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2016 Cannes Critics’ Panel Day 8: Brillante Mendoza’s Slumdog Manila in “Ma’ Rosa”

Hovering just over the dozen feature film mark, Ma’ Rosa is now the fourth Cannes Film Fest entry for Filipino director Brillante MendozaSerbis was his first time in the comp, and he won Best Director (I still remember the whistled negative reaction from the critic elite back in the Salle Debussy) in 2009 for Kinatay. Making it back to back years, Taklub was included in the Un Certain Regard section and now we have low-fi tale exploring the slums of Manila.

Starring Jaclyn Jose, Variety’s Maggie Lee claims this is a film that comes with the Mendoza stamp, “boasting a simple, coherent plot shot with real-time, handheld verismo, it’s a work of understated confidence that will not disappoint his festival acolytes, but probably won’t win many new converts,” while The Hollywood Reporter Boyd van Hoeij compares this tow his previous pair in comp and states that it “needs to lean heavily on its story and characters to keep audiences engaged.”

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Mendoza Ma'Rosa

Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist, and critic at, established in 2000. A regular at Sundance, Cannes, and Venice, Eric holds a BFA in film studies from the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013, he served on the narrative competition jury at the SXSW Film Festival. He was an associate producer on Mark Jackson’s "This Teacher" (2018 LA Film Festival, 2018 BFI London). In 2022, he was a New Flesh Juror for Best First Feature at the Fantasia International Film Festival. Current top films for 2023 include The Zone of Interest (Glazer), Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell (Pham Thien An), Totem (Lila Avilés), La Chimera (Alice Rohrwacher), All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt (Raven Jackson).

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