Brillante Mendoza

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Brillante Mendoza is an award-winning filmmaker known for the social commentary of his works, of which some have been controversial


In Brillante Mendoza’s latest work, the feature film Gensan Punch, a young Japanese man with a prosthetic leg comes to the city of General Santos in the Philippines to pursue a career as a boxer. The director has said that the movie is, in some ways, a departure from his body of work, yet Gensan Punch is still very much characteristic of Mendoza in that it is woven with strands of Filipino social commentary, and is based on a true story. The movie premiered in October 2021 at the 26th Busan International Film Festival, where it won the prestigious Kim Jiseok award.

This is just the latest in a long string of critically-acclaimed works by Mendoza. In 2009, he won Best Director at the Cannes Film Festival for his film, Kinatay. In 2016, also at Cannes, his film Ma’ Rosa was nominated for the prestigious Palme d’Or. Its star, Jaclyn Jose, won Best Actress. Mendoza’s films are consistently screened and nominated in prestigious festivals: Lola was nominated for a Golden Lion at the 2009 Venice International Film Festival; Captive was nominated for a Golden Bear at the 2012 Berlin International Film Festival; and Thy Womb was nominated for a Golden Lion at the 2012 Venice International Film Festival.

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Brillante Mendoza directed President Rodrigo Duterte’s first two State of the Nation Addresses, drawing widespread criticism. 

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