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Filipino Film Wins Best Picture at the Venice Film Festival

Holly | September 20, 2016

Director Lav Diaz won big for his Babaeng Humayo [The Woman Who Left], the Philippines’s entry to Venice Film Festival, bagging the Best Picture award. It’s a historic win for the country and the entire independent film industry.

Golden Lion

The almost-four-hour long movie is about a woman’s struggle in the real word after spending 30 years in jail for a crime she did not commit. Former ABS-SBN president and veteran actress Charo Santos-Concio was splendid in her performance in a leading role. She mesmerized the audience with her take on human misery, revenge, and mercy.

This is truly a beautiful year for the Philippine cinema. Diaz’s win at the Venice Film Festival is not the first big news this year. Last May, actress Jacklyn Jose bagged the Best Actress award at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival for her performance in Ma’Rosa, directed by Brillante Mendoza. Mendoza himself is not a stranger to the international film scene, he won Best Film for Kinatay at the 62nd Cannes Film Festival in 2009 and competed several times in other international film competitions. Early this month, Allen Dizon was named Best Actor in his role for Iadya Mo Kami [Deliver Us] at the Salento Film Festival, an Italian event for independent films.

Filipino film

Cinema remains as the Philippine’s connection with Europe’s societies. Recently, EU promoted Cine Europa festival in Manila, the first film to be introduced was  Of Sinners and Saints, a locally produced Italian film of Filipino-Italian director/actor Ruben Soriquez.

The Venice Film Festival is the world’s oldest film festival and one of the most prestigious worldwide, a perfect venue to showcase world-class Filipino talents.

Venice Film Festival

Most often, the Venice Film Festival has been the doorway to international success. Take for instance, in 1954, Marlon Brando‘s On the Waterfront was introduced and the following year it won eight Oscars. In 1951, the first Japanese movie that was shown in the other side of the world, the Rashômon by Akira Kurosawa won an award,  it opened the way to a wave of Asian films and many more.

Lav Diaz

Diaz’s Golden Lion at Venice Film Festival, though not his first international stint as a filmmaker, is his first major international success and it is a well-deserved win, bringing the Philippine cinema industry to international visibility. What he achieved in the international scene is an excellent personal achievement as well of the entire country, whose gift for cultural and artistic heritage is overflowing!

Congratulations for giving pride and solidarity to the country and once again for keeping local independent film alive.

Filipino Film Wins Best Picture at the Venice Film Festival by