Director Brillante Mendoza receives local awards for his critically-acclaimed international films

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"It is one thing to win a Best Picture award abroad, and another to be given the same back home. Among film audiences, the Filipino is severe in his judgment, yet more than any other moviegoer in the world, I hold him closest to my heart and with high regard," says director Brillante Mendoza.


Tulad ng ibang local celebrities, maagang nagpunta ng voting precinct niya sa Mandaluyong City ang noted filmmaker na si Brillante Mendoza kahapon, May 10. Bandang ika-11 ng umaga nagpunta ng presinto si Mendoza para bumoto.

Sa Barangka Elementary School sa Mandaluyong bumoto si Direk Brillante. "Wala namang problema. Madami ang bumabati sa akin dahil kilala na ako dito," banggit niya nang nakausap siya ng PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal) kahapon.

Tinanong ng PEP si Direk hinggil sa kanyang pagboto at upang alamin din ang tungkol sa docu-film na Buhos (Downpour) na proyekto ni vice-presidential candidate Loren Legarda. Hindi natuloy ang naitakdang pagpapalabas sana nito bago mag-eleksiyon.

"Wala pa [uling screening re-schedule] ang Buhos," sabi niya.

Kung anuman ang naging problema ay wala rin siyang binanggit. Sigurado naman si Mendoza na hindi nagkaproblema ukol sa approval ng Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) ang nasabing docu-film, hindi tulad ng kanyang music video na "Ayos Ka," na bahagi ng AmBisyon 2010 omnibus film project ng ANC na una'y nabigyan ng X-rating ng MTRCB.

LATEST WINS. Samantala, noong May 5 ay muling nagtamo ang acclaimed indie filmmaker ng pagkilala bilang best director para sa pelikulang Kinatay sa ginanap na 7th Golden Screen Awards ng Entertainment Press Society, Inc. (ENPRESS).

Napili rin ng ENPRESS, para sa taunang pagpaparangal, ang pelikulang Kinatay bilang Best Motion Picture-Drama.

Tulad sa nakaraang Gawad Urian rites last April 29 at the UP Cine Adarna, nanalo si Mendoza para sa pelikulang nagpanalo rin sa kanya bilang best director sa presitihiyoso at pangunahing international film festival sa buong mundo, ang Cannes International Film Festival sa France.

Ipinagbunyi ng buong industriya ng pelikulang Pilipino ang pagwawagi ni Mendoza sa 62nd Cannes International Film Festival last year, at ngayo'y minarapat din siyang parangalan ng Manunuri ng Pelikulang Pilipino at ng Enpress ng mga kaukulang pagkilala tanda ng seryoso niyang commitment sa ikasusulong ng kalidad ng pelikulang Pilipino.

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Bukod sa Kinatay, ang isa pang pelikulang ginawa ni Direk Brillante, ang Lola—na nagkaroon ng world premiere noong isang taon sa 66th Venice International Film Festival sa Italy—ay nanalo rin ng mga parangal sa iba't ibang kategorya.

Nagkataong walang commitment sa abroad o sa anumang international filmfest si Direk Brillante sa Golden Screen Awards kaya naka-attend siya.

"I'd like to thank my committed staff, my actors, my writer, especially my mentor, Armando "Bing" Lao [screenwriter of Kinatay]," panimulang speech ni Direk Brillante.

Nanalo rin sa Golden Screen Awards sina Coco Martin (Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role-Drama) at Maria Isabel Lopez (Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role).

"I'm very happy with Maria Isabel's award because I know it's a very difficult role that she delivered very well," sabi ni Direk Brillante.

As for Coco, na si Direk Brillante ang tumanggap ng parangal dahil may naunang commitment ang aktor: "Sa una pa lang naming pagtatrabaho sa pelikula [Masahista, 2005], I know that he's got the genuine talent to succeed as an actor. I'm happy to receive and thank the Enpress for this award.

"I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the other award-giving bodies who recognized my works while I was out of the country," dagdag ng direktor bilang pasasalamat sa Gawad Urian ng Manunuri at gayon din sa Philippine Movie Press Club (PMPC) na nagkaloob ng Digital Movie Production Designer of the Year award sa kanya at kay Odyssey Flores (Digital Movie Cinematographer of the Year) para sa Lola.

Nasa New York City si Direk Brillante para sa Tribeca International Filmfest kaya hindi siya naka-attend ng parangal ng PMPC.

Bukod sa Best Picture at Best Direction honors, at Best Actor and Best Supporting Actress para sa Kinatay, nanalo rin sa 7th Golden Screen Awards ang iba pang nakatrabaho ni Brillante Mendoza, tulad nina Albert Michael Idioma (Best Sound) at Kats Serraon (Best Film Editing) para sa Kinatay, at Odyssey Flores (Best Cinematography) para sa Lola.

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GAWAD URIAN ACCEPTANCE SPEECHES. Sa 33rd Gawad Urian ng Manunuri ng Pelikulang Pilipino, napanalunan ng Kinatay ang mga parangal para sa pinakamahusay na pelikula, direksiyon (Brillante Mendoza), at tunog (Albert Michael Idioma); at ng Lola ang mga parangal para sa pinakamahusay na dulang pampelikula (Linda Casimiro), disenyong pamproduksiyon (Dante Mendoza), at ang magkatuwang na parangal para sa pagganap ng mga pangunahing aktres na sina Anita Linda at Rustica Carpio.

Wala sa bansa noong April 29 si Direk Brillante. Ang kanyang mga staff na sina Harley Alcasid, Cris Garrido, at Joon del Rosario, at teen daughter na si Angelica Mendoza ang dumalo sa Gawad Urian rites upang mag-represent sa premyadong production designer at direktor.

Si Angelica ang naatasang bumasa ng acceptance speeches para sa kanyang ama: "My dad left this afternoon for Europe, for the BENELUX [Belgium, The Netherlands, and Luxemburg] Cinematheque, a Festival in Film Distribution, wherein high caliber and reputable film directors are chosen from the field and get invited to be the focus of the event. We can perhaps say that the participation of Direk Brillante at the Cinematheque is another feather to his cap, and we hope this will justify his absence tonight. He left with words that if he wins tonight, I will read this message on his behalf."

At narito ang kabuuang acceptance speeches ni Direk Brillante para sa mga Manunuri:

Para sa Best Director award (for Kinatay):

"Good evening to everyone. It is with regret that I cannot accept the award personally. December of last year, I had the honor to be invited to participate at the Benelux Cinematheque, the Cannes Filmfest in Film Distribution. The invitation was something that I could not pass up, and it is a pity that it coincides with the Urian Awards rites.

"I made attempts to delay my departure, even for at least a day, so that I may be able to grace the Urian affair. But my commitments have been set and schedules finalized as early as five months ago.

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"At any rate, it is with great honor, deep gratitude and pure happiness that I acknowledge and accept the Urian Best Director Award.

"Five years ago, I would have liked to make movies that are accessible [to a greater audience] and make money, but fate led me to a road less travelled. I do not know whether I should regret it or not, but every time I come home with some extra baggage—a certificate, a citation, a trophy—I feel the whole gamut of contentment and pride.

"In the years that I have been directing, I have come to realize that making small independent films is a big challenge to the mind. And as a filmmaker, I would like to believe that this is what filmmaking is all about.

"I thank the members of the Manunuri ng Pelikulang Pilipino for having the class and the vision to see my films the way their global counterparts do.

"I would also like to take this opportunity to thank all the wonderful people who had helped and supported me in making each and every film I've made alive.

"But, most of all, I THANK GOD WHO HAS ALWAYS BEEN NICE AND KIND TO ME!"

"MABUHAY ANG KINATAY!" Sa pagtanggap naman ng Urian trophy para sa Best Picture na Kinatay, masayang nagsama-sama sa entablado ng UP Cine Adarna ang staff at anak ni Brillante, pati na sina Coco at Isabel.

Naunang binasa ni Angelica ang acceptance speech ng kanyang amang direktor, bago nagbigay rin ng munting pasasalamat sina Coco at Isabel.

"Nagpapasalamat ako kay Direk Brillante dahil lagi niya akong isinasama sa kanyang mga pelikula. Congratulations!" sabi ng tuwang-tuwang si Coco (last year's Urian Best Supporting Actor for Jay).

"Mabuhay ang Kinatay!" kuwelang pahabol naman ni Maria Isabel Lopez.

At ang acceptance speech ni Mendoza para sa pelikula niyang nanalong Best Picture, ang Kinatay (Journey Into Darkness), as again read by his daughter:

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"Good evening to everyone. Should either one of my two films (Kinatay and Lola) in the running for Best Picture wins, I would surely be at a loss for words in thanking the Manunuri ng Pelikulang Pilipino for the recognition.

"It is one thing to win a Best Pictrure award abroad, and another to be given the same back home. Among film audiences, the Filipino is severe in his judgment, yet more than any other moviegoer in the world, I hold him closest to my heart and with high regard.

"To be the recipient of three consecutive wins in the same categories [Best Picture and Best Director for Tirador in 2008, Serbis in 2009, and Kinatay in 2010] of the Urian validates my unwavering belief that I must be doing films that are worth watching. Tonight's third win is definitey an inspiration for me to keep going, move forward, despite the many difficulties and challenges that I encounter every time I make a film out of the box.

"Again, I thank the Manunuri for helping me make a bit of history in our film industry.

"For all the awards tonight, MAY GOD BLESS US ALL!"


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