Feisty, fiery Filipino mothers slug it out in Spain | Inquirer Entertainment
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Feisty, fiery Filipino mothers slug it out in Spain

/ 12:04 AM November 22, 2016
Erlinda Villalobos in "Manang Biring"

Erlinda Villalobos in “Manang Biring”

Two formidable Filipino mothers are competing in a Spanish film festival this month. Brillante Ma Mendoza’s “Ma’ Rosa” and Carl Joseph Papa’s “Manang Biring” are vying for top honors at the 54th Gijón International Film Festival, ongoing in Asturias, Spain, until Nov. 26.

“Ma’ Rosa” is included in the main tilt for full-length films.


Mendoza’s film tells the story of a small-time drug peddler who is arrested by crooked cops and “shows the oppression of the poorest members of Philippine society.”

The fest’s website says the country’s bet in the best foreign language film category of the Academy Awards “shows reality to prevent such incidents from happening again… provoking and encouraging critical thinking among viewers.”


The fest’s website points out that the films included in the main competition “are sure bets for viewers with cinematic concerns that go beyond the conventional.”

Meanwhile, “Manang Biring” is part of Gijón’s AnimaFICX program, which was established four years ago.

Jaclyn Jose in “Ma’ Rosa”

Jaclyn Jose in “Ma’ Rosa”

“Manang Biring,” which used rotoscoping as animation method, follows a terminally ill woman who yearns to reconcile with her estranged daughter. Rotoscoping is an animation technique that turns live-action footage into animated scenes, frame by frame.

“Manang Biring” is the first animated Filipino film to compete in the Gijón event.

AnimaFICX, which gathers animated films from all over the world, highlights “the most suggestive, daring and avant-garde films.” This category seeks to “showcase the infinite artistic, creative… potential” of animated films.

“Manang Biring” won the top prize at the Cinema One Originals fest last year. “Ma’ Rosa,” on the other hand, won best actress for Jaclyn Jose at the Cannes Film Festival last May.

The screenings of “Manang Biring” are set tomorrow and Nov. 24, while “Ma’ Rosa” is scheduled on Nov. 25 and 26.

Acclaimed filmmakers like Abbas Kiarostami, Tsai Ming-liang, Claire Denis, Lukas Moodysson, Emir Kusturica and Aki Kaurismaki graced previous editions of the Gijón fest.

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