Filipino films have been garnering international recognition in recent years. “The Woman Who Left” by director Lav Diaz won the prestigious Lion Award at the Venice Film Festival last month.
In May, the Philippines’ Jaclyn Jose won best actress at the Cannes Film Festival.
CCTV’s Barnaby Lo reports this could be a new golden era in Philippine cinema.
It was a red carpet event, and rightly so. After its success in the international film festival circuit, “Ang Babaeng Humayo” or “The Woman Who Left” opened in the Philippines last week. The almost four-hour film about a woman seeking revenge for getting incarcerated for a crime she didn’t commit had won the prestigious Lion Award last month, the highest honor at the Venice Film Festival. But for its Filipino cast and filmmakers, it was both an exciting and nervous moment.
Today’s Filipino films have little to prove abroad, especially with the win of Lav Diaz’s latest epic at the Venice Film Festival. The real battle now is at home, where romantic comedies and commercial dramas still dominate the local movie industry.
While awards do not guarantee box office success, surely, they are a measure of where Filipino films are right now on the world stage.
PanARMENIAN.Net – Despite skepticism that it would ever make it into cinemas, Filipino auteur Lav Diaz’s nearly four-hour-long opus “The Woman Who Left”, which won the Venice Film Festival’s Golden Lion, is set for theatrical release in Italy by local niche distributor Microcinema, Variety said.
Microcinema has acquired Italian rights to the revenge drama from Berlin-based Films Boutique and plans to distribute it theatrically in coming months, in spite of comments in the press and on social media that the movie’s 228-minute running time made it too hard a sell.
Sam Mendes, who presided over this year’s Venice jury, said during the awards ceremony that one of the jury’s jobs is “to encourage people to come to the cinema and see original films,” while also noting that the jurors in discussions “talked about all movies the same way.”
“Mendes and the jury chose to give the Golden Lion to a film that thinks outside the box,” said Microcinema managing director Roberto Bassano. “And we are also planning to think a bit different.”
Bassano acknowledged that releasing “The Woman Who Left,” which stars Charo Santos-Cancio as a wrongly convicted schoolteacher facing the outside world after 30 years behind bars, would be “a business challenge” both in terms of finding ticket buyers and exhibitors unfazed by the “double screen time” taken up by the movie.
But he said that several art-house exhibitors, and also some Italian multiplexes in metropolitan areas, have already expressed interest. “It’s a slow burner, the kind of film you open small and expect to have legs on a few screens,” Bassano said.
An Italian release of “The Woman Who Left” would mark the first time a movie directed by Diaz made it into Italian cinemas, and also a rare release of one of his films in Europe.
Upcoming Italian releases by Microcinema, which uses a satellite transmission system to beam movies into movie theaters, include Argentinian romcom “No Kids,” directed by Ariel Winograd.
“The Woman Who Left,” shot in black-and-white with long fixed-camera takes, is considered one of Diaz’s more accessible works, with a “restrained run-time by the Filipino director’s standards,” as Variety critic Guy Lodge put it.
Earlier this year, the prolific Diaz won the Berlin Film Festival’s Silver Bear for his eight-hour historical epic, “A Lullaby to the Sorrowful Mystery.” That film was released theatrically in the Philippines by Star Cinema and elsewhere only screened in festivals.
A nearly four-hour long movie about a woman’s thirst for revenge and her feelings of forgiveness after 30 years in jail for a crime she did not commit won the Venice Film Festival’s top prize on Saturday.
Director Lav Diaz has described “Ang Babaeng Humayo” (“The Woman Who Left”) as a testimony to the struggles of the Philippines after centuries of colonial rule.
“This is for my country, for the Filipino people, for our struggle, for the struggle of humanity,” the 57-year-old said as he accepted the Golden Lion award for his black-and-white movie.
Diaz, who at the Berlin Film Festival in February had premiered a film that ran over eight hours, said he hoped the latest recognition would create more appreciation for longer movies.
“Cinema is still very young, you can still push it,” he said.
Twenty U.S. and international movies featuring top Hollywood talent and auteur directors were in competition at the world’s oldest film festival, in its 73rd outing this year. The event is seen as a launching pad for the industry’s award season.
All the movies that won awards were examples of directors’ “lack of compromise, (their) imagination, original vision, daring, and a kind of pure identity,” said Sam Mendes, known for directing James Bond movies “Skyfall” and “Spectre”, who headed the jury. “It’s taken me out of my comfort zone.”
Mendes said he hoped the awards would help the films get distributed.
The runner-up Grand Jury prize went to Tom Ford’s thriller “Nocturnal Animals”, the second feature by the celebrated fashion designer.
The Best Director award was shared by Russia’s Andrei Konchalovsky for the Holocaust drama “Rai” (“Paradise”) and Mexico’s Amat Escalante for “La Region Salvaje” (“The Untamed”).
Commenting on Escalante’s drama, which opens with a naked woman being pleasured by a tentacled creature, jury member and Venezuelan director Lorenzo Vigas said the movie affected all the judges emotionally.
“We liked the lack of sentimentalism. We felt he really took risks making the film. It’s a film that pushes the medium forward,” he said.
American Emma Stone took the Best Actress prize for her role in the musical “La La Land” and Argentine actor Oscar Martinez was named Best Actor for his performance in the comedy-drama “El Ciudadano Ilustre” (“The Distinguished Citizen”).
German actress Paula Beer received the Marcello Mastroianni Award acknowledging an emerging performer, for her role in post-war drama “Frantz”.
Noah Oppenheim took the best screenplay award for his work on Pablo Larrain’s “Jackie”, about first lady Jacqueline Kennedy in the aftermath of the assassination of her husband U.S. President John F. Kennedy.
The special jury prize went to Ana Lily Amirpour’s cannibal-survivor fairytale “The Bad Batch”. While the film earned mixed reviews, the jury appreciated its spirit.
“Someone has made a very individual, very personal vision, whatever you think of it; that alone, the act of making that film is astonishing,” Mendes said.
(Additional reporting by Sarah Mills and Hanna Rantala, Editing by Robin Pomeroy and Richard Chang)
I attended my first Venice International Film Festival at the Cinema del Palazzo complex in Lido this year from the Pre-Opening Night event August 30th through Closing Night September 10th, 2016 as an accredited media entity.
The Venice Film Festival is the oldest film festival in the world with a history dating to 1932. This year was the 73rd edition showing little signs of its age. Steeped in glamor and tradition, the festival remains a testament to the cinematic arts with its viewing venues and its programming.
Italian Actress Monica Bellucci takes a moment to sgn an autograph on the Red Carpet at the 73rd Venice International Film Festival. (Photo courtesy of ASAC Images/Biennale Cinema)
Amy Adams walks the Red Carpet in a shoulder baring black dress at the 73rd Venice International Film Festival. (Photo courtesy of ASAC Images/Biennale Cinema)
Liev Schreiber and Naomi Watts walk hand-in-hand on the Red Carpet at the 73rd Venice International Film Festival. (Photo courtesy of ASAC Images/Biennale Cinema)
Set in Lido with a plethora of screens each only a score or two steps away, these hallowed cinema grounds created a magical setting adorned with cafes, raised walkways, and abundance of shade trees.
The Al Leone D’Oro sidewalk cafe on the Lido grounds at the 73rd Venice International Film Festival. (Photo credit: Larry Gleeson/HollywoodGlee)
Cinema patrons makeing their way between venues during the 73rd Venice International Film Festival. (Photo credit: Larry Gleeson/HollywoodGlee)
The real magic, however, took place inside the cinema!
Leading the way were the spell-binding performances of Lily-Rose Depp and Natalie Portman in Planetariumfrom Director Rebecca Zlotowski.
Award-winning, Tom Ford’s Nocturnal Animals, took home the Silver Lion Grand Jury Prize for Best Film. Nocturnal Animals captured my eye and imagination with it’s captivating story lines, exceptionally rich, mise-en-scene and wildly, powerful acting. Damien Chazelle and crew mesmerized audiences with their dazzling La La Land. The lovely Emma Stone received the Best Actress Silver Lion Volpi Cup for her heartful, soul-revealing performance as Mia.
Director Tom Ford receives this year’s Silver Lion for Best Film from the Grand Jury. (Photo courtesy of ASAC Images/Biennale Cinema))
Ms. Emma Stone at the La La Land Press Conference on Augsut 31st, 2016, at the 73rd Venice International Film Festival. (Photo courtesy of ASAC Images/Biennale Cinema))
This year’s Golden Lion for Best Film went to Lav Diaz for his painstaking drama, Ang Babaeng Humayo (The Woman Who Left), an epic story with a runtime of 226 minutes. The film follows one woman rediscovering her homeland after a 30 year stay in a correctional facility.
Other noteworthy films, not already mentioned, included: Paradise, a Russian Federation film, set amidst the Nazi WWII reign of terror (Director Andrei Konchalovsky garnered Silver Lion for Best Director for his Paradise efforts); Terrence Malick’s Voyage of Time: Life’s Journey, winner of the 5th Green Drop Award awarded by Green Cross Italy to films that bring attention to the values of ecology and sustainable development; Jackie, Pablo Larrain’s portrait of the iconic First Lady, Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy (Noah Oppenheim won Best Screenplay for Jackie); and Orecchie, a Biennale College – Cinema Production, directed by Alessandro Aronadio and produced by Costanza Coldagelli.
A special note of thanks to this year’s ushers for their efforts in ensuring my safety and well-being at the 73rd Venice International Film Festival. Until next year, Ciao’!
*Featured photo courtesy of Larry Gleeson/HollywoodGlee
The Venezia 73 Jury, chaired by Sam Mendes and comprised of Laurie Anderson, Gemma Arterton, Giancarlo De Cataldo, Nina Hoss, Chiara Mastroianni, Joshua Oppenheimer, Lorenzo Vigas and Zhao Wei having viewed all 20 films in competition, has decided as follows:
GOLDEN LION for Best Film to:
ANG BABAENG HUMAYO (THE WOMAN WHO LEFT)
by Lav Diaz (Philippines) with a run time of 226m.
SILVER LION – GRAND JURY PRIZE to:
by Tom Ford (USA)
SILVER LION – AWARD FOR BEST DIRECTOR ex-aequo to:
for the film PARADISE (Russian Federation, Germany)
for the film LA REGIÓN SALVAJE (THE UNTAMED)
(Mexico, Denmark, France, Germany, Norway, Switzerland)
for Best Actress:
in the film LA LA LAND by Damien Chazelle (USA)
for Best Actor:
in the film EL CIUDADANO ILUSTRE by Mariano Cohn and Gastón Duprat
AWARD FOR BEST SCREENPLAY to:
for the film JACKIE by Pablo Larraín (UK)
SPECIAL JURY PRIZE to:
THE BAD BATCH by Ana Lily Amirpour (USA)
MARCELLO MASTROIANNI AWARD
for Best Young Actress to:
in the film FRANTZ by François Ozon (France, Germany)
LION OF THE FUTURE
“LUIGI DE LAURENTIIS” VENICE AWARD FOR A DEBUT FILM
Lion of the Future – “Luigi De Laurentiis” Venice Award for a Debut Film Jury at the 73rd Venice Film Festival, chaired by Kim Rossi Stuart and comprised of Rosa Bosch, Brady Corbet, Pilar López de Ayala and Serge Toubiana, has decided to award:
LION OF THE FUTURE
“LUIGI DE LAURENTIIS” VENICE AWARD FOR A DEBUT FILM to:
Akher Wahed Fina (The Last of Us) by Ala Eddine Slim
(Tunisia, Qatar, U.A.E., Lebanon)
VENICE INTERNATIONAL FILM CRITICS WEEK
as well as a prize of 100,000 USD, donated by Filmauro ofAurelio and Luigi De Laurentiis to be divided equally between director and producer.
The Orizzonti Jury of the 73rd Venice International Film Festival, chaired by Robert Guédiguian and composed of Jim Hoberman, Nelly Karim, Valentina Lodovini, Moon So-ri, José María (Chema) Prado and Chaitanya Tamhane after screening the 32 films in competition has decided to award:
the ORIZZONTI AWARD FOR BEST FILM to:
LIBERAMI by Federica Di Giacomo (Italy, France)
the ORIZZONTI AWARD FOR BEST DIRECTOR to:
for HOME (Belgium)
the SPECIAL ORIZZONTI JURY PRIZE to:
KOCA DÜNYA (BIG BIG WORLD)
by Reha Erdem (Turkey)
the ORIZZONTI AWARD FOR BEST ACTRESS to:
Ruth Díazin the filmTARDE PARA LA IRA by Raúl Arévalo (Spain)
the ORIZZONTI AWARD FOR BEST ACTOR to:
Nuno Lopes in the filmSÃO JORGE by Marco Martins (Portugal, France)
the ORIZZONTI AWARD FOR BEST SCREENPLAY to:
KU QIAN (BITTER MONEY) by Wang Bing (France, Hong Kong)
the ORIZZONTI AWARD FOR BEST SHORT FILM to:
LA VOZ PERDIDA by Marcelo Martinessi (Paraguay, Venezuela, Cuba)
the VENICE SHORT FILM NOMINATION FOR THE
EUROPEAN FILM AWARDS 2016 to:
AMALIMBO by Juan Pablo Libossart (Sweden, Estonia)
VENICE CLASSICS AWARDS
The Venice Classics Jury, chaired by Roberto Andò composed of 25 students of Cinema History, chosen in particular from the professors of 12 Italian Dams university programmes and from the Venice University of Ca’ Foscari, has decided to award:
the VENICE CLASSICS AWARD FOR BEST DOCUMENTARY ON CINEMA to:
LE CONCOURS by Claire Simon (France)
the VENICE CLASSICS AWARD FOR BEST RESTORED FILM to:
BREAK UP – L’UOMO DEI CINQUE PALLONI by Marco Ferreri
(1963 and 1967, Italy, France)
GOLDEN LION FOR LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT 2016 to:
JAEGER-LECOULTRE GLORY TO THE FILMMAKER AWARD 2016 to: