Philippine cinema made history when Jaclyn Jose became the first Filipina (and Southeast Asian) to win the Best Actress at the Cannes Film Festival, one of the most important film festivals in the world. This year, Jose beat renowned actresses Charlize Theron, Kristen Stewart, Isabelle Hupert, and Marion Cotillard.
Now, Ma’ Rosa, the film Jose won for, will add another feather to its cap as it will be the country’s representative to the Best Foreign Language Film category of the Academy Awards or Oscars next year.
The film was selected by the Film Academy of the Philippines among other films, such as Lav Diaz’s Hele Sa Hiwagang Hapis, Erik Matti’s Honor Thy Father, Joel Lamangan’s Felix Manalo, Eduardo Roy Jr’s Pamilya Ordinaryo, Paul Soriano’s Dukot, Jun Lana’s Anino sa Likod ng Buwan, Gil Portes’s Ang Hapis sa Himagsik ni Hermano Puli, and Roderick Cabrido’s Tuos.
The Oscars will then shortlist five films, and from there will select the Best Foreign Language Film.
At Cannes, Ma’ Rosa was screened in Cannes’ In Competition, against films by noted directors like Pedro Almodovar, Jim Jarmusch, Sean Penn, and Paul Verhoven.
The film tells the story of husband and wife Nestor and Rosa who use a sari-sari store as a cover-up for a drug business. Jose stars with Maria Isabel Lopez, Julio Diaz, Andi Eigenmann, Felix Roco, and Jomari Angeles.
Mendoza is an award-winning director whose films Serbis, Kinatay, and Taklub were screened in various editions of the Cannes. Serbis and Kinatay were nominated for the Palme d’Or, the festival’s highest distinction. Kinatay didn’t win the Palme d’Or, but it won the Best Director Award for Mendoza.
Besides the Cannes, Mendoza’ work was nominated in the past for the Golden Lion in the Venice Film Festival and the Golden Bear in the Berlin Film Festival.
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