The Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented on Tuesday 12th April 2022, at the 19th edition of Asian Film Festival, to Brillante Mendoza, widely regarded as one of the major exponents of the “Philippine New Wave”.
Mendoza is invited to Rome by artistic director Antonio Termenini and will receive the award at 9:15 pm at the Farnese Art House. The event is in collaboration with Roma Lazio Film Commission.
The programme includes the viewing of two of the director’s movies, both released in 2021 and both European premiers. The movies are Resbak, at 7:15 pm, a protest film concerning criminal underworld and political corruption in the Philippines to the sound of “rap battle”, and Gensan Punch, at 9:15 pm, loosely based on Nao’s real story, a Japanese boxer mutilated of one leg from birth.
After a career in advertising, Brillante Mendoza made his debut on cinema in 2005 with Masahista, based on a true story and centred on themes such as homosexuality and the parent-child relationship. This film brought him first international fame, later confirmed by his next film, Kaledo (2006). However, from 2007 Mendoza was consecrated thanks to his appearances at the Cannes Film Festival, presenting Foster Child and culminated in 2009, winning the Best Director Award for Kitany. This latter is a thriller where Mendoza shows his impressive artistic skills, giving an unsweetened portrait of Philippine’s difficult life conditions. With his following movies, Mendoza continues to gain important international recognition, from Best Film Award at the 6th Dubai International Film Festival for Lola (2009), to the selection for the 62nd Berlin International Film Festival with Captive (2012), to competing for the Golden Lion at the 96th Venice International Film Festival with Thy Womb (2012), for which Mendoza was also presented with the Director’s Award at the Asian Pacific Screen Awards. His latest works are Ma’ Rosa (2016) Alpha: The Right to Kill (2018) and Mindanao (2021), while his last two movies, Gensan Punch and Resbak, will be presented respectively Out of Competition and In Competition as European premieres at the Asian Film Festival 19. All his movies, where production restrictions have served as a starting point for a peculiar aesthetic attitude, are closely linked to Philippines situation, primarily focusing on family and moral issues, that at the same time show a universal sensitivity. Known for the hyperrealism of his filmmaking, Mendoza seeks a pure and uncontaminated approach of reality, not sparing us the most gory and morbid images. It is in fact on this overcoming of boundaries between fiction and reality that Mendoza based his filmography, bringing up ethical and anthropological issues, upon which we are inevitably called to make our own judgment.