Fortissimo picks up ‘Serbis’

Film to play in competition in Cannes

HONG KONG – Foreign sales company Fortissimo Films has picked up int’l rights to Brillante Mendoza’s “Serbis” (Service.) Pic will play in competition in Cannes next month and is the first from the Philippines to be selected in 24 years.

Pic is set in and around a clapped-out movie theater and involves multiple, criss-crossing stories about a matriarchal Filipino family.

It was produced by Ferdinand Lapuz of Mendoza’s Centerstage Productions with executive production by French distributor Didier Costet of Swift Productions. Swift has distribution rights in France.

Mendoza’s first film “The Masseur” shared a Golden Leopard at the 2005 Locarno fest. The helmer followed up last year with “Foster Child,” which appeared in Cannes’ Directors’ Fortnight section, and “Slingshot,” which preemed in Toronto before being presented in Berlin in February 2008.

The pickup is Hong Kong- and Amsterdam-based Fortissimo’s third movie in Cannes’ Official Selection. Company is also repping Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s “Tokyo Sonata” in Un Certain Regard and Wong Kar-wai’s “Ashes of Time Redux,” which is headed for a special screening.

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