Jaclyn Jose Wins Cannes Best Actress Award

For the first time, a Filipino artist has won an award at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival in France.

Jaclyn Jose won best actress for playing the lead character role in Brillante Ma. Mendoza’s “Ma’ Rosa.” The last time the Philippines won in Cannes was in 2009 when Mendoza himself earned the jury’s nod as best director for “Kinatay.”

Other premier film festivals where Filipinos triumphed include Nora Aunor for “The Flor Contemplacion Story” in Cairo in 1995 and Eugene Domingo for “Barber’s Tales” in Tokyo in 2013.

Before flying to Cannes, Jose told Inquirer that the film’s most challenging part was Mendoza’s instruction for her ‘not to act.’

Jose recalled she couldn’t even wear makeup. “(Mendoza) wanted our performance to be a natural as possible,” she said.

Yet it turned out as the right formula for her to win in Cannes, perhaps the world’s most well-known film festival in the world.

Film critics dished out applaud for Jose’s performance.

Variety said Jose embodied her character “with naturalistic grace,” and Hollywood Reporter described her as “resilient yet understated.”

Jose portrays the film’s main role as an impoverished mother arrested by crooked cops for selling drugs.

Joined on stage by Mendoza and daughter Andi Eigenmann, Jose said the best actress award came as a “surprise.”

Earlier, Jose told Inquirer that “Ma’ Rosa” is a story that the world needs to know because it shows “how Filipino families cope and survive in spite of poverty.”