Once again besting hundreds of aspiring directors all over the country were two Thomasian Alumni from the Advertising Arts and Communication Arts, Brilliante Mendoza and Jun Robles Lana, who were both nominated for Best Director category at the 39th Gawad Urian last June 22, 2016 held at the Kia Theater. Albeit the flighty chance of sweeping the prestigious title, Mendoza’s film entry “Taklub” won Best Picture while Lana’s “Anino sa Likod ng Buwan” (Shadow behind the Moon) garnered the Best Actress title through LJ Reyes for her role as Emma during the said event.
Both films weren’t lacking in recognition though as Mendoza’s “Taklub” has already won the Ecumenical Jury Prize during the 68th Cannes Film Festival in France and was also critically acclaimed in various international film festivals such as the Beirut International Film Festival (Lebanon) and the 16th Asiatic Film Mediale (Rome). It was also screened in various countries including Poland, Russia and Finland.
Meanwhile, Lana’s “Anino sa Likod ng Buwan” won the Jury Award for Best Director, FIPRESCI Award for Best Feature Film, and NETPAC Award during the 2015 Pacific Meridian International Film Festival of Asia Pacific Countries.
Mendoza and Lana have always been constant receivers of awards and recognition for their extra ordinary skills in film making throughout the years, with the former having already won the Best Director award during the 2009 Cannes Film Festival for his film “Kintay” while the latter received his first Best Director award for his film titled “Bwakaw” during the 2013 Golden Screen Awards. Lana’s second Best Director award was from his film “Anino sa Likod ng Buwan” as mentioned earlier.
Other notable works of Mendoza were “Tirador” which won the Caligari Film Award during the Caligari Film Festival in 2007 and “Thy Womb” which won the La Navicella Venezia Cinema Award during the Venice Film Festival in 2012.
Meanwhile, Lana’s “Bwakaw” also won several other awards in international juries including the Asian Film Award – Special Mention during the 2012 Tokyo International Film Festival; Grand Prize of the International Jury, Emile Guimet Award, High Schools Award and the Golden Wheel award during the 2013 Vesoul Asian Film Festival.