Philippines' Brillante Mendoza Wins Best Director in 2009 Cannes Film Festival

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Congratulations to our very own, Brillante Mendoza! You've made history!!! :D


CANNES, France (AP) — Awards presented Sunday at the 62nd Cannes Film Festival, chosen by a jury headed by French Actress Isabelle Huppert:

_Palme d'Or (Golden Palm): "The White Ribbon," by Michael Haneke (Austria)

_Grand Prize: "A Prophet," by Jacques Audiard (France)

_Jury Prize: "Fish Tank," by Andrea Arnold (Britain) and "Thirst," By Park Chan-wook (South Korea)

_Special Prize: Alain Resnais

_Best Director: Brillante Mendoza, "Kinatay" (The Philippines)

_Best Actor: Christoph Waltz, "Inglourious Basterds" (United States)

_Best Actress: Charlotte Gainsbourg, "Antichrist" (Denmark)

_Best Screenplay: Feng Mei, "Spring Fever" (China)

_Camera d'Or (first-time director): "Samson and Delilah," by Warwick Thornton (Australia)

_Best short film: "Arena," by Joao Salaviza (Portugal)


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Excerpts from Kinatay (YouTube)

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Director Brillante's acceptance speech

From the Cannes Film Festival web site:

The Best Director Prize was awarded to Brillante Mendoza for Kinatay.


The Best Director Prize was awarded by Terry Gilliam to Brillante Mendoza for his film Kinatay:
"First of all I would like to thank the selection committee, who are responsible for bringing my films here for the past three years. And now with an award for Best Director, I would like to thank the Jury. And of course I’d like to thank my producer; thank you for the trust and faith in my films. I’d like to thank also a very committed staff and crew. I’d like to share this award with my daughter, Angelica, who has always been my number one critic and to an actor I really respect, Coco Martin. Thank you all for embracing my kind of cinema."

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Past winners

Find here the various winners in all categories (including Best Direction) throughout the years.

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A 'Kinatay' anecdote

I still remember that moment during a session of our scriptwriting class when our facilitator, Bing (Kinatay's scriptwriter Armando Lao), told us of the time when their group was researching about 'chop-chop' (cannibalized) vehicles -- we were discussing the importance of research, I think -- and they ended up interviewing a man who was involved in another kind of 'chop-chop,' you know, the more gruesome kind. (Director Brillante also relates the anecdote in their Cannes press conference). Bing didn't tell us that they were planning to turn that incident into a movie. Fast forward to two years later, and from that seed of an idea, the journey is now complete, as history has just been made. Looking forward to see 'Kinatay.'

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An Italian feature on

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Mendoza expected to win.

Mendoza expected to win. Here's to Filipino optimism and can-do attitude! Kaya natin ito! :)



During the follow-up press conference, Brillante Mendoza talked about divided audience opinion: “After Serbis, last year, opinion was also divided. Some critics liked it, and some didn’t like it. So I’m kind of prepared, with this kind of film, that I’ve shown again in Cannes. Did I expect [an award]? Of course. I always hope for the best.”

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Update: List of Cannes Best Director recipients thru the years

Update: List of Cannes Best Director recipients thru the years. Dang, I was searching for this list last night all over the web, and missed it. Was this Wikipedia entry created only recently? Anyway, thanks to Gibbs Cadiz for directing me to it:

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Video of Mendoza's Acceptance Speech

You can watch Director Mendoza winning the Cannes Best Director award here. The full coverage of the awards ceremony is on the big video. Look for Direk Dante's acceptance speech on the right and click on it -- it's titled Prix de la mise en scene - KINATAY.