The Film Academy of the Philippines (FAP) announced that the film of Brillante Mendoza, Ma Rosa has been chosen as the as official entry of the Philippines for the Foreign Language Category of the 89th Academy Awards happening this coming 2017.
 The film is starred by Jaclyn Jose that bagged the Best Actress award in the recent 69th Cannes Film Festival this year (2016).

Ma Rosa is about a family trying to cope in life through their sari-sari store and a small scale drug dealing business. The story was very timely to its release especially the current government of the Philippines launched a war against drugs. Director Brillante Mendoza is known for his approach of film, as his story is based on interviews and actual encounters. He always tells stories of powerful characters from the flight of the powerless. The film is offered to the audience as if they were part of the film.  Ma Rosa is worthy of showcasing the Philippines not just because it is socially relevant but it appeals to our sensitivity that such cases are lurking in our society. 

According to FAP’s press release the other films that were considered are Ang Babaeng Humayo by Lav Diaz, Ang Hapis at Himagsik ni Hermano Puli by Gil Portes, Anino sa Likod ng Buwan by Jun Lana, Dukot by Paul Soriano, Felix Manalo by Joel Lamangan, Hele sa Hiwagang Hapis by Lav Diaz, Honor Thy Father by Erik Matti, Pamilya Ordinaryo by Eduardo Roy Jr., and Tuos by Roderick Cabrido.

The FAP selection committee was headed by Director Edgardo “Boy” Vinarao. The other members of the committee include Director Jose Carreon, Director Mike Sandejas, Cinematographer Lee Meily, Actor and Scriptwriter Ed Rocha, Actor Michael de Mesa and Actress Cherie Gil. It was said in an interview with TV Patrol that they chose Mendoza’s film over Lav Diaz’s “Ang Babaeng Humayo” because of its fast-paced storyline and the intense acting of the cast especially Jaclyn Jose who played the role of Rosa.
Other films that the FAP Committee considered

In spite of numerous awards and accomplishment of Brillante Mendoza in the International Film Industry, this will be his first opportunity to compete in Oscars.

Meanwhile, Brillante Mendoza was very thankful and surprised that his film was chosen.

The Best Foreign Category for Oscars 2017 is piled with immense filmmakers in the planet. The Academy accepted 85 films for this leg of 2017, a much higher number compare to the 81 films last year. Ma Rosa landed the 9th spot according to the ranking of AwardsCircuit.com. If Ma Rosa gets shorlist or won the category, this may be the highest recognition the Philippine Film industry may yet be achieved. Ever since the Philippines started passing entries to the festival, it has never been shortlisted as an official nominee for the foreign film category. 

Official Poster of Ma Rosa
January 24, 2017, will be the announcement of the five nominees for the category. The winner will be named at the Oscars ceremony on February 26, 2017.  

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