Directed by 2009 Cannes Film Festival Best Director Brillante Mendoza, “Alpha, the Right to Kill” will compete for the Golden Shell at the 2018 San Sebastián Film Festival. It is the highest prize given to a competing film at the film festival held every September in Donostia-San Sebastián, Basque Country, Spain.
Mendoza is a regular in Cannes Film Festival, Berlin International Film Festival and Venice Film Festival. “Alpha, the Right to Kill” marks his first film in San Sebastián Film Festival as a director.
In 2017, Mendoza executive produced “Underground,” one of the entries to San Sebastián Film Festival’s New Director category. Written and directed by his protégé Daniel Palacio, the film starred Joem Bascon opposite Mara Lopez along with Ryan Sandoval, Grace Ann Betalmos and Elijah Filamor.
Filamor and Allen Dizon play the main characters in “Alpha, the Right to Kill.” The three also starred in the Netflix series “Amo” by Mendoza.
The other “Amo” actors who are also in “Alpha, the Right to Kill” are Baron Geisler, Apollo Abraham, Nikko de los Santos and Mae Aniceto. Also in the cast of Mendoza’s 2018 San Sebastian Film Festival entry are Angela Cortez, Alan Paule, Mark Dionisio, JC Tan, Marvin Sanchez, Matt Daclan, Dante Wayan, Kristoffer King, Jim Libiran, Emman dela Cruz, Carlos Sia Jr., Ely Alamare, Xixi Maturan, Jao Elamparo, Maverick Birosel, Maxine Birosel, Philip Bandairel and Star Ortaliza.
Set against the background of the Philippine government’s crackdown on illegal drugs, “Alpha, the Right to Kill” is a thriller film written by Troy Espiritu, who is also the writer of “Amo” and Mendoza’s 2016 Cannes Film Festival entry “Ma’ Rosa.” Armando “Bing” Lao was the creative consultant of these three works by Mendoza.
The story of “Alpha, the Right to Kill” revolves around the police operation led by the SWAT to arrest major methamphetamine distributor Norman “Abel” Bautista (Geisler) with PO3 Moises Espino (Dizon) and his informant Elijah (Filamor) providing the intelligence. With a bag full of money and methamphetamines, Abel flees during the encounter between his gang and the SWAT in the slums.
Carlo Valenzona was the producer while Antonio del Rosario was the line producer of “Alpha, the Right to Kill” with Mendoza as the executive producer. Edited by Diego Marx Dobles, the thriller film features Joshua Reyles’s cinematography, Diwa de Leon’s music and Albert Michael Idioma’s sound design.
Joining Mendoza in “Alpha, the Right to Kill” as assistant directors were Charita “Ninay” Castinlag and Raymund Ribay Gutierrez. The latter competed for the Short Film Palme d’or at the Cannes Film Festival in 2016 for “Imago” and in 2018 for “Judgment.”
Including “Alpha, the Right to Kill,” 18 films will compete for the Golden Shell at the 2018 San Sebastián Film Festival, which will run from Sept. 21-29, 2018. The other films were directed by Benjamín Naishtat, Carlos Vermut, Claire Denis, Felix Van Groeningen, Iciar Bollaín, Isaki Lacuesta, Juan Vera, Kim Jee-woon, Liu Jie, Louis Garrel, Markus Schleinzer, Naomi Kawase, Peter Strickland, Rodrigo Sorogoyen, Simon Jaquemet, Tuva Novotny and Valeria Sarmiento.
Meanwhile, here is a clip featuring Mendoza during the “Alpha, the Right to Kill” sound mixing session: