Mendoza wins best director in Cannes

Filipino independent filmmaker Brilliante Mendoza bagged the best director award for the film “Kinatay” at the 62nd Cannes Film Festival 2009 in Paris, France.

Mendoza’s victory was a vindication for the Filipino film director after Chicago-Sun Times critic Roger Ebert called “Kinatay” the “worst film in the history of Cannes.”

An obviously surprised Mendoza became the only Filipino to bring home an award in this year’s Cannes.

Actor Piolo Pascual was nominated for Best Actor in the prestigious international film festival for his performance in the movie “Manila.”

Pascual lost to Austrian Christoph Waltz who starred in “Inglourious Basterds,” a World War II film by acclaimed director Quentin Tarantino.

Waltz praised Tarantino in accepting his award, saying “Above all I owe this to [my character, Nazi Colonel] Hans Landa and his unique and inimitable creator, Quentin Tarantino.”

Also starring Brad Pitt, “Inglourious Basterds” is due for worldwide release in August.

The best actress award went to Charlotte Gainsbourg who starred in Lars von Trier’s “Antichrist,” which also starred actor Willem Dafoe whom Gainsbourg thanked in her acceptance speech “Kinatay” essays the story of a police academy student who witnesses a series of depraved acts committed against an exotic dancer. The film stars Julio Diaz, Mercedes Cabral, Jhong HIlario, Coco Martin and John Regala.

The coveted Palme d’Or, Cannes’ version of the best picture award, went to “The White Ribbon,” a World War I drama by Austria’s Michael Haneke.

Among the strong contenders for awards who failed to impress Cannes jurors were Palm d’Or winners Ken Loach and Jane Campion and Oscar winners Ang Lee and Pedro Almodóvar.

Below is the complete list of winners from the Associated Press:

  • 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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