By JOSE CARLOS L. MANINGAT
Philippine Online Chronicles
October 19, 2012
Brillante Mendoza’s internationally acclaimed film “Thy Womb,” which stars Nora Aunor, has earned a last-minute slot as an official entry to the 38th Metro Manila Film Festival after “Mga Kwento ni Lola Basyang” (which was to star Zsa Zsa Padilla) backed out from the film fest.
“Thy Womb”, which reaped three awards at the 69th Venice International Film Festival last month, was earlier denied a slot in the local film fest.
"I'm happy and glad that we were given a chance to share our film with the Filipino audience. It's a nice Christmas gift for all the cast and crew to share a film that we are all proud of," Director Mendoza told Yahoo! Philippines in a text message.
The Brillante film, which is set on the islands of Tawi-Tawi in Mindanao, tells the story of a Badjao midwife (Aunor) coping with her own infertility.
It won the P. Nazareno Taddei Award (Special Mention) for expressing authentic human values during last month’s Venice film fest. Aunor meanwhile won the Bisato d’ Oro Award for her portrayal in the film. Another award, the La Navicella Venezia Cinema Award by the Journal of Cinema, was conferred to Mendoza.
The film also stars local actresses Lovi Poe and Mercedes Cabral.
On Friday, the film outfit behind “Lola Basyang” confirmed that it is pulling out the film from the annual film fest, but declined to explain the decision.
Two other films ("Tuhog" starring Eugene Domingo and Enchong Dee; and "My Prince Charming" starring Thai actor Mario Maurer) were optioned as replacement entry based on the ranking of the scripts, according to an ABS-CBN News report.
But both projects were reportedly unable to wrap up the filming in time for the MMFF premiere of entries on Christmas Day.
ABS-CBN said “Thy Womb” will join the following MMFF entries: : "Conyo Problems" from GMA Films; "El Presidente' from Scenema Concept International, Inc.; "One More Try" from Star Cinema; "Shake, Rattle and Roll 14" from Regal Entertainment, Inc.; "Si Agimat, si Enteng Kabisote and Me" from Octoarts Films, M-Zet Productions, Imus Productions, APT Entertainment and GMA Films; "Sisteraka" from Star Cinema and Viva Films; and "The Strangers" from Quantum Films.