Brillante Mendoza, 59, was named the Best Director of the Metro Manila Film Festival 2019 for his film “Mindanao.” It was the 45th edition of the annual Filipino film festival.
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.
It marked the second time Mendoza won Best Director at the MMFF. In 2012, he won the award in the same festival for his film “Thy Womb.”
Directed by Mendoza, “Mindanao” was written by Honee Alipio with Armando “Bing” Lao as the creative consultant. Earning the most MMFF 2019 nominations, the film won Best Float, the Gender Sensitivity Award, the Gatpuno Antonio J. Villegas Cultural Award and the Fernando Poe Jr. Memorial Award, among others.
“Mindanao” stars Allen Dizon and Judy Ann Santos as husband and wife with Yuna Tangog as their daughter. Dizon and Santos won Best Actor and Best Actress, respectively, while Tangog was named the Best Child Performer.
“Write About Love” director Crisanto Aquino and “Sunod” director Carlo Ledesma were also nominated as Best Director but lost to Mendoza. It was Santos who presented the award to the “Mindanao” director along with her husband Ryan Agoncillo.
Dizon’s character Malang Datupalo is a Muslim combat medic who is in an offensive operation in Maguindanao. Santos plays the wife Saima Datupalo who takes care of their cancer-stricken daughter named Aisa Datupalo (Tangog) in a temporary home for children with cancer called the House of Hope in Davao.
Including “Mindanao,” eight MMFF 2019 films were screened across the Philippines starting December 25, 2019 and will be 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.
Among the MMFF 2019 jury members were Vilma Santos-Recto, Jose Javier Reyes, Christopher de Leon, Belinda Enriquez, Corazon Bautista Cruz, Romeo Vitug, Dionisio “Nonong” Buencamino and Larry Faraon. Santos-Recto, Reyes, de Leon, Vitug and Buencamino were also among the Hall of Fame awardees.
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: