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Filipino films in Cannes

Brillante Mendoza’s Taklub (Trap) and a restored version of the late National for Film Lino Brocka’s masterpiece Insiang were officially selected to be part of the 68th Cannes Film Festival, which runs till May 24. 

Taklub, starring Nora Aunor, tells the story of the survivors of Haiyan/ Yolanda in Tacloban. This is Mendoza’s fourth work selected in Cannes after Foster Child, Serbis, and Kinatay for which he won Best Director. 

Meanwhile, this is Aunor’s second time in Cannes after Brocka’s Bona was selected for the non-competitive Quinzaine des Réalisateurs or Director’s Fortnight in 1981.

The Yolanda-inspired drama competes in Un Certain Regard against films selected from other countries. Isabella Rossellini heads the jury of the section introduced as a separate category in 1998. 

Senator Loren Legarda, who collaborated with Mendoza and scriptwriter Honee Alipio to turn the film into a reality, said Taklub was produced in cooperation with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Presidential Communications Operations Office – Philippine Information Agency (PCOO-PIA).

Insiang, on the other hand, returns to the festival as part of the 2015 Cannes Classics lineup after being the first Filipino film presented in Cannes. The film was featured in Director’s Fortnight in 1978. The digitally restored version is screened this time under a new section, which aims to showcase and rediscover classic films with new or restored prints, along with Costa-Gavras’ Z, Luis Puenzo’s La Historia Oficial (The Official Story), and Orson Welles’ Citizen Kane and The Lady from Shanghai.

This is Brocka’s second film restored and screened as a Cannes Classic after his 1975 Maynila sa Mga Kuko ng Liwanag shown in the festival two years ago.

Martin Scorsese’s World Cinema Project/The Film Foundation, the L’Immagine Ritrovata laboratories in Bologna, Italy, and the Film Development Council of the Philippines facilitated the restoration efforts for both Filipino classics. The restoration and subsequent Cannes screening of Insiang was made possible after producer Ruby Tiong Tan turned over the rights of the film to FDCP’s National Film Archives of the Philippines. 

After Insiang’s return to Cannes, the restored version premieres in Manila on June 24.

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