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Brillante Mendoza to hold master class in France

Award-winning director Brillante Mendoza will share his knowledge in filmmaking to French and Filipino film enthusiasts in Paris, France on Nov. 19.

Brillante Mendoza and Stephane Triffault  (

Brillante Mendoza and Stephane Triffault

The master class is in partnership with Caffe Veloce Production, led by Stephane Triffault and Vladelyte Valdez-Ramos, as part of the P-Noise Filipino Film Festival on Nov. 18 at the Club de l’Etolle.

“It’s a great pleasure having this partnership with Stefan because this is an opportunity for us, especially for filmmakers like me, to expand (our horizons) more by showing more of our films in the world, especially in France,” Brillante said.

The Avant Premiere of his film “Ma’ Rosa” will be held there just before the regular screening on Nov. 30.

“It would be great for French people to discover Philippines,” Stephane echoed. “We would like to help Filipino people who want to have connection with France and establish business there or for French people to establish business here.”

Aside from promoting Philippine films and culture to the French people, the event is also a platform for Filipinos in Paris to be aware of what’s happening in the Philippine indie movie scene.

“Ang mga Pilipino kasi sa Paris exposed talaga sila sa mainstream movies, in fact, madami na din silang nai-invite doon na kilalang mga artista,” Brillante said.

“Pero ang intention natin ay hindi lang ma-expose sila sa mainstream cinema. I think it is high time for Filipinos outside the Philippines na maintindihan din kung anong nangyayari sa mga Filipino artists at filmmakers na nabibigyan ng recognition sa iba’t-ibang parte ng mundo.

“What we’re trying to do is to connect with them para ma-appreciate din naman nila ang mga pelikulang pinapalabas natin.”
Many of Brillante’s films have received recognitions abroad. He won as Best Director for his film “Kinatay” at the 62nd Cannes Film Festival, while “Ma’ Rosa” is the country’s entry for Best Foreign Language Film at the 89th Academy Awards.

Recently, an online survey came out that “Ma’ Rosa” is in the top 10 of foreign films that might end up on the final list of that categories’ nominees.

“I’m happy (about the survey results) but it doesn’t end there. These are just predictions from critics and journalists. At the end of the day, it’s the Academy members who will decide. And for them to be able to decide, they have to see the film.

“Now, they cannot just ‘see the film.’ Somebody has to do that for them. Somebody has to show the film to them until it’s shortlisted. Unfortunately, I am an independent filmmaker. I produce films with a humble budget and we really have to work hard to campaign so that Academy members can watch the film.”

On the upbeat, Brillante believes he will also gain a new perspective in filmmaking, mainly “hindi kailangan na ang kwento ay sobrang laki.”

But he will continue to make films that will open the eyes of the Filipinos – and the world – to the situation here and now.
“At the end of the day, kaya natin ginagawa ito ay para mabuksan ang kanilang isipan at makita ang reyalidad, no matter how harsh it is,” he said.

Caffe Veloce Production is also cooking up a food festival in Paris for next year. Called the “Maharlika Trade Expo,” “Barrio Fiesta Concert Series,” these will showcase Pinoy food and music, as well as different companies from Philippine agriculture and tourism sectors.

Next is a fashion show called “Filipina: The Fashion Show” featuring Pinoy designers and RTW companies, alongside up-and-coming French designers.

Both events are geared towards introducing Filipino businesses to the Parisian scene. (With report from Jojo P. Panaligan)