Acclaimed Filipino filmmaker Brillante Medoza praised actress Jacklyn Jose for her portrayal in the director's film Ma'Rosa, which will compete in the main category of the 2016 Cannes Film Festival.
Ma’Rosa which stars Jacklyn Jose in the lead role tackles the issues of prohibited drugs, corruption, and poverty.
In an article in the Manila Times, Mendoza expressed his admiration for the actress. “As usual, Jaclyn Jose is very good. No small roles for this big actress,” Mendoza noted.
Jose plays a mom who sells prohibited drugs with his husband, played by Juilo Diaz, in a shabu tiangge and gets in prison after a buy-bust operation. She later on reveals the source of illegal drugs in exchange of her freedom, but was forced to still pay a fine to get out of jail. She asks help from her children who do everything to raise the needed money for their parents’ release.
In an article published in the Philippine Star, Mendoza said that Jose was very impressive in the film and is a shoo-in for an acting award.
Even his publicist Durian said that a French film distributor is impressed by the actress and that she has an edge in the Palme d’Or, for her role as a drug peddler in Mendoza's latest opus.
Mendoza is known to tackle pressing social issues in his films and has been awarded several times for his cinematic prowess. He is the first Filipino to have participated and won in the major international film festivals, most notable of which is winning Best Director at Cannes Film Festival for his film Kinatay in 2009. Last year, his film Taklub won the Ecumenical Jury Prize for Cannes’ Un Certain Regard.
For the third time, Mendoza will be competing for the highly coveted Palme d’Or after his films Serbis in 2008 and Kinatay in 2009 made it to the final cut but failed to bring home the top prize.
Mendoza is set to compete against a number of previous Palme d’Or winners, including Belgium’s Jean-Pierre Dardenne and Luc Dardenne, who have won this honor twice for Rosetta in 1999 and The Child in 2005, Ken Loach for The Wind That Shakes the Barley in 2006, and Cristian Mungiu for 4 Months, 3 Weeks, and 2 Days in 2007. Other notable directors who also made it to the main competition are critically-acclaimed Spanish director Pedro Almodovar, French-Canadian Xavier Dolan who has award-winning actress Marion Cottilard star in his entry, South Korean Park Chan Wook best known for his film Oldboy, and American actor-director Sean Penn whose modern romance set in Africa, stars Charlize Theron and Javier Bardem.
Meanwhile, Mendoza’s student Raymund Gutierrez will be the lone Asian filmmaker competing in the Short Film category with his entry, Imago.
The 69th annual Festival de Cannes is scheduled to be held from 11 to 22 May 2016 in Cannes, France. The invitation-only festival is considered to be the most prestigious film festival in the world and is one of the most publicized, together with Berlin International Film Festival and Venice Film Festival.