While he’s got prizes from Cannes on his shelf for “Kinatay” and “Taklub,” the films of Brillante Mendoza tend to find an audience only with the most devoted of arthouse cinephiles. Even when he flirted with a wider audience, directing Isabelle Huppert in “Captive” a few years back, the director’s films are delivered in his own distinct voice, which doesn’t tend to follow with mainstream crossover. But the Croisette has always been a friend, and he’ll once again be in Competition this year with his latest film, “Ma’ Rosa.”
This time around, Mendoza turns his camera to the slums of Manila, telling the story of convenience store owner Rosa, who finds herself, husband and children raising money to pay off the police, when she’s arrested after selling narcotics on the side.
Starring Jaclyn Jose, Andi Eigenmann, Felix Roco, Jomari Angels, Mercedes Cabral, Kristofer King, and Julio Diaz, the film apparently unfolds over the course of 24 hours, which should bring an immediacy to the proceedings. And we’ll see if this also means Mendoza will break out of his well-established niche. [Croogles]