Judy Ann Santos Mindanao
Press Release

Mindanao, Judy Ann Santos is a Muslim Mom in MMFF 2019 Entry

Judy Ann Santos plays a Muslim woman in Mindanao, one of the eight official entries to the 2019 MMFF. Brillante Mendoza, the only Filipino filmmaker who won Best Director at the Cannes Film Festival, directed the movie.

Mindanao is the first film with animation directed by Mendoza. The script is written by Honee Alipio with Armando Lao as the creative consultant.

Mindanao Story and Cast

At the House of Hope, Saima retells Aisa the epic tale of warrior brothers. Rajah and Sulayman were fighting against the dragons Ginto and Pula, a story that mirrors the painful life in Mindanao.


Allen Dizon plays Saima’s husband Malang Datupalo, a combat medic who is in an offensive operation in Maguindanao.

Judy Ann Santos Mindanao
Santos as Saima Datupalo, a Muslim woman who is taking care of her daughter Aisa Datupalo, in a temporary home for children with cancer called the House of Hope in Davao.

To play Saima, Santos had to learn how to perform a Muslim dance, trained by choreographer Al Bernard Velarde Garcia.

As a Christian actor, Santos did not find it difficult to play a Muslim character. Mendoza, Muslim cast and crew, and Muslim friends in real life guided her to portray the role.

Ketchup Eusebio, Epy Quizon, Richard Manabat, Kiko Matos, and Jun Nayra play soldiers in Mindanao.

Also included in the cast are Vince Rillon, Ruby Ruiz, Chai Fonacier, Fe Saligumba, Perry Dizon, and Nezzar Piti-Ilan.

Vicky Ozawa, Emma Ressureccion, MJ Jacobo, Aileen Sahibad, Racma Caman Tonga, Abdulhakim Suare, and Jenny Mondido are in the cast as well.

Mindanao features Team App’s animation, Hiroyuki Ishizaka’s sound design, and Teresa Barrozo’s music.

Maan Chua appeared in the film as a singer, performing her original song “Itadyak”.

International Film Festival

Before MMFF, Mindanao appeared in several international film festivals such as the 24th Busan International Film Festival in South Korea and the 32nd Tokyo International Film Festival.

Not only that, Mindanao was at the 41st Cairo International Film Festival in Egypt which earned Judy Ann Santos the Best Actress award.

The MMFF 2019 is the 45th edition of the annual Filipino film festival by the Metro Manila Development Authority.

Along with the other seven entries, Mindanao will be playing in theaters from December 25, 2019 to January 7, 2020.

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