Philippines’ Judy Ann Santos won the Best Actress award at the Cairo International Film Festival 2019 for her performance in “Mindanao,” which was directed by Brillante Mendoza and written by Honee Alipio with Armando “Bing” Lao as the creative consultant. It was the 41st edition of the international film festival.
Including “Mindanao,” 153 films from 63 countries were screened at the Cairo International Film Festival 2019 in Cairo, Egypt from November 20-29, 2019. The awarding ceremony took place at the Cairo Opera House in Cairo on November 29, 2019.
Among the actresses Santos beat in the category were “The Fourth Wall” actress Lu Liu, “All This Victory” actress Flavia Bechara and “Ghost Tropic” actress Saadia Bentaieb. The Best Actor award was given to Mexico’s Juan Daniel Garcia Trevino for his performance in “I’m No Longer Here,” which won the Golden Pyramid Award for Best Film.
This makes Santos the second Filipino actress to win Best Actress at the Cairo International Film Festival. Nora Aunor won the same award for her performance in “The Flor Contemplacion Story” in 1995.
Aside from Santos’s Best Actress recognition, “Mindanao” also won the Henry Barakat Award for Best Artistic Contribution. The award is a tribute to the late Egyptian filmmaker Henry Barakat, who directed the 1965 Cannes Film Festival entry “Al Haram” (The Sin).
In “Mindanao,” Santos plays Muslim woman Saima Datupalo who is taking care of her cancer-stricken daughter named Aisa Datupalo (Tangog) in a temporary home for children with cancer called the House of Hope in Davao. Dizon plays Saima’s husband Malang Datupalo, a combat medic who is in an offensive operation in Maguindanao.
“Mindanao” is one of the eight official entries to the 2019 Metro Manila Film Festival. Also in the cast are Ruby Ruiz, Vince Rillon, Chai Fonacier, Fe Saligumba, Perry Dizon, Ketchup Eusebio, Epy Quizon, Richard Manabat, Kiko Matos and Jun Nayra.
Executive produced by Mendoza under Center Stage Productions, “Mindanao” features Team App’s animation, Hiroyuki Ishizaka’s sound design and Teresa Barrozo’s music. Here is a trailer: