Serbis: First Filipino Film in Decades to Play at Cannes Fest

April 28, 2008–Fortissimo Films has picked up international rights to Brillante Mendoza's “Serbis” (Service), the first Filipino picture in 24 years to play as official selection at the Cannes Film Fest. The feature is set around a run-down movie theater and involves multiple stories about a matriarchal Filipino family.

It was produced by Ferdinand Lapuz of Mendoza's Centerstage Prods. and executive produced by Didier Costet of Gaul's Swift Prods. Swift has distribution rights in France.

Mendoza's first film, “The Masseur,” shared a Golden Leopard at the 2005 Locarno festival. The helmer followed up last year with “Slingshot,” which was presented in Berlin, and “Foster Child,” which appeared in Cannes' Directors' Fortnight.

The pickup is Hong Kong-and Amsterdam-based Fortissimo's third movie in Cannes' Official Selection.

The company is also handling Kiyoshi Kurosawa's “Tokyo Sonata” in Un Certain Regard and Wong Kar-wai's “Ashes of Time Redux,” which will receive a special screening.