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The Japan Foundation Asia Center presents “CROSSCUT ASIA #02 The Heats of Philippine Cinema”
The Heats of Philippine Cinema

Starting from last year, the Japan Foundation Asia Center and the Tokyo International Film Festival (TIFF) together launched “CROSSCUT ASIA”, the showcase of Asian films focusing on particular countries, directors, actors, and themes. This year, as our second project, we will focus on Philippine films.
BRILLANTE MA. MENDOZA is a living national treasure of Philippine independent cinema. He is one of the most prominent and important Filipino filmmakers today. He is the first Filipino to compete and won in 3 major international film festivals, showing authentic Filipino stories to the world. His film, “Captive”, competed in coveted Berlin International Film Festival in 2012, while “Tirador (Slingshot)” won the Caligari Film Award in 2007 of the same festival. “Thy Womb”, on the other hand, won the La Navicella Venezia Cinema Award in the equally prestigious Venice Film Festival in 2012, while “Lola” was selected in competition for the same festival in 2009. But his most notable achievement is when he won the elusive Best Director in the well-renowned Cannes Film Festival for the film, “Kinatay” in 2009. The year before, his film, “Serbis (Service)” was selected in competition for the same festival. Known to his peers as `Dante’, he started as a Production Designer in various films and Television advertisements. In 2005, he founded Center Stage Productions (CSP), an independent film production outfit that aims to rethink and reinvent Filipino cinema by producing meaningful and relevant films. His debut film, “Masahista (The Masseur)” immediately won the Golden Leopard Award in the 2005 Locarno International Film Festival in Switzerland and paved the way for the rise of Alternative Cinema in the Philippines.
A message from Director Brillante Ma. Mendoza:
The Heats of Philippine Cinema
“I am delighted to be a part of this year’s Tokyo International Film Festival where my film as well as other works from the Philippines. The Tokyo International Film Festival is a great occasion for everyone as it showcases not only movies from the Philippines but variety of works from around the globe that are not available at everyday cinemas. I hope everyone will have a chance to appreciate these works.”
*Third Golden Age of Philippine Cinema
In the long history of Philippine cinema, the First Golden Age arrived following World War II, in the 1950s. A system of major studios and stars mass-produced movies as pure entertainment while virtuoso directors also practiced their craft. After a period of stagnation in the 60s, the cinema of the Philippines entered its Second Golden Age in the 70s and 80s, producing a series of hard-hitting masterpieces that concealed a spirit of opposition to the prevailing political climate just under the surface. Indie auteurs without ties to the film industry also appeared on the scene, including directors such as Lino Brocka and Ishmael Bernal, as well as the `father of Asian independent cinema,’ Kidlat Tahimik. Now, in the 21st-century era of digital film making, young independent creators are appearing in droves, gaining worldwide attention through the Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival and other indies venues. Brillante Ma. Mendoza, director of “Captive”, and Lav Dias, director of “From What Is Before”, are regulars at Cannes and other international film festivals. The Third Golden Age of Philippine Cinema has continued from around Mendoza’s debut in 2005 to the present.
Event reports
The Japan Foundation Asia Center
The Heats of Philippine Cinema
At the ASEAN-Japan Commemorative Summit Meeting in December 2013, the Japanese Government announced a vision statement on a new policy for Cultural Exchanges in Asia – “WA Project ~Toward Interactive Asia~.” Serving to achieve two-way art/cultural exchanges and supporting Japanese language learners, the Japan Foundation launched a new department, the Asia Center in April 2014. The Asia Center carries out various projects to foster deeper, mutual understanding and further develop relationships between Japan and our fellow Asian countries.
The Heats of Philippine Cinema
CROSSCUT ASIA is a showcase of Asian films focusing on particular countries, directors, actors, and themes. This unveils hidden gems of Asian films that portray what Asia is facing now.

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KEIRIN.JPThe 28th Tokyo International Film Festival will be held with funds provided by Japan Keirin Association.TIFF History
27th Tokyo International Film Festival(2014)