“Mindanao” is the most recent film of the Philippines’ premier filmmaker Brillante Mendoza. The film stars Judy Ann Santos opposite Allen Dizon.
Written by Honee Alipio, “Mindanao” tells the story of Muslim woman Saima Datupalo (Santos). While taking care of her cancer-stricken daughter named Aisa Datupalo (Yuna Tangog) in a temporary home for children with cancer called the House of Hope in Davao, her soldier husband Malang Datupalo (Dizon), a combat medic, is an offensive operation in Maguindanao.
Both Davao and Maguindanao are in Mindanao, a group of islands in southern Philippines. At the House of Hope, Saima retells to Aisa the epic tale of warrior brothers Rajah and Sulayman fighting against the dragons Ginto and Pula, a story that mirrors the harrowing life in Mindanao.
This marks the first project of Mendoza and Santos together. The director described the latter as a “great actress” because “a good attitude” matters to him.
On the other hand, Dizon previously appeared in one film directed by Mendoza. The actor played a police officer in “Alpha: The Right to Kill,” which was screened in several international film festivals including San Sebastian International Film Festival 2018, Warsaw International Film Festival 2018 and Bucharest International Film Festival 2019.
To date, Mendoza is still the only Filipino filmmaker to win the prestigious Prix de la mise en scène (Best Director award) at the Cannes Film Festival. He has four feature films screened at the annual international film festival namely “Serbis” (Service), “Kinatay” (Butchered), “Taklub” (Trap) and “Ma’ Rosa.”
“Taklub” won a commendation awarded by the Ecumenical Jury at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival. Written by Alipio, the film starred Nora Aunor, known in the Philippines as the Superstar.
Considered the heir apparent of Aunor, Santos is nicknamed the Young Superstar in the Philippines. During the early years of Santos’s acting career, she captured the hearts of the Filipinos through her iconic roles in television series “Ula, Ang Batang Gubat,” “Mara Clara” and “Esperanza,” also earning her the title the Soap Opera Queen of the Philippines.
Joining Santos, Dizon and Tangog in the cast of “Mindanao” are Vince Rillon as Tianok, Ruby Ruiz as Nitang, Chai Fonacier as Nanay Arnisa, Fe Saligumba at Nanay Rocaina, Perry Dizon as Tatay Edgar, Nezzar Piti-Ilan as Raof Datupalo, Vicky Ozawa as Aling Vicky, Emma Ressureccion as Yasmina, MJ Jacobo as Imay, Aileen Sahibad as Sitti, Racma Caman Tonga as Mambai and Jenny Mondido as Bian. Ketchup Eusebio, Epy Quizon, Richard Manabat, Kiko Matos, JC Tan and Jun Nayra play soldiers.
Jaypee Jamasali, Bernard Laxa, Gilbert Juntilla and Arrian Labios play members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front. The other children in the House of Hope are played by Jayzelle Suan, Jordhen Suan, Zef Esquibal, Franz Alleria Tan, Ella Sacedon, MG Sacedon, Allie Flores, Jaz Evoran, Erick Joy de la Cruz and Miel Espinosa.
For “Mindanao” updates, follow the film’s official Facebook page here:
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Posted by Mindanao, a film by Brillante Mendoza starring Judy Ann Santos on Tuesday, September 3, 2019