DIRECTOR Brillante Mendoza has won many awards both in local and international award-giving bodies for films like “Kinatay”, “Serbis”, “Masahista”, “Tirador” (all of which starred Coco Martin, still known then as an indie actor and has yet to go mainstream), “Foster Child” and “Ma Rosa”, but he has yet to achieve box-office success in local theaters. He is now shooting his latest project, a big-budget action-drama based on the infamous Mamasapano tragedy that happened on that dark day of January 25, 2015.
It will be recalled that 44 members of the Special Action Force or SAF of the Philippine National Police or PNP participating in an operation to arrest or kill Malaysian terrorist and bomb maker Zulkifli Marwan were brutally killed by Muslim members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters and the Moro
Islamic Liberation Front in Mamasapano, Maguindanao. There was an investigation in Congress on what really transpired on that ill-fated day and this is where Mendoza is basing his film’s script, so you can be sure he will only show the truth.
This is also Mendoza’s most star-studded film project ever, included in the cast are Christopher de Leon, Piolo Pascual, Joel Torre, Baron Geisler, Laurice Guillen (they all play Muslims), Ricky Davao, Nikki Valdez, Alvin Anson and many more. The movie is intended to premiere in an international film festival. We know Mendoza will do justice to this controversial project and here’s hoping that, this time, he will achieve not only critical and artistic acclaim but also commercial success at the local box office.