Award-winning director Brillante Mendoza was recently awarded as Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Artes et Lettres (Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters) by the French Ministry of Culture in recognition of his invaluable contribution to Philippine Cinema. He will be joining the ranks of George Clooney, Tim Burton, and Shakira, who have all been bestowed the same honor. reports that Direk Brillante, the first Filipino recipient from the film industry to receive the prestigious award, had remarked that the knighthood came as a surprise to him.

Pinadala 'yung certificate sa opisina, akala ko kung ano 'yun, na galing sa French Embassy. Tiningan ko, 'yun na nga, I was given recognition ng French Ministry of Culture. Binibigay ang award na ito o yung rekognisyon na ito sa isang indibidwal sa buong mundo kung mayroon kang kontribusyon sa field ng culture or sa arts (The certificate was sent to my office by the French Embassy. I took a look at it, and I saw that I was given recognition by the French Ministry of Culture. This award or recognition is given to individuals from all over the world if you were able to contribute to the fields of culture and the arts),” he explained.

Brillante added that the honor has validated his contributions to the country’s art and cultural scene.

So, 'yun ang nakakataba ng puso dun at nakakaganda ng pakiramdam... na na-recognize tayo at siyempre proud ako dahil Filipino ako at Filipino ang nabigyan ng ganitong recognition (So I really feel honored and it feels really great... that we got recognized. I'm certainly proud to be a Filipino and honored that Filipinos were given this kind of recognition.).”

(Photo courtesy of

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