Brillante Mendoza’s ‘Mindanao’ is Metro Manila Film Festival 2019 Best Picture

'Mindanao' poster


Directed by Brillante Mendoza, “Mindanao” was named the Best Picture of the Metro Manila Film Festival 2019. The film bested seven other official entries in the 45th edition of the annual Filipino film festival.

Mendoza won the Best Director award, as well. This marks the second time he won the award from the same festival following his win in 2012 with “Thy Womb.”

The MMFF 2019 Gabi ng Parangal (Awards Night) took place at the New Frontier Theater in Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines on December 27, 2019. Marco Gumabao and Bella Padilla served as hosts with Binibining Pilipinas Tourism 2013 Cindy Miranda was the backstage presenter.

“Write About Love” and “Sunod” were the Second and Third Best Picture winners, respectively. The cast of “Culion” won a special jury prize.

Written by Honee Alipio with  Armando “Bing” Lao as the creative consultant, “Mindanao” won most of the awards including Best Float, the Gender Sensitivity Award, the Gatpuno Antonio J. Villegas Cultural Award and the Fernando Poe Jr. Memorial Award. It stars Allen Dizon and Judy Ann Santos as husband and wife with Yuna Tangog as their daughter.

Dizon’s character Malang Datupalo is a Muslim combat medic who is in an offensive operation in Maguindanao while Santos plays the wife Saima Datupalo. They won Best Actor and Best Actress, respectively.

Tangog plays Malang and Saima’s cancer-stricken daughter named Aisa Datupalo, who lives in a temporary home for children with cancer called the House of Hope in Davao. The young actress was the Best Child Performer.

Including “Mindanao,” eight MMFF 2019 films were screened across the Philippines starting December 25, 2019 and will shown until January 7, 2020. 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 an interview with Mendoza weeks prior to the MMFF 2019 Gabi ng Parangal:

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