Brillante Ma. Mendoza’s “Ma’ Rosa” has been chosen as the country’s entry in the best foreign language film category of the 89th Academy Awards, which will be held in Los Angeles on Feb. 26, 2017.
Leo Martinez, head of the Film Academy of the Philippines (or FAP, the body which chooses the country’s bet in the Oscars), confirmed the news with the Inquirer.
Mendoza told the Inquirer that he’s “very happy” that his film was finally chosen as the country’s entry.
“Ma’ Rosa” won best actress for Jaclyn Jose at the Cannes Film Festival last May.
“Ma’ Rosa” is currently being shown at the Toronto International Film Festival in Canada, “its North American premiere,” Mendoza noted.
Mendoza pointed out that “Ma’ Rosa” has inked a distribution deal with Film Distribution, which also distributed Laszlo Nemes’ “Son of Saul,” which won for Hungary the best foreign language film trophy at the 88th Academy Awards.
As early as the first week of September, FAP had already released a lineup of nine movies short-listed as possible Philippine entries: Joel Lamangan’s “Felix Manalo,” Jun Robles Lana’s “Anino sa Likod ng Buwan,” Erik Matti’s “Honor Thy Father,” Lav Diaz’s “Hele sa Hiwagang Hapis,” Paul Soriano’s “Dukot,” Eduardo Roy Jr.’s “Pamilya Ordinaryo,” Gil Portes’ “Ang Hapis at Himagsik ni Hermano Puli,” Roderick Cabrido’s “Tuos” and Mendoza’s “Ma’ Rosa.”
Among the members of the special committee tasked to select the Philippine entry are filmmakers Edgardo Vinarao (who is the chair), Jose Carreon and Mike Sandejas, screenwriter and producer Ed Rocha, cinematographer Lee Meily and actors Michael de Mesa and Cherie Gil.
According to an earlier report, the committee had its first deliberation on Sept. 14.