Brillante Mendoza’s TV5 series ‘Amo’ invited to Cannes

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TV5 president Chot Reyes and director Brillante Mendoza pose during the press launch of Mendoza's new made-for-TV movie 'Ang Pagtatapos.' (Photo by George Buid/InterAksyon)

Cannes favorite Brillante Mendoza is headed for the world’s most prestigious film festival for the fifth time next month. This time, the acclaimed filmmaker will screen not his latest movie but episodes of “Amo,” his ongoing crime miniseries for TV5.

This was revealed by TV5 president Chot Reyes and confirmed by Mendoza himself during the press conference for “Pagtatapos,” Mendoza’s latest made-for-TV movie for TV5 under his imprint “Brillante Mendoza Presents.”

“’Amo’ has been invited for screening in Cannes next month. And it only has two episodes and they’re already impressed so we’ll see,” Reyes told InterAksyon and other media during the event.

Mendoza said he would indeed attend the 70th Cannes International Film Festival slated for May 17 to 28 not just for a screening of “Amo,” which tackles the illegal drug trade in the Philippines, but also to “start its distribution abroad.”

“There was this big production company that got interested in ‘Amo,’ and they told me that we can bring your TV series in Cannes. But they want to see the whole season,” Mendoza added.

Mendoza, who won Cannes’ best director prize for “Kinatay” in 2009, admitted that he was not aware that the festival had now waived its “no TV” rule this year.

Screenings of David Lynch’s revival of his cult classic series “Twin Peaks” as well as Sundance TV/BBC’s “Top of the Lake: China Girl” starring Nicole Kidman are among the festival’s headliners.

In a separate report by deadline.com, Cannes Film Festival chief Thierry Frémaux was quoted as saying, “Cannes is a laboratory… these are cinematic films. Even TV series today use the classic art of cinema.”

Last year, Mendoza competed in the Main Competition of Cannes with “Ma’ Rosa,” his acclaimed police corruption drama that also tackled illegal drugs. The film won Best Actress for lead star Jaclyn Jose.

During the press conference held at the Director’s Club at the Mega Fashion Hall of SM Megamall, Mendoza also showcased “Pagtatapos,” which will air on April 22 onTV5.

Still in time for graduation season, “Pagtatapos” is the story of Shaira Torres, a graduating student of the Philippine High School for the Arts-Makiling. She directs her thesis, the Maria Makiling legend told through a Pangalay dance routine, as she simultaneously deals with her family problems back at Manila.

“The third in a series of made-for-TV movies following “Tsinoy” and “Everlasting,” Pagtatapos” is headlined by neophyte actress Gabby Padilla with a supporting cast of seasoned actors that include the husband and wife tandem of Nonie and Shamaine Buencamino, as well as Raquel Villavicencio and Nonoy Froilan.

Reyes said he is very pleased with the progress of TV5’s partnership with Mendoza.

“Our collaboration with Direk Brillante Mendoza is a full-fledged content partnership that spans culturally significant made-for-TV films and a 13-episode miniseries. His works are synonymous with creative storytelling and world-class excellence—qualities that are consistent withTV5’s positioning as the channel that provides quality alternative content.”