MANILA, Philippines -- Filipino director Brillante Mendoza is still ecstatic over the audience's response to the premiere screening of "Thy Womb" at the 69th Venice International Film Festival.
"I'm very happy, we're all very happy. The cast were all there. They were witnesses to what happened, to the very positive reaction," Mendoza told ANC newscast "The Bureau" on Friday.
In his second visit to Venice for the annual film festival, Mendoza, along with the cast members of "Thy Womb," attended its premiere screening at the historical Sala Grande theater.
Tobilled by veteran actress Nora Aunor, the film, alternately titled "Sinapupunan," also stars actresses Lovi Poe and Mercedes Cabral.
Centered around Aunor's character, a midwife coping with her own infertility, "Thy Womb" is one of the entries in the Main Competition Section of the Venice film festival, which runs until September 8.
"It was a positive reaction," Mendoza said of the international audience who saw the premiere screening of "Thy Womb" on Thursday.
"Kasi normally, ang mga audience in festivals like this, like Venice, Cannes and Berlin, if they don't like the film, they will walk out. Aalis sila at hindi na sila manonood," he added.
In fact, until the Philippine delegation left the cinema where the film was screened, the audience was reported to have lauded the cast and Mendoza's work with a standing ovation, which lasted for about ten minutes.
"We're very happy na very positive ang reaction nila. And yes, we got a standing ovation, and if they really like the film, they will show their appreciation. Tatayo pa sila para maapreciate 'yung pelikula," Mendoza said.
Also slated for a local commercial release later this year, "Thy Womb" is among the 18 contenders for the Golden Lion award, the highest prize given to a film at the yearly gathering in Italy.