Cinemalaya 2008's winner of the Special Jury prize in the Full Length Feature category, Brutus: Ang Paglalakbay by Tara Illenberger has been selected to compete at the 35th Brussels International Independent Film Festival this November 4-10, 2008.
Brutus tells the tale of two Mangyan children hired by illegal loggers to smuggle wood from the mountains to the lowlands. In the process, they discover a world run by the greed of men, a world governed by ideologies that bring about the armed conflict in the Mindoro highlands. In Brutus, Adag (Tim Mabalot) and Payang (Rhea Medina) travel the Lisap River in Oriental Mindoro with their newfound friend Carlito (played by Yul Servo).
Robert Malengreau, general director of the Festival, personally met up with the director and Brutus producer Fiona Borres to invite their film into the competition. A strong supporter of Filipino films, Mr. Malengreau has been bringing Filipino movies to his native country, Belgium, since 1987—from alternative films by Nick Deocampo, Raya Martin and Raymond Red to more mainstream fare from Joel Lamangan and Chito Roño.
For this year's competition, Mr. Malengreau chose only two films from the Philippines, the other being Torotot, directed by Maryo J. Delos Reyes, and starring Baron Geisler, Yul Servo, Maui Taylor, and Precious Adona.
Produced by Bonfire Productions and Cinemalaya Foundation, with the support of the Philippine Tropical Forest Conservation Foundation (PTFCF), Brutus garnered three other awards—Best Music for Mr. Joey Ayala, Best Supporting Actor for Yul Servo and Best Cinematography for Emilio "Jay" Abello.Brutus director Tara Illenberger will be presenting her film with lead actors Mr. Ronnie Lazaro and Manila District Councilor Yul Servo at the festival.