Carlo Canlas Mendoza is a multi-awarded Filipino cinematographer who finished his MFA in Cinematography at the American Film Institute (AFI) Conservatory wherein he was the recipient of the Rachel Morrison scholarship. His 2nd thesis film, THE CHEF with director Hao Zheng won silver at the 2019 Student Academy Awards.
Panavision through Project Involve conferred a $60,000 camera and lenses feature film grant to him. Project Involve is Film Independent’s signature mentorship and diversity program for 30 emerging filmmakers in Los Angeles. His Project Involve short film, LONELY BLUE NIGHT with director Johnson Cheng, has been selected to be part of the 2020 HBO Asian Pacific American (APA) Visionaries Competition.
Carlo made history in the Philippines after being elevated to Hall of Fame status by two prestigious award giving bodies in the country: the Filipino Academy of Movie Arts and Sciences (FAMAS) and the Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF). He has joined the ranks of the 100 Luminaries of Philippine Cinema. Before moving to Los Angeles, Carlo’s films have competed in New York, Berlin, Venice, Tokyo, and Shanghai.
Since his career started in 2007, Carlo had photographed more than a dozen feature films, including Jun Robles Lana’s BWAKAW (Philippine entry to the 2012 Academy Awards, in competition at the 2012 New York Film Festival), MANILA KINGPIN: THE ASIONG (in competition at the 2011 Metro Manila Film Festival) and ROSARIO (in competition at the 2011 Shanghai International Film Festival). He is best known for JAY (in competition at the 2008 Venice International Film Festival), BARBER’S TALES (in competition at the 2013 Tokyo International Film Festival), ABOVE THE CLOUDS (premiered at the 2014 Tokyo International Film Festival), SHADOW BEHIND THE MOON (in competition at the 2015 Karlovy Vary International Film Festival), BONIFACIO: ANG UNANG PANGULO (Metro Manila Film Festival 2015), DIE BEAUTIFUL (in competition at the 21st International Film Festival of Kerala, and more recently KALEL, 15 (World Premiere under the Official Selection programme of the 23rd Tallin Black Nights Film Festival 2019). He has been honored with 20 awards from the Filipino Academy of Movie Arts and Sciences (FAMAS), Metro Manila Film Festival, FAP Awards (Film Academy of the Philippines), the Young Critics Circle and most recently, at the 2018 North Virginia Film and Music Festival and at the 2020 Asians on Film Festival.
Carlo began his training in cinematography as an apprentice of Filipino Master Cinematographer Lee Briones from 2005-2007. He was accepted at the Asian Film Academy (AFA) of the Busan International Film Festival wherein he was mentored by Thai director Pen-ek Ratanaruang and Iranian director Mohsen Makhmalbaf. Thereafter, he attended the Berlinale Talent Campus in 2011. In 2008 and 2012, Carlo returned to AFA by invitation to become one of the assistant cinematography instructors.
In 2014, Carlo together with Malaysian Director Tan Chui Mui was invited by the Busan Film Commission to be the Cinematography Instructor at the ASEAN-ROK Film Leaders Incubator: FLY 2014 in Yangon, Myanmar. FLY 2014 is a filmmaking workshop for aspiring ASEAN filmmakers. Then in June 2015, he was invited by Finas (National Film Development Corporation Malaysia) to be one of the mentors at the Malaysian Next New Wave Workshop alongside Thai director Additya Assarat in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Currently in Los Angeles participating in the American Society of Cinematographers’ (ASC) Vision Mentorship Program, Carlo continues to inspire film enthusiasts with his sheer talent and work. He divides his time between the US and in Southeast Asia.