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Tribute To Brillante Mendoza

This year, Sarajevo Film Festival is honored to pay tribute to one of the most original and prolific contemporary filmmakers- Philippine director Brillante Mendoza, who will himself be in attendance for this highly anticipated event.

This year, Sarajevo Film Festival is honored to pay tribute to one of the most original and prolific contemporary filmmakers- Philippine director Brillante Mendoza, who will himself be in attendance for this highly anticipated event. 

Brillante Mendoza was born in 1960. In his earlier years, Mendoza forged a successful career in advertising as a production designer. His beginnings in cinema came relatively late- he was 45 when he first directed a feature film. But from the onset of his cinematic endeavors, Mendoza was unrelenting in his productivity: within 10 years he would come to direct 16 films. Those films were not only a gust of fresh air in an art that constantly seeks for new, unique forms- they quickly became recognizable as a crucial part of the cinematic legacy of our time. 

Brillante Mendoza does not shy away from difficult subjects. In his films, he has tackled issues such as incest, bigamy, crime or prostitution. His great skill is in portraying the everyday hardship of Filipino people with authenticity and originality, thereby also successfully resisting the pitfalls of banality. Taking full advantage of what new possibilities lightweight cinema has to offer, he imbues his films with a sensuality that seamlessly transports an audience into a completely different yet tangible reality. 

His international career was launched with the release of his first feature film MASAHISTA in 2005. The film won him a Golden Leopard for best video art at Locarno Film Festival. With his following films, SUMMER HEAT (2006) and MANORO (2006) he received further distinctions both at the Rome Film Festival and the Torino Film Festival. In 2007 Directors’ Fortnight in Cannes presented FOSTER CHILD, while SERVICE (2008) and THE EXECUTION OF P (2009), were consecutively screened in the CannesOfficial Competition, culminating in a Best Director award for the latter. The Berlin Film Festival also presented two of his films- SLINGSHOT (2007) was featured in the Forum Section, whereas CAPTIVE was selected for the Competition Section in 2012. Same year, his film THY WOMB competed for the Golden Lion at the 69th Venice International Film Festival. More recently, Mendoza's latest film TAKLUB won the Ecumenical Jury Prize-Special Mentionas part of the Un Certain Regard section at the International Cannes Film Festival. 

The SFF tribute to Brilliante Mendoza will allow audiences to take a voyage across Mendoza's work, marked by striking examples of how close he comes to blurring the lines between fiction and documentary, and of the political motivations that inspire his filmmaking.

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