World renowned Filipino film director Brillante Mendoza is back in the international scene with his newest film “ALPHA, The Right to Kill” competing in the main competition at San Sebastian International Film Festival in San Sebastian, Spain.
The San Sebastián International Film Festival is an annual international film festival held in the Spanish city of Donostia-San Sebastián in the Basque Country. Since its creation in 1953, it has been established itself as one of the most important cinema festivals in the world, being one of only 14 “A” category competitive festivals accredited by the FIAPF (International Federation of Film Producers Associations). This is the first time that a Filipino film is selected as a Main Competition film in this prestigious festival. It is also a first time for Director Mendoza to participate in San Sebastian.
“We congratulate Director Mendoza who has always brought honor to the Philippines with his filmmaking. He is continuing the Filipino participation in San Sebastian since last year, Daniel Palacio’s “Pailalim” was featured in the New Directors Section which won the Special Mention Fedeora Award. We are proud to support ALPHA, The Right To Kill and we wish the team the best of luck,” said FDCP Chairperson and CEO Mary Liza Diño.
Director Brillante Mendoza walked the red carpet for the film’s World Premiere in San Sebastian together with the cast led by internationally recognized, award-winning actor Allen Dizon and Elijah Filamor. The Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) supported Director Mendoza’s team in their participation through its International Film Festival Assistance Program (IFFAP) and also organized a Philippine Night in San Sebastian last September 23 in honor of Philippine Cinema with international guests and delegates. The Philippine Night was attended by the Philippine Honorary Consulate General in Spain, Madame Susana Palomino.
Alpha, The Right to Kill is set against the backdrop of the Philippines Government’s crackdown on illegal drugs, a SWAT-led police force launches an operation to arrest Abel, one of the biggest druglords in Manila. Police Officer Espino and Elijah, a small-time pusher turned informant, provide the intelligence for the operation, which quickly escalates into a violent and heavily-armed confrontation in the slums between the SWAT and Abel’s gang. Before the investigators arrive at the crime scene, Espino and Elijah walk off with Abel’s backpack full of money and methamphetamine. This gesture of survival for one and corruption for the other will soon set off a dangerous series of events, both of them risking their reputations, families, and lives in the process.
Among the long list of awards of Direk Brillante include the Golden Leopard in Locarno with his first film, Masahista in 2005 Best Director Award for Kinatay in 2009 and Ma’ Rosa in 2016 which received the Best Actress Award in Cannes International Film festival. In 2017, he produced Pailalim (Underground), by Daniel Palacios, presented in New Directors at San Sebastian. (source: https://www.sansebastianfestival.com/2018/sections_and_films)
The 66th edition of San Sebastian International Film Festival runs from September 21 to 29, 2018 at San Sebastian, Spain.
Photos by Mr. Ulises Proust and Mr. Dennis C. Evangelista