Mendoza was 45 when he first directed a feature film, but in the following decade directed 16. “Those films were not only a gust of fresh air in an art that constantly seeks for new, unique forms, they quickly became recognizable as a crucial part of the cinematic legacy of our time,” said the festival.
Mendoza does not shy away from difficult subjects, Sarajevo said. In his films, he has tackled issues such as incest, bigamy, crime and prostitution.
“His great skill is in portraying the everyday hardship of Filipino people with authenticity and originality, thereby also successfully resisting the pitfalls of banality. Taking full advantage of what new possibilities lightweight cinema has to offer, he imbues his films with a sensuality that seamlessly transports an audience into a completely different yet tangible reality,” the festival commented.
Mendoza’s career was launched with the release “Masahista” in 2005. The film won him a Golden Leopard for video art at Locarno Film Festival. With his following films, “Summer Heat” (2006) and “Manoro” (2006), he received further recognition at the Rome and Torino film festivals.
In 2007, Directors’ Fortnight in Cannes presented “Foster Child,” while “Service” (2008) and “The Execution of P” both screened in the Cannes competition. The Berlin Film Festival also presented two of his films: “Slingshot” (2007) was featured in the Forum section, and “Captive” was selected for the competition section in 2012.
In the same year, his film “Thy Womb” competed for the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival.
More recently, Mendoza’s latest film “Taklub” won the Ecumenical Jury Prize — Special Mention as part of Un Certain Regard section at the Cannes Film Festival.