The Philippines selected the war drama Mindanao directed by Brillante Mendoza as the country’s representative in the International Film Feature category of the 93rd Academy Awards.
The announcement was made on Facebook by Director General Vivian Velez of the Film Academy of The Philippines, “We are pleased to announce the selection of the feature film, Mindanao, as the Philippines’ official entry to the 93rd OSCARS International Feature Film category.”
“Mindanao” tells the story of Muslim woman Saima Datupalo (Judy Ann Santos). While taking care of her cancer-stricken daughter named Aisa Datupalo (Yuna Tangog) in a temporary home for children with cancer called the House of Hope in Davao, her soldier husband Malang Datupalo (Allen Dizon), a combat medic, is in an offensive operation in Maguindanao.
Both Davao and Maguindanao are in the southern part of the Philippines called Mindanao. At the House of Hope, Saima retells to Aisa the epic tale of warrior brothers Rajah and Sulayman fighting against the dragons Ginto and Pula, a story that mirrors the harrowing life in Mindanao.
Mindanao world premiered at the 2019 Busan International Film Festival, and premiered in The Philippines at the 2019 Metro Manila Film Festival where it won multiple awards, including Best Picture and Best Actress for Judy Ann Santos.