By the time this comes out, the 43rd Moscow International Film Festival—one of the most prestigious and A-list film events in the world—in Russia is still swinging when internationally acclaimed Filipino filmmaker Brillante Ma. Mendoza is doing a marathon watching all the competition films from across the globe while racking his brain on which stands out among the fourteen official entries.
According to Brillante, it is very rigorous being the chairman of the jury of the Russian film fest. “Wow! Very warm reception,” admitted Mendoza in an online conversation.
It is Dante Mendoza’s first time to sit as president of the jury in MIFF. Once he arrived in Russia he was glued to the films which he said are all outstanding except that he has to choose the best among the lineup.
The main dishes are composed of “Bloodsucker—A Marxist Vampire Story” (Germany, 2021) directed by Julian Radlmaier; “Café by the Highway” (China, 2021) by Xiaofan Shi; “Blue Heart” (Cuba, 2021) by Miguel Coyula; “The Son” (Iran, 2021) by Noushin Meraji; “The Time of Indifference” (Italy, 2020) by Leonardo Guerra Seragnoli; “Last—Dear Bulgaria” (Russia, 2021) by Aleksey Fedorchenko; “Han” (Norway, Sweden, 2021) by Guro Bruusgaard; “The Inner Glow” (Venezuela, 2020) by Andres Eduardo Rodriguez and Luis Alejandro (Venezuela, 2020); “The Women” (Japan, 2021) by Nobuteru Uchida; “#dogpoopgirl” (Romania, 2021) by Andrei Hutuleac; “Joyful Mystery” (India, 2020) by Don Palathara; “The Belly of the Sea” (2021) by Agusti Villaronga; “Man of God” (Greece, 2021) by Yelena Popovic and “A Blue Flower” (Croatia, Serbia, 2021) by Zrinko Ogresta.
Brillante left the Philippines on April 20. He said he had observed health protocols in Russia in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic which has also been raging in the region. Despite the health crisis and the lockdowns, the 2021 MIFF went on.
Meanwhile, internationally renowned Filipino director Lav Diaz’s newest film “Genus Pan (Lahi, Hayop)” is also being screened in the Masters section of the fest.
On the other hand, Filipino-Australian Matthew Victor Pastor’s “A Pencil to the Jugular” (Australia, Mexico, 2021) has been shown in the Lockdown component of the event.
The 43rd Moscow film fiesta ends on April 29, 2021.