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Bacolod City, PhilippinesThursday, November 28, 2013

Captivating the Bacolod crowd


The Brillante Mendoza Film Festival that was held at the SM Cinema lobby recently was a rousing success.

A big crowd of ladies and gentlemen from the various civic clubs, academe, socialites, artists, media, prominent personalities and even American Peace Corps volunteers, gathered at the venue, eager to see this daring, young and talented film director, who won international awards in Europe and in Asia for his excellent indie films.

A mini-stage was set at the cinema lobby that was filled with giant photos of his films, “Thy Womb”, that won the Best Actress award for veteran movie idol Nora Aunor at the Bisato d’Oro Film Festival in Venice. It also won the Best Director and Best Actress awards at the 6th Asia Pacific Screen Awards in Brisbane, Australia, and seven major awards in the 2012 Metro Manila Film Festival.

The other movie presented was “Captive”, a story based on Gracia Burnham’s book, “In the Presence of My Enemies”, that tells of the 377-day ordeal of the Protestant missionary and her husband Martin, who, together with a group of tourists, were kidnapped by the Abu Sayyaf from the Dos Palmas Resort in Palawan in 2001.

As soon as director Mendoza made his appearance at the lobby, everyone craned their necks to see this young man, who has made such a big splash in the entertainment world by being the first Filipino to win the most coveted Best Director award at the Cannes Film Festival in 2009.

The ladies whispered, “He’s guapo!” Others said, “He’s so young!” His entrance was met with rapturous applause and he impressed the crowd with his warmth and devastating smile. Bacolod’s first lady, Patching Puentevella, read the synopsis of “Thy Womb”, while yours truly read the synopsis of “Captive”.

During his speech, Mendoza said he hopes to do a film about Negros someday, and this was met with loud applause from the audience. Who knows? This film might also win an international award and showcase the province’s rich cultural heritage and the gentility of the people in the south.

After his speech, Mendoza received a plaque of appreciation from SM Supermalls VP for Public Relations Millie Dizon. Everyone enjoyed the delicious cocktails while chatting and posing for pictures with Mendoza, who proved to be a charming gentleman, indeed.*

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