Cannes award-winning director Brillante Mendoza was in charge of the first State of the Nation (SONA) of President Rodrigo Duterte.
His speech clocked in at one hour and 32 minutes and was punctuated by spontaneous applause from the crowd and plenty of side comments and jokes from the 16th President of the Philippines.
In his Instagram account, Jun Sabayton shared a behind-the-scenes photo of Direk Brillante as he chose the camera shots of the renowned Filipino director.
Jun provided the caption: "Direk Brillante Mendoza, taking charge of T.V. Production of Pres. Duterte's 1st SONA. #BehindTheScenes #sona2016"
Direk Brillante has been featured four times in the prestigious Cannes film festival.
In 2007, his family drama Foster Child was exhibited at the Directors’ Fortnight, an independent section that aims to showcase alternative programming.
His first official entry to the main competition was for the 2008 film Serbis.
The following year, he was named Cannes Best Director for the crime drama film Kinatay.
The Nora Aunor-starrer Taklub that tackled Yolanda victims was an additional entry to the Un Certain Regard section of Cannes. It won the Ecumenical Jury Prize-Special Mention in 2015.
Broadcaster Ces Orea-Drilon believes that: "The shots of @brillante_ma of #presidentduterte gave more intimacy to the #SONA"
One Twitter user even pointed out that the unconventional way of directing is in line with the tagline of the President: "Change is coming."
Very classy ang shots ni Brillante Mendoza. Nasanay lang tayo sa static shots ng mga previous SONA. Change is coming nga e. #SONA2016— Nathaniel Castro (@NathanielJVC) July 25, 2016
Here are some candid and witty observations of netizens about the directing style of Brillante during #DU30UnangSONA:
Made-4-tv SONA works. Closeups of hand gestures, face, camera not static at all. Superb directing by Brillante Mendoza— Thelma S. San Juan (@ThelmaSSanJuan) July 25, 2016
@kvnd_ said about the worm's-eye view shot of Duterte: "I think Brillante Mendoza's compositional direction of DU30's SONA is meant to make him look superior, which I like."
Cinematic highlight of SONA: Vilma Santos dolly shot! @brillante_ma— Raya (@rayamartin) July 25, 2016
Duterte brands as "drama" photo of woman cradling slain husband. "Magdramahan tayo dito" #DuterteSONA— Ayee Macaraig (@ayeemacaraig) July 25, 2016
Others criticized Direk Brillante's way of directing the SONA just like the way he helms his independent films:
PEPsters, what can you say about the way Direk Brillante Mendoza directed the first SONA of President Duterte?