Even as it awaits its turn to be screen on Philippine cinemas this coming Metro Manila Film Festival, the drama film “Mindanao” from Center Stage Productions and director Brilliante Mendoza has already been making the rounds at major international film fests throughout the year. Having already featured at the Busan International Film Festival and its Japanese counterpart in Tokyo, “Mindanao” was next exhibited in the Middle East at the Cairo International Film Fest. Here, in another festival accredited by the International Federation of Film Producers Association (FIAPF), the movie received a major award for its lead actress Judy Ann Santos.
Inquirer.net reports that ABS-CBN actress Judy Ann Santos was accorded a Best Actress Award from the Cairo International Film Festival for her leading role as a Muslim mother in “Mindanao” from Center Stage. “Juday” however was not able to attend the event as she did Busan months earlier, due to scheduling conflicts, as she was filming the final episodes of ongoing Kapamilya primetime tele-serye “Starla.” Furthermore, she was also overseeing the impending opening and launch of her restaurant chain “Angry Adobo.” The actress expressed her disappointment at missing out on the CIFF, where her award was received on her behalf by leading man Allen Dizon.
“Mindanao” tells the story of a Muslim family in the southern Philippines. Santos plays a dutiful wife and mother; she is is running the household while her husband (Dizon) serves in the Army which is combatting regional insurgency in Mindanao. Matters are complicated however by their daughter (Yuna Tangog) suffering from cancer (having lost one eye to the condition), as well as the perils of evacuation when the conflict reaches their home. Judy Ann recalls how most of her scenes with Tangog involved her carrying the child actress around, for which she invested in a waist trainer. She claims losing 5 kilos playing her part.
With the award-winning pedigree of “Mindanao” proven at Cairo, Judy Ann Santos hopes it will be enough to interest moviegoers to watch in when the 2019 MMFF kicks off at Christmas until New Year. “Who would want to see a tear-jerker movie during Christmas time?” wonders Juday. “But you will learn a lot from this. People in a foreign country appreciated it, I hope Filipinos would like it, too.” In addition to Santos’ Best Actress, director Brilliante Mendoza also won a Best Artistic Contribution trophy.
A notable previous triumph by a Filipino movie at the Cairo International Film Festival occurred all the way back in 1995. That was when “The Flor Contemplacion Story” received a Golden Pyramid (Best Picture) accolade, along with Best Actress for the lead star, Nora Aunor.
Image from Good News Pilipinas