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Established 1995 filmfestivals.com serves and documents relentless the festivals community, offering 92.000 articles of news, free blog profiles and functions to enable festival matchmaking with filmmakers.

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MEET YOUR EDITOR Bruno Chatelin - Check some of his interviews. Board Member of many filmfestivals and regular partner of a few key film events such as Cannes Market, AFM, Venice Production Bridge, Tallinn Industry and Festival...Check our recent partners.  

The news in French I English This content and related intellectual property cannot be reproduced without prior consent.


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Tribeca Round Table: Brilliante Mendoza of LOLA

"I was really into mainstream," says Brilliante Mendoza, the director of LOLA, of his career start as an advertising art director and production designer to mainstream Asian directors, "more the glamorous, glossy type of world (as) compared to what I am doing."

But Mendoza's
attention has since turned to what he calls "real-time" storytelling, films based on real life stories. LOLA ("grandmother" in Tagalog) was inspired by a news item he saw on television about two different grandmothers, and that he spliced together. He admits that time has caused him to more deeply appreciate the work of neo-realistic masters like French director, Francois Truffault. "It has something to do ...with our culture, where I come from, I think i am more comfortable in telling these kinds of stories, where I am familiar with the environment and the community, and I think I can tell them best. As opposed to telling stories that I am not familiar with...I hope American audiences can appreciate these films, especially Lola."

LOLA tells the story of two grandmothers -- one who loses her grandson to a sudden murder, and the other whose grandson committed the crime while stealing a cell phone. Over the course of the film, the lives of the two elderly women in Manilla are revealed, as they struggle to navigate both daily life and the justice system. Both characters, he says, are "in a very low (economic)condition.
They must solve that problem first. Anything that is morality or religioncomes second." (In the film, the women must either settle their dispute amongst themselves or pursue it in the courts of the Phillipines, a system that is based on the US legal system.)

A clip of a game show called Debit or Credit? is shown in
the film. Mendoza says, "it was set-up. I was supposed to use a game
show, a very popular show...but we had to pay for the rights, and we
couldn't afford that. I really wanted to have a game about money,
because the problem is all about money -- its economics-- from the start
of the film to the very end. So I set it up."
LOLA was shot in only 11
days, but the process for the actors and director to immerse themselves
in
the lifestyle
of the community took much longer, Mendoza says. And, as for shooting in
the rainy season, "I specifically wanted to have that kind of
atmosphere.
That element is very important, the water and the flood...We shot in
June. I knew, for a fact, there would be floods somewhere."
On a scene depicting film students commenting on
the landscape, Mendoza replies, "Actually, It's all there. My
commentary about
filmmakers who show poverty - who show some stories they are not
familiar with, that they don't know."

And on matriarchy in the Phillipines?: "The women in the
Phillipines...even my sister and my mother...decide everything."

-- Suzanne Lynch

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About Editor

Chatelin Bruno
(Filmfestivals.com)

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