Los Angeles, CA (Variety) — The Philippines has selected the Brillante Mendoza-directed war drama “Mindanao” as its national contender for the Academy Awards best international feature category.
The selection was made by the Film Academy of The Philippines and announced on Tuesday by the Academy’s director general Vivian Velez.
The film tells the twin stories of a Muslim woman who remains at home caring for her cancer-ridden daughter in a temporary shelter and that of her husband who is a combat medical officer near the front lines of a battle in Maguindanao.
“Mindanao” premiered in October last year at the 2019 Busan International Film Festival and subsequently played at the Cairo and Kolkata festivals. It made a bigger splash at the Metro Manila Film Festival, The Philippines’ annual celebration of local movies. There it won 11 prizes, including best film and best actress for female lead Judy Ann Santos, and was nominated in a further six categories.
Reviewing the film from last year's Tokyo Festival, Variety called “Mindanao” well acted but clumsy.
The film was produced through Centerstage Production and distributed locally by Solar Pictures.
Mendoza is a big name on the Asian festival circuit after films including “Kinatay” … — Patrick Frater/@Variety