A few days before Brillante Mendoza celebrates his natal day on July 30, he received a very special birthday gift—another Best Film trophy. The Filipino film Lola bested 17 other entries that competed in the 8th Asian Film Festival held in Rome from July 10-17.
Brillante, who megged his ninth full-length feature film Lola, told PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal) that he went to Rome but he was unable to attend the awards night since he had to return immediately to the Philippines.
Lola, his indie film shot in Malabon, stars Anita Linda and Rustica Carpio as two grandmothers who will do anything for their grandchildren. During the 8th Asian Film Fest, his other film Kinatay was also given a special screening.
The official website of the Asian Film Fest stated that an international jury unanimously decided to give the Best Film award to Direk Brillante's film. The jury was presided by actor Giorgio Colangeli and he was joined by Serafino Murri (director) and Claudia Bedogni (foreign acquisitions; Cinecittà Luce co-productions) in selecting this year's winners.
Lola was cited as Best Film for "the extraordinary narrative grace which has conjugate [sic] an almost documentary glance about the dignity of the poorer classes' life, to a subtle ability to create characters made of a huge humanity. Mendoza does that with an incredible directorial skill in the use of space, time and light, that are perfectly inherent to a story where lightness and drama are combined together, to return us a profound reflection on the meaning of the bitter-sweet life."
Direk Brillante said in a phone interview with PEP earlier today, July 19, that he appreciates the recognitions that are being heaped upon his latest opus, Lola.
"Tulad ng mga previous awards, whether local or international, importante na nare-recognize ang ginagawa mo. Nakakataba ng puso at nakaka-inspire kasi ito na lang ang reward mo sa mga paghihirap na ginawa mo para sa pelikula. Bonus na lang itong mga awards na ito," he said.
The Pinoy filmmaker is also glad that four of his films will be distributed in Italy within the year. These films are Lola, Kinatay, Masahista and Tirador.
FUTURE FILM FESTS. Direk Brillante said that Lola is still being recognized in various international film festivals ever since it made its world premiere as a "surprise entry" at the 66th Venice International Film Festival in September 2009.
According to the world-renowned filmmaker, there is an invitation for Lola to be screened in Russia as part of the 8th Pacific Meridian Vladivostok International Film Festival that will run from September 11-17, 2010. His 2008 film Serbis earned for him the Best Director award while lead star Gina Pareño earned the Best Actress Award in the 2008 edition of the Pacific Meridian Film Festival.
The Ministry of Culture of China has also expressed its desire to screen the film. In Europe, Lola is expected to have screenings in Slovenia, Amsterdam, and Belgium.
"Magkakaroon ako ng side-by-side retrospective sa Amsterdam saka sa Brussels in Belgium," he revealed.