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Philippine Cinema

Philippine cinema is relatively unknown in the world cinema arena.  During the 1970s, several avant guarde filmmakers from the Philippines such as Ismael Bernal and Mike de Leon created a socially committed political cinema that attracted attention at several international festivals. However, they ultimately remained unknown to the general public. The first global achievement of Philippine cinema was recorded in 1976 when “Insiang”, a film by Lino Brocka, regarded by many as the most prominent Filipino director, was the first Philippine film to be accepted into the prestigious Cannes Film Festival and was instantly exposed on one of the most significant stages in global cinema.
A new cinematic school of independent filmmakers developed over the last decade who used digital cameras for their low budget productions and drew most of their inspiration from their country’s harsh reality. The leading representative of this new sensibility is Brillante Mendoza, who many consider the successor of the great Lino Brocka, and who continues to focus on the same themes that his spiritual mentor focused on: poverty, destitution, death, sex and violence, lots of violence. Other directors work alongside Mendoza such as Raya Martin, Adolfo Alix Jr.., and more.

Brillante Mendoza

A Filipino film director, born in 1960 in San Fernando. He studied art and advertising at the University of Santo Tomas in Manila. He began his career as a film, TV and theater production designer. His debut film, “Masahista”, won first prize at the 2005 Lucerno Festival and attracted critics’ attention. His next films also won many prizes and heralded him as one of the most original and bold filmmakers in world cinema. Mendoza made history when his film “Serbis”, became the first Filipino film to be accepted into the official selection of the Cannes Film Festival since 1984. For his seventh film, “Kinatay”, he was awarded the prize for Best Director at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival.

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