The delegation of Kinatay (The Execution of P) proudly walked on the red carpet of the 62nd Cannes International film festival last Sunday, May 17.
Filipino director Brillante "Dante" Mendoza, Coco Martin and Mercedes Cabral, actress-Bb. Pilipinas Universe 1982 Maria Isabel Lopez, and producer Ferdinand Lapuz graced the world premiere of the graphic crime shocker in Cannes, southern France.
Kinatay (which literally translates to Butchered) tells the story of a police-academy student named Peping (Coco Martin) who needs money for his young family. He takes on a job, that he later learns, involves killing a woman.
Mercedes wore a terno gown exclusively designed for her by Angeles City designer Joey Feliciano. The indie actress was overjoyed when she saw the blank and fuschia modern Filipiniana gown last Tuesday, May 12.
Feliciano also designed the Barong Tagalogs worn by Direk Brillante, Ferdy and Coco Martin. The designer used indigenous materials for the formal wear: indian raw silk and banana fiber.
This entry to the official competition of Cannes 2009 also stars John Regala, Jhong Hilario, Lauren Novero, Benjie Filomeno and Julio Diaz but they did not attend the star-studded event in France.
Formerly titled Chop Chop, Kinatay was written by Armando "Bing" Lao who also wrote Serbis last year.
American filmmaker Quentin Tarantino (Pulp Fiction, Kill Bill) attended the world premiere of Kinatay. This year, Tarantino's Inglorious Basterds is competing with Kinatay for the Palme d'Or, the top prize of Cannes.
Last Sunday, Direk Dante and cast members attended the press conference of Kinatay along with producers Didier Costet and Ferdinand Lapuz.
During the press con conducted in France, the director described the style that he used in this film:
"Other than the images, I think the sound and music play a vital role. Even if you don't see it in the images, you can almost feel the character and what's going on in the film just by hearing the sound and the voices of the character."
He also explained his use of time in Kinatay: "I thought of using, as in my previous film, real time to treat this kind of genre, this kind of psychological thriller, or psychological drama. Prior to filming this story, I saw other films by other masters, but I thought, 'I'm going to treat it differently.' I want the audience to have a different kind of experience. I want them to be with the character. I think it will be more effective if you do it in that way, rather than watching a film. When you watch a film, or a horror film, it's there just to scare you, but not to experience the whole process."
The delegation members of Kinatay extend their gratitude to Mr. Martin Macalintal of the French Embassy for assisting some of the delegates in getting their visas.
Aside from Kinatay, two other Filipino feature films are in Cannes this year: Raya Martin's Independencia and Manila co-directed by Raya and Adolfo Alix Jr.
Independencia, starring Sid Lucero, is the first Filipino film to enter the Un Certain Regard section of Cannes while Manila, topbilled by Piolo Pascual, was chosen to have a special screening in the 62nd edition of Cannes.
(Click HERE to view photos of the world premiere of Independencia and Manila.)
With reports by Ferdinand Lapuz