The Filipino film Thy Womb (Sinapupunan) is one of the 17 films competing at the 69th Venice Film Festival.
Brillante Mendoza helms this film, which stars Nora Aunor as a Badjao midwife.
This will mark Brillante’s return to Venice, after his film Lola (2009) was named a surprise entry at the 66th edition of the Venice filmfest (Main Competition).
Another Nora Aunor-starrer, Ishmael Bernal’s Himala (1982), will also be screened in this year's Venice International Film Festival "Classics" (Out of Competition).
In addition, Genghis Khan (1950), co-directed by Manuel Conde and Lou Salvador, will also be included in a retrospective of films that were presented in past Venice filmfests.
INSPIRATION FOR THY WOMB. According to indie film actress Mercedes Cabral, Brillante "Dante" Mendoza got the idea of shooting Thy Womb after he saw a wedding ceremony in Mindanao.
“Noong nagpunta si Direk Dante sa Tawi-Tawi, na-witness niya ang isang buong wedding ceremony na authentic kaya dun siya na-inspire na gumawa ng film.”
In Thy Womb, Mercedes is cast as a bride who is a close friend of Nora’s character.
“Ang naisip niya talaga for the role ay ako. Parang nagkaroon sila ng usapan ni Nora na magkakatrabaho sila at nagbunga iyon.
“Ang role ko dito kaibigan ni Nora Aunor na magpapakasal… Ang character ko, dun ipinakita yung buong wedding ceremony,” Mercedes told PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) during an August 4 interview at Baang Coffee Shop on Tomas Morato, Quezon City.
The occasion was the morena actress's signing of a contract to become the new face of Filigrenasia, a jewelry company previously endorsed by Phoemela Baranda.
Mercedes was pleasantly surprised to learn that she would be part of the delegation to the filmfest that will run from August 29 to September 8.
“Alam ko, nakapasok siya [Thy Womb] sa Venice filmfest. Natuwa ako pero hindi ako nag-expect na isasama pa nila ako. Wala naman sa akin kung hindi nila ako isama. Malaking bagay na nakasama na ako sa pelikula.
“Nung sinabi sa akin ni Direk Dante na kasama ako, sobrang natuwa ako. From September 4 to 10, nasa Venice kami ni Ms. Nora Aunor, Bembol Roco, saka Lovi Poe.”
Mercedes adds: “First time ko magpunta ng Venice.
“Noong 2008, pumunta kami sa Cannes Film Fest for Serbis, then in 2009, for Kinatay.”