Cannes 2016: Jaclyn Jose wins best actress for 'Ma' Rosa'

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — Filipina Jaclyn Jose won the best actress award at the 69th Cannes Film Festival.

The annual festival's feature film jury, headed by Australian director George Miller, on Sunday (May 22) chose Jose for her role in Filipino director Brillante Mendoza's "Ma' Rosa" as a store owner in a poor Manila neighborhood who sells drugs with her husband (Julio Diaz) to make ends meet.

Both are detained at a police station after their home is raided, leaving their three children to find the money needed to pay off corrupt police officers in order to free their parents.

"This situation is really happening back in the Philippines and it's quite alarming because it comes to a way of life," Mendoza told Reuters earlier. "The small-time drug selling and all that is happening and it's quite alarming, and something needs to be done. That's why I decided to make a story out of this situation."

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Jose is the first from Southeast Asia to win the best actress award at Cannes.  She has starred in dozens of Filipino films and soap operas for almost three decades, and has won awards along the way:

Gawad Urian Awards

Best Actress

2005: Sarung Banggi

1988: Itanong Mo Sa Buwan

1986: Takaw Tukso

Best Supporting Actress

1995: The Flor Contemplacion Story

1989: Macho Dancer

FAMAS (Filipino Academy of Movie Arts and Sciences Awards)

Best Supporting Actress

2013: A Secret Affair

Luna Awards (Film Academy of the Philippines)

Best Supporting Actress

2004: Naglalayag

1995: The Flor Contemplacion Story

Reuters contributed to this report.