Fortissimo Films has acquired worldwide rights outside of France and the Philippines to Brillante Mendoza's Serbis, the first Filipino film to screen in competition at Cannes in 24 years.

The last Filipino film to screen in Cannes competition was the late director Lino Brocka's Bayan Ko: My Own Country. The last film from the Philippines that Fortissimo handled was Mel Chionglo's 1999 Burlesk King.

Mendoza first gained attention with his debut film The Masseur, which won a Golden Leopard at the Locarno Film Festival in 2005. Since then, he has made several critically-acclaimed films, including last year's Cannes Director's Fortnight entry Foster Child and the award-winning Berlin Film Festival entry Slingshot (2007).

Produced by Ferdinand Lapuz and executive produced by Didier Costet, Serbis has a multi-stranded storyline revolving around a matriarchal Filipino family and the nature of relationships between customers and clients in the sex industry.

The deal for world rights was negotiated by Fortissimo co-chairman Michael J. Werner and director of marketing & special projects, Raymond Phathanavirangoon, with Costet of France's Swift Productions. The film also marks Swift's first foray into co-production financing.