If you haven’t heard it yet, Jaclyn Jose, portraying the character of Rosa Reyes, won the Best Actress Award in the recently concluded Festival de Cannes 2016. It was a great opportunity for me to be able to watch the film as a part of our company’s anniversary and on top of that, the man behind the film himself – Director Brillante Ma Mendoza – attended the screening and conducted a short Q&A with us.
Q: Where did the story come from? Was it inspired from recent events?
Brillante Mendoza: The story of Ma’ Rosa came from a real life event of someone I met 3 or 4 years ago.
Q: What inspired you to make indie movies? And how is it different from mainstream movies?
BM: I started to wonder “if no one will make indie or alternative movies, who will do it?”. I started watching the documentary-in-narrative form type of European films years ago and that what inspired me to start in the indie film industry. What makes it different from mainstream is that the latter, for most Filipinos, is a form of entertainment. Something that will make you feel good. The thing is, far from just a mere entertainment, alternative films are expressions of art and creativity. It gives a documentary or portrayal of what really happens in real life. Like in Ma’ Rosa, a snippet of how a family survives in some parts of the country is being shown, how drugs affected their life, as well as how they deal with problems as parents and as children. The realistic imaging of the surroundings, geography and cinematography is far from the glamorous shots shown in a mainstream movie to create an atmosphere where the viewers will be able to grasp the idea being delivered. Aside from that, these type of films stimulates the viewers critical thinking.
Q: What made you choose Ms. Jaclyn Jose to act as Rosa Reyes? If Ms. Jaclyn Jose was not available on the time the of the shoot, who would be your second pick?
BM: Aside from talent, Jaclyn is a close friend of mine. For me, I prefer to work with people who knows me and people who I can work with without having problems with their attitude. I think Jaclyn was the perfect person for the role. Actually, there’s a lot of actresses who will be able to act the role of Rosa. Cherry Pie Picache is one.
Few more questions were asked but, unfortunately, I was not able to take down notes and the transcription above are not that accurate since I did not bring anything for recording when we watched the film. The only thing I can say is that it was a good film with just the right amount of story to tick something in our insides. Some might have say its a cliffhanger but the curiosity left behind is sure a great way to get people to be more involve in the promotion of social justice, healthy living, clean lifestyle and societal awareness.
It might not create a big impact to others but it sure is a good educational tool to the conservatives and the like. Not that there’s something wrong with that. I’m thankful that I’ve learned a lot from the film to the processing from the director itself.
Now, back to bed. Work. School. Tomorrow’s another day. Thanks for reading!