Seven short films by the Brillante Mendoza Film Workshop III students were screened at the Samsung Hall of SM Aura Premier in Taguig, Metro Manila, Philippines on April 28, 2016. The facilitators of the workshop were Cannes Film Festival winner Brillante Mendoza for the directing class and Ruby Ruiz and Jojo Atienza for the acting class.
Aside from directing and acting, the intensive seven-day film workshop, which took place from March 28, 2020 to April 3, 2020 at the Center Stage Productions office in Mandaluyong City, Metro Manila also included introduction to editing, production design and cinematography. Along with CSP, the workshop was sponsored by Samsung, SM Supermalls, Goldilocks and Max’s Restaurant.
The seven short films screened during the culminating program were “Balitok” by Dexter Macaraeg, “Ang Guro” by Vanju Alvaira, “Sara” by Gabriel Oblefias, “Idolo” by Daniel Palacio, “Repleksyon” by Nimrod Sarmiento, “Channel 8” by Amen Clavio and “Strawberry Girl” by Conviron Altatis. Philippines’ National Commission for Culture and the Arts vice head Teddy Co and award-winning director Joselito Altarejos also attended the event.
“Strawberry Girl” star Rona Mae Lallana and “Idolo” star Elijah Filamor won the Best Actress and Best Actor awards, respectively. Palacio won the Best Director award for “Idolo,” which tied with Alvaira’s “Ang Guro” for the Best Film award.
It was the first time for the Brillante Mendoza Film Workshop to have two Best Film winners. “Ang Guro” also won the SM’s Choice Award while Sarmiento’s “Repleksyon” won Samsung’s Noteworthy Film award.
Along with Lallana and Filamor, the Brillante Mendoza Film Workshop III students were Lloyd Ara, Lito Capina, Dominic Carpio, Mica Jao, Mikee Lim, Red Martin, Gay Quililan and Onyl Torres. Weeks before their culminating program, it was announced that Mendoza is returning to the Cannes Film Festival for his film “Ma’ Rosa” starring Jaclyn Jose, Julio Diaz, Andi Eigenmann, Felix Roco and Jomari Angeles.
Also competing in the 69th Cannes Film Festival in the short films competition is “Imago” by Raymund Gutierrez, the only Asian filmmaker in the category. Gutierrez was a student of the Brillante Mendoza Film Workshop I in 2014.
In 2009, Mendoza won the Best Director award at the Cannes Film Festival for “Kinatay” starring Diaz, Coco Martin and Maria Isabel Lopez beating “Inglourious Basterds” director Quentin Tarantino and “Taking Woodstock” director Ang Lee. The award-winning Filipino filmmaker’s other films previously screened at the festival were “Serbis” starring Jose, Coco and Mercedes Cabral in 2008 and “Taklub” starring Diaz, Nora Aunor and Aaron Rivera in 2015.