awards and recognition from local and international film festivals, including his recent achievement in the Asia-Pacific Screen Awards for Thy Womb; Asia-Pacific’s equivalent to the Oscars. His works launched a yearly retrospective in Europe, Asia and Russia where the world’s film critics regard him as a “neo-realist” for depicting social realities and lives of ordinary people in extraordinary situations.
Recently, the French government decorated Brillante Ma Mendoza with the Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Arts et Lettres or Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters. No Filipino director has been accorded the singular distinction of being ranked with the likes of renowned filmmakers, Bernardo Bertolucci and Dario Argento.
Mendoza’s films are commercially shown in Europe, affording the cinema-loving audience a glimpse of contemporary Philippine society.
For his achievements and stature in world cinema, various film festivals all over the world have invited Mendoza to sit not only as Jury Member but as Jury President as well.
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