“Thy Womb” director Brillante Mendoza, who is back in the country with his La Navicella Venezia Cinema Award, a special recognition from film critics in Italy, hopes Filipinos will support the local film industry all the more.
“Pakiusap ko lang sa mga manunuood natin, maging mas masigasig lang para mas mainspire pa kami gumawa para sa mga Filipino audiences natin, hindi lang sa mga audiences natin abroad. Kasi we would also like to share kung bakit nila (foreign audiences) naaappreciate ang mga ganitong pelikula sa Pilipinas,” he told Yahoo! Philippines OMG! and other members of the press during his arrival at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.
Brillante represented the Philippines at the Venice International Film Festival together with “Thy Womb” lead star Nora Aunor and cast members Lovi Poe and Mercedes Cabral.
Nora won the Bisato d' Oro Award special critics’ award. Brillante also got P. Nazareno Taddei Award Special Mention honors.
The director said the international audience’s warm reception was inspiring.
“Sobrang saya. Overwhelming ang response sa screening natin sa Venice (International Film Festival). Meron tayong standing ovation doon, so nakakataba ng puso. A prize outside the festival, it's a critics’ award in Italy. Meron silang sariling organization sa Italy na nagbibigay ng ganitong award sa mga pelikulang karapatdapat.”
Praise for Nora
He shared his joy over working with Nora, who didn’t have qualms working on an indie film like “Thy Womb,” where she played an infertile Badjao wife.
“Okay si Ate Guy (Nora). Walang problema, since the start pa lang na nag-umpisa kami hanggang sa paggawa namin at hanggang ngayon na kasama ko siya, sobrang nakakataba ng puso. Nakakatuwa na kahit superstar na siya at ito'y isang independent film pero yung partisipasyon niya ang laki-laki pa rin. Parang ang tagal-tagal na rin naming magkakilala, so masaya,” he said.
Brillante added that he has long accepted the Metro Manila Filmfest committee’s decision to exclude “Thy Womb” in the annual event. What matters to him now is that doors of opportunity are opening for the film in the international market.
“Naka-move on na rin ako kasi kumbaga hindi siguro para sa akin talaga yung festival na iyon. A meron silang kanya-kanyang criteria, masaya na tao. Lagi kong sinasabi na kung may magsara man, laging may magbubukas na mas malaki pa. Ito yung karangalan siguro na kapalit noon.”
Brillante added that the success of “Thy Womb” inspires him to do quality films all the more.
“Kung nagkaroon na ng ganitong opportunity, sana yung mga manonood natin, panoorin na nila para naman makagawa pa kami ng mga ganoong klase ng pelikula sa susunod,” he said.
“Thy Womb” will be shown come November.
Brillante’s next film, “Captive”, starring Angel Aquino, Ronnie Lazaro and Mercedes Cabral, is inspired by stories of kidnapping and rebel group abductions.
“Hindi kami nagkaroon ng malaking publicity at promotion. I was hoping na sana kahit papaano mas maraming nanuod. Hindi kami pwedeng makipagcompete sa mga major companies, maliit lang kami, independent. Talagang kulang mg promotion iyan,” the director said.
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