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(Mini Reads followed by Full Reports below)

9 PHILIPPINE FILMS BEING CONSIDERED FOR OSCARS


Jaclyn Jose in 'Ma' Rosa' SEPTEMBER 8 -Several Pinoy films have already been shortlisted from which one will be submitted to represent the country in the Best Foreign Language Film category of the 89th Academy Awards happening on Feb. 26, 2017. These are: Gil Portes’ “Ang Hapis at Himagsik ni Hermano Puli,” Jun Lana’s “Anino sa Likod ng Buwan,” Erik Matti’s “Honor Thy Father,” Paul Soriano’s “Dukot,” Eduardo Roy, Jr.’s “Pamilya Ordinaryo,” Joel Lamangan’s “Felix Manalo,” Lav Diaz’s “Hele sa Hiwagang Hapis,” Brillante Mendoza’s “Ma’ Rosa” and Roderick Cabrido’s “Tuos.” Among these, “Ma’ Rosa,” “Hele sa Hiwagang Hapis,” “Anino sa Likod ng Buwan” and “Honor Thy Father” have already won awards in international film festivals. “Hele sa Hiwagang Hapis” nabbed the Silver Bear Alfred Bauer Prize at the Berlin International Film Festival. “Anino sa Likod ng Buwan” was named Best Asian Film by the Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema (Netpac). It also won the International Critics Prize from the International Federation of Film Critics at the 13th Pacific Meridian Film Festival. READ MORE...

ALSO: Inday Sara loses two of her triplets
[RELATED: VIRAL Duterte's top aide Bong Go has a world-class 'photobomber']


SEPTEMBER 9 -DAVAO  CITY MAYOR INDAY SARA
Davao City – Mayor Sara Duterte Carpio announced yesterday that she lost two of the three fetuses she is carrying due to stress in the wake of Friday’s explosion at the night market along Roxas Avenue here. The mayor is in her third month of pregnancy. “All in God’s plan,” she said during the change of command at the Task Force Davao headquarters at Sta. Ana Wharf where she ordered new Task Force Davao Commander Col. Erwin Bernard Neri to ensure the security of the people and give the city “peace.”  She said that she was told by her doctor that the hearts of the two fetuses were no longer beating. “I feel sad but everything happens for a reason,” she said, adding that the remaining fetus is in good condition. READ MORE...RELATED, VIRAL Duterte's top aide Bong Go has a world-class 'photobomber'...

ALSO: Sara Duterte says she quarreled with her father over cop’s Task Force


SEPTEMBER 10 -SARA DUTERTE-CARPIO
DAVAO CITY—Mayor Sara Duterte has disclosed that she and her father, President Duterte, had a quarrel over her decision to replace Task Force Davao chief Senior Supt. Henry Robinson after the deadly blast that killed 14 people and wounded 70 others at the night market on Roxas Avenue here on Sept. 2. Mayor Duterte said her father disliked her decision to replace Robinson but he eventually acceded. “Here comes Digong, mouthing again. He also texted me and he was saying many things. I answered him,” Sara said of her latest spat with her father, which took place a few hours after the blast. “I think it was 6 a.m. Saturday morning,” she said. “He passed the text to Bong Go. So I said, ‘Bong, are you still the mayor or is it already me?’ Because I’m willing to leave you alone, as in right this moment,” she recounted. Mayor Duterte repeated that she was indeed “very willing to resign” (if the President insisted on dictating on her). READ MORE...

ALSO: No problem being typecast as nice guy


SEPTEMBER 9 -Zanjoe Marudo’s character in Tubig at Langis was a reflection of Filipino men
Zanjoe Marudo says that when he was cast as the male lead in Tubig at Langis, he felt pressure to make the show a success. But the pressure lessened when he found out Cristine Reyes would be his onscreen partner. He had worked with her before in the 2013 indie film Bromance, and came away from the experience with good memories of Cristine and that project.
“Every time I have a project and I am the lead, there is so much pressure. When I learned I will be working with AA (Cristine), I felt relieved,” he says. Zanjoe portrayed Natoy Villadolid very seriously. He knew that his character was a reflection of so many Filipino men, and he wanted to make sure to do his role — and those men — justice. “Natoy had a very important role in Tubig at Langis. Siya yung sumasalamin sa bawat lalaki sa bansa natin ngayon. Even if you did not seek for it, you will be drawn to situations where your love for your wife will be tested,” he explains. READ MORE...

ALSO: GMA treats Kapuso fans in Mindanao’s three major festivals


SEPTEMBER 9 -GROUPFIE. Kapuso stars pose with the crowd after their successful show at Abreeza Mall in Davao
The Kapuso Network brought some of its biggest stars to Mindanao to celebrate three of the region’s biggest and most colorful festivals this year: Davao’s Kadayawan, Cagayan de Oro’s Higalaay, and General Santos’ Tuna Festival. Davao’s Kadayawan Festival—considered the king of all festivals in Mindanao—was made extra magical with no less than the lead stars of Encantadia gracing the celebration on Aug. 20.In the Kapuso Mall Show at Gaisano Mall Davao, thousands were mesmerized as the Sang’gres – Kylie Padilla and Glaiza de Castro – who were joined by their co-stars Ruru Madrid and Migo Adecer entertained them. Adding kilig to the mall show was GMA Artist Center’s James Wright.
The Kapuso celebrities also visited Barangay 23-C for a fun-filled Kapuso Barangayan prior to the mall show. READ MORE...

ALSO: Rave reviews for Lav Diaz, Charo Santos in Venice
[RELATED: Lav Diaz wins top prize in Venice Int’l Film Festival]


SEPTEMBER 10 -CHARO Santos, Lav Diaz (center) and John Lloyd Cruz at the press con before the premiere Ronald Arguelles
The press preview had just wrapped up on Thursday, and the reviews for Lav Diaz’s latest film, “Ang Babaeng Humayo,” came out all over the Net with resounding swiftness the following day. Critics have showered the country’s entry in the Main Competition of the 73rd Venice International Film Festival with raves in early reviews posted on Twitter and in the Hollywood Reporter website. On Twitter, Jeroen Struys, chief film critic of the Flemish paper De Standaard, hails “Humayo” as a “profound and masterfully written heavyweight on resilience and [the Philippines]. Might win.” Struys points out: “Diaz can make 3.5 hours fly by while other films seem to last forever.” Lorenzo Esposito, editor of Film Parlato magazine, puts it succinctly: “Simply the best.” Cineblog.it writer Antonio Maria Abate remarks: “Diaz goes evangelical, finding the right balance between his last work and the previous ones. Irresistible. And Golden Lion.” Critic Clarence Tsui of the Hollywood Reporter agrees with the European reviewers and describes Diaz’s film as “a succinct, poignant revenge drama.”  READ MORE...RELATED,
Lav Diaz wins top prize in Venice Int’l Film Festival...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

9 PH films being considered for Oscars


Jaclyn Jose in 'Ma' Rosa'

MANILA, SEPTEMBER 12, 2016 (MANILA BULLETIN)  by Rowena Tan September 8, 2016 - Several Pinoy films have already been shortlisted from which one will be submitted to represent the country in the Best Foreign Language Film category of the 89th Academy Awards happening on Feb. 26, 2017.

These are: Gil Portes’ “Ang Hapis at Himagsik ni Hermano Puli,” Jun Lana’s “Anino sa Likod ng Buwan,” Erik Matti’s “Honor Thy Father,” Paul Soriano’s “Dukot,” Eduardo Roy, Jr.’s “Pamilya Ordinaryo,” Joel Lamangan’s “Felix Manalo,” Lav Diaz’s “Hele sa Hiwagang Hapis,” Brillante Mendoza’s “Ma’ Rosa” and Roderick Cabrido’s “Tuos.”

Among these, “Ma’ Rosa,” “Hele sa Hiwagang Hapis,” “Anino sa Likod ng Buwan” and “Honor Thy Father” have already won awards in international film festivals.

“Hele sa Hiwagang Hapis” nabbed the Silver Bear Alfred Bauer Prize at the Berlin International Film Festival.

“Anino sa Likod ng Buwan” was named Best Asian Film by the Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema (Netpac). It also won the International Critics Prize from the International Federation of Film Critics at the 13th Pacific Meridian Film Festival.

READ MORE...

“Honor Thy Father” was named Best Asian Film at Neuchatel Fantastic Film Festival.


Nora Aunor in 'Tuos'

“Ma’Rosa” earned for Jaclyn Jose the Best Actress plum at the Cannes International Film Festival.

Meanwhile, “Felix Manalo” was named Movie Of The Year at the 32nd Star Awards for Movies, while “Tuos” and “Pamilya Ordinaryo” were among big winners at the recent Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival.

“Ang Hapis at Himagsik ni Hermano Puli” served as the closing film at this year’s Cinemalaya. It will run in cinemas nationwide on Sept. 21.

“Dukot” had its commercial run last July.


A scene from 'Pamilya Ordinaryo'

A committee composed of members of the Film Academy of the Philippines (FAP) was accredited by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) to select an entry to the festival, with film director Edgardo “Boy” Vinarao serving as head and cinematographer Lee Meily; actors Michael de Mesa and Cherie Gil; film directors Jose Carreon and Mike Sandejas; and actor/scriptwriter Ed Rocha, as members.

Initial deliberation is set on Sept. 14. (All photos from YouTube)


MANILA BULLETIN

Inday Sara loses two of her triplets September 9, 2016 Share1 Tweet0 Share0 Email0 Share20 By Antonio L. Colina IV


DAVAO  CITY MAYOR INDAY SARA

Davao City – Mayor Sara Duterte Carpio announced yesterday that she lost two of the three fetuses she is carrying due to stress in the wake of Friday’s explosion at the night market along Roxas Avenue here.

The mayor is in her third month of pregnancy.

“All in God’s plan,” she said during the change of command at the Task Force Davao headquarters at Sta. Ana Wharf where she ordered new Task Force Davao Commander Col. Erwin Bernard Neri to ensure the security of the people and give the city “peace.”

She said that she was told by her doctor that the hearts of the two fetuses were no longer beating.

“I feel sad but everything happens for a reason,” she said, adding that the remaining fetus is in good condition.

READ MORE...

Last August 19, Davao City Information Office head Jeffry Tupas said that the Mayor could not join the Kadayawan Festival due to her delicate pregnancy and was advised by her doctor to avoid crowded places and the risk of acquiring infections.

She said that next check up is scheduled on Monday.

Her father, President Duterte, has not yet been informed on the condition of her pregnancy.

Mayor Duterte said she never dealt with a bombing incident as city mayor before.

“Wala ko nabuthan og bomba, that’s why it is difficult on my part (There was no bombing during my time),” she said

------------------------------

RELATED FROM GMA NEWS

VIRAL Duterte's top aide Bong Go has a world-class 'photobomber' Published September 8, 2016 5:46pm


President Rodrigo Duterte's special assistant Christopher "Bong" Go has a very special "photobomber."

The top aide took the opportunity to elevate the taking of sneaky pictures to new heights, going international as he shared a photo of himself with bigwigs like US President Barack Obama in the background "photobombing" his moment at the ASEAN summit in Laos.

"Ok lang tawaging national photobomber, pero di ako photobomber pag international," Go wrote. —Aya Tantiangco/JST, GMA News

- See more at: http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/580662/hashtag/duterte-s-top-aide-bong-go-has-a-world-class-photobomber#sthash.aR5gZJkx.dpuf


PHILSTAR

Sara Duterte says she quarreled with her fathere over cop’s Task Force SHARES: 3138 VIEW COMMENTS By: Allan Nawal @inquirerdotnet Inquirer Mindanao 03:47 AM September 10th, 2016


SARA DUTERTE-CARPIO

DAVAO CITY—Mayor Sara Duterte has disclosed that she and her father, President Duterte, had a quarrel over her decision to replace Task Force Davao chief Senior Supt. Henry Robinson after the deadly blast that killed 14 people and wounded 70 others at the night market on Roxas Avenue here on Sept. 2.

Mayor Duterte said her father disliked her decision to replace Robinson but he eventually acceded.

“Here comes Digong, mouthing again. He also texted me and he was saying many things. I answered him,” Sara said of her latest spat with her father, which took place a few hours after the blast.

“I think it was 6 a.m. Saturday morning,” she said.

“He passed the text to Bong Go. So I said, ‘Bong, are you still the mayor or is it already me?’ Because I’m willing to leave you alone, as in right this moment,” she recounted.

Mayor Duterte repeated that she was indeed “very willing to resign” (if the President insisted on dictating on her).

READ MORE...

She said the President appeared to have acceded to her decision to have Robinson replaced when he suddenly burst into the song, “How Do I Live Without You” (a song popularized by Trisha Yearwood), after a moment of silence.

“He gave way,” Mayor Duterte said.

Aside from Robinson, Mayor Sara also announced that she wanted city police director, Senior Supt. Michael John Dubria, replaced.

READ: Sara Duterte sacks Davao cop chief, task force head

An Inquirer source said Philippine National Police Director General Ronald dela Rosa had already given her a list of senior police officials to choose from but she has yet to decide.

Meanwhile, Dela Rosa said investigators already have the name of the suspected night market bomber but they were still withholding it pending his arrest.

No shoot-to-kill order

She also stressed to the police that she wanted the suspects arrested alive so she could talk to them and find out who their cohorts were, and their purpose in setting off the bomb.

On Wednesday, police authorities released a computer-aided sketch of one of the suspects but his face was unrecognizable as he wore a mask.

Director Benjamin Magalong, the deputy police chief for operations, said the sketch was produced based on description of witnesses.

The reward money to any individual who can help authorities arrest suspect and three other persons—two of them women—has also increased to P3 million.

Mayor Sara said on Thursday a Davao-City businessman and a law firm donated P500,000 each to the initial P2-million bounty that the city government has offered for the arrest of the suspects.

She said the law firm coursed its donation through Finance Secretary Sonny Dominguez.

Duterte said those who have information on the suspects can either dial Central 911 or they can contact 0917-DUTERTE or 0917-3883783 if they live outside of Davao City.

Dela Rosa said police authorities continue to hunt down the suspects.

Meanwhile, authorities said they were taking all bomb-related statements seriously and individuals making jokes about bombs will be arrested and prosecuted.

On Wednesday evening, a passenger of a Davao City-bound bus was arrested and jailed after he threatened to set off a bomb.

PO2 Ean Burgos of the Magsaysay, Davao del Sur police, said the bus driver hurriedly pulled over when the passenger, Roland Engbino of Libungan, North Cotabato, warned that the bus was going to explode. The suspect’s statement caused panic among the passengers but none was seriously injured, Burgos said.

A search of the bus did not turn up any bomb but the suspect was immediately arrested. Earlier this week, two women were also separately arrested but later freed in Davao City after making jokes they had bombs with them while being frisked by guards at the malls they were entering. With a report from Orlando Dinoy, Inquirer Mindanao/TVJ

RELATED STORIES

Sara Duterte loses two of the triplets in her womb — source

Expecting triplets, Sara Duterte loses two


PHILSTAR

No problem being typecast as nice guy DIRECT LINE By Boy Abunda (The Philippine Star) | Updated September 8, 2016 - 12:00am 0 0 googleplus0 0


Zanjoe Marudo’s character in Tubig at Langis was a reflection of Filipino men

Zanjoe Marudo says that when he was cast as the male lead in Tubig at Langis, he felt pressure to make the show a success. But the pressure lessened when he found out Cristine Reyes would be his onscreen partner. He had worked with her before in the 2013 indie film Bromance, and came away from the experience with good memories of Cristine and that project.

“Every time I have a project and I am the lead, there is so much pressure. When I learned I will be working with AA (Cristine), I felt relieved,” he says.

Zanjoe portrayed Natoy Villadolid very seriously. He knew that his character was a reflection of so many Filipino men, and he wanted to make sure to do his role — and those men — justice.

“Natoy had a very important role in Tubig at Langis. Siya yung sumasalamin sa bawat lalaki sa bansa natin ngayon. Even if you did not seek for it, you will be drawn to situations where your love for your wife will be tested,” he explains.

READ MORE...

“As Irene and Natoy, we were able to show the audience our love and devotion for each other. And that we will not permit anything or anyone to destroy our family.”

​Natoy was a faithful husband for most of the show’s run, but he also made his fair share of mistakes. Zanjoe says he’s similar to Natoy in the sense that he’s loyal to those he loves, but that’s as far as their similarities go. He would never cheat on the woman he loves, even in the face of temptation, and he advises married men to do the same.

“I am not the kind na tuwing may babae na maganda or sexy, I take advantage of kahit na type niya ako. Madalas may naghahabol pa rin sa akin kahit taken na ako, pero hindi talaga ako bumibigay. Nagdadasal na lang ako,” Zanjoe laughs.

“Seriously, I never give in. People admire you if you are faithful. And when you are married you should refrain from doing naughty things.”

Zanjoe says most of the characters he has played were nice guys. It was only when he was cast as Natoy that he got the chance to play a guy who made his fair share of mistakes, which he enjoyed immensely. Playing Natoy taught him to see mistakes as learning opportunities.

“Papunta na nga sa santo lagi characters ko, kaya natutuwa ako na ganito si Natoy — he’s human who commits mistakes but later regrets and asks for forgiveness. In real life, you have to experience failure to become better. So next time, you know what to do and you will be able to correct your wrongdoings.”

He also has a similar perspective on heartache now. When Tubig at Langis started last year, he had just broken up with Bea Alonzo. Doing the show gave him something else to focus on and eventually, his broken heart put itself back together. He also says that he and Bea are friends now.

“I am thankful to the cast because they were always there for me. I don’t want to pressure myself into having a new girlfriend just because I am single. It will come at the right time. I try to enjoy whatever I have right now. The present state of my heart, I can say, is very happy and I don’t want to pressure myself. For now, I am committed to my family, to myself and to my work.” — With reports from Almed Garcia and Julian Mauricio


MANILA STANDARD

GMA treats Kapuso fans in Mindanao’s three major festivals posted September 09, 2016 at 05:59 pm by The Standard Showbitz


GROUPFIE. Kapuso stars pose with the crowd after their successful show at Abreeza Mall in Davao

The Kapuso Network brought some of its biggest stars to Mindanao to celebrate three of the region’s biggest and most colorful festivals this year: Davao’s Kadayawan, Cagayan de Oro’s Higalaay, and General Santos’ Tuna Festival.

Davao’s Kadayawan Festival—considered the king of all festivals in Mindanao—was made extra magical with no less than the lead stars of Encantadia gracing the celebration on Aug. 20.

In the Kapuso Mall Show at Gaisano Mall Davao, thousands were mesmerized as the Sang’gres – Kylie Padilla and Glaiza de Castro – who were joined by their co-stars Ruru Madrid and Migo Adecer entertained them. Adding kilig to the mall show was GMA Artist Center’s James Wright.

The Kapuso celebrities also visited Barangay 23-C for a fun-filled Kapuso Barangayan prior to the mall show.

READ MORE...

In their Encantadia outfits, Kylie, Glaiza, Ruru, and Migo spread cheer among Kadayawan onlookers aboard the Kapuso Float during the Pamulak sa Kadayawan Float Parade the following day.


Adding kilig to the Kadayawan Festival was GMA Artist Center's James Wright

Taking the Kadayawan fever a notch higher were the cast of Someone to Watch Over Me, Sinungaling Mong Puso, and Juan Happy Love Story who wowed the audience during the Kapuso Mall Show held at Abreeza Mall the next day, Aug. 21.

Setting the festive mood that afternoon were Premier Actress Lovi Poe and Kapuso leading man Tom Rodriguez who flew to Davao to meet their fans and promote their new primetime show.

Meanwhile, the cast of Afternoon Prime’s Sinungaling Mong Puso was in full force as the love triangle of Rhian Ramos, Rafael Rosell, and Kiko Estrada entertained the audience.

Dennis Trillo and Kim Domingo, stars of the sexy-comedy series Juan Happy Love Story, set the stage on fire with their respective song numbers.


Taking the Kadayawan fever a notch higher were the casts of Juan Happy Love Story, Sinungaling Mong Puso, and Someone to Watch Over Me. (from left) Dennis, Kim, Kiko, Rhian, Rafael, Lovi, and Tom

A week after celebrating Kadayawan Fest, the leading men of Sinungaling Mong Puso made another trip to the South for Cagayan de Oro City’s Higalaay Festival.

The two Kapuso hunks, Rafael and Kiko, captured the hearts of the Kapusong Kagay-anons’ on Aug. 28 during the Kapuso Mall Show at Centrio Mall and a Kapuso Barangayan at Brgy. Macabalan. Joining them was comedienne Maey Bautista who served as event host. The Higalaay Festival celebrates the feast day of St. Augustine, the patron saint of CdeO.

And on Sept. 3, Rhian joined her two leading men for the Kapuso Mall Show in KCC Mall as part of the celebration of the Tuna Festival in GenSan. Dubbed as the “Tuna Capital of the Philippines”, the city holds the Tuna Festival every year in thanksgiving for the bountiful harvest, promoting tourism at the same time. The Kapuso Mall Show was hosted by DJ Papabol and DJ Mama Angel of Brgy 102.3.

“Daghang salamat Dabawenyos, Kagay-anons, Generals, and all the Mindanaoans who welcomed the Kapuso Network to your festivals,” says Oliver Amoroso, officer-in-charge of GMA’s Regional TV Department. “We are happy to join in the three of the biggest festivals in Mindanao. GMA Regional TV will continue to promote the best of and in the Filipino,” he adds.

GMA-7’s participation in the three major festivals in Mindanao only strengthens the Kapuso Network’s commitment of bringing its shows and artists closer to Filipinos in every corner of the Philippines.


PHILSTAR

Rave reviews for Lav Diaz, Charo Santos in Venice SHARES: 1 VIEW COMMENTS By: Bayani San Diego Jr. @inquirerdotnet Philippine Daily Inquirer 12:34 AM September 11th, 2016


CHARO Santos, Lav Diaz (center) and John Lloyd Cruz at the press con before the premiere Ronald Arguelles

The press preview had just wrapped up on Thursday, and the reviews for Lav Diaz’s latest film, “Ang Babaeng Humayo,” came out all over the Net with resounding swiftness the following day.

Critics have showered the country’s entry in the Main Competition of the 73rd Venice International Film Festival with raves in early reviews posted on Twitter and in the Hollywood Reporter website.

On Twitter, Jeroen Struys, chief film critic of the Flemish paper De Standaard, hails “Humayo” as a “profound and masterfully written heavyweight on resilience and [the Philippines]. Might win.”

Struys points out: “Diaz can make 3.5 hours fly by while other films seem to last forever.”

Lorenzo Esposito, editor of Film Parlato magazine, puts it succinctly: “Simply the best.”

Cineblog.it writer Antonio Maria Abate remarks: “Diaz goes evangelical, finding the right balance between his last work and the previous ones. Irresistible. And Golden Lion.”

Critic Clarence Tsui of the Hollywood Reporter agrees with the European reviewers and describes Diaz’s film as “a succinct, poignant revenge drama.”

READ MORE...

Tsui praises Diaz’s “immaculate imagery in high-contrast black and white” and lead actress Charo Santos’ “majestic” portrayal.

Compared to Diaz’s previous film, “Hele sa Hiwagang Hapis,” which won the Silver Bear Alfred Bauer Prize at the Berlinale last February, “Babaeng Humayo” is “simple, solid, self-contained and succinct,” says Tsui.

The US writer also takes note that, while Diaz has become more vocal and political in his past works, he has “opted for a more universal contemplation about the cruelty and absurdity of human existence” in his latest film.

In sum, “Babaeng Humayo,” according to Tsui, “is an immensely immersive and engaging tale about a wronged individual’s grueling struggle between reconciliation and revenge.”

Tsui likewise lauds Santos’ performance as “sturdy… [bringing] to forestall the unstable emotional contours of a mentally unraveling avenger.”

Tsui opines that Diaz’s collaboration with “mainstream backers,” led by former ABS-CBN head Santos and Cinema One, “has seemingly infused focus and urgency” in the famously uncompromising filmmaker.

Still, Tsui asserts that “Babaeng Humayo” is not a “commercial sellout.” Rather, he insists, it is a “taut exercise, in which every shot burns with condensed emotions and human empathy… Diaz has taken conventional ingredients and produced something that is greater than the sum of its parts.”

----------------------------

RELATED FROM THE INQUIRER

Lav Diaz wins top prize in Venice Int’l Film Festival By: Bayani San Diego Jr. @inquirerdotnet Philippine Daily Inquirer 01:09 AM September 12th, 2016


BEST FILM Filipino filmmaker Lav Diaz’s Golden Lion award for his movie “Ang Babaeng Humayo” during the 73rd Venice International Film Festival in Italy continues the winning streak of the Philippines in the top three A-list film festivals in the world—Berlin, Cannes and Venice—so far this year. AP

LAV DIAZ’S colleagues, like fellow award-winning filmmakers Brillante Ma. Mendoza and Joel Lamangan, and actors Charo Santos and Nonie Buencamino, are rejoicing over Philippine cinema’s latest triumph.

Diaz continues the winning streak abroad of Filipino filmmakers by bagging on Saturday the Golden Lion, the top prize at the 73rd Venice International Film Festival, for “Ang Babaeng Humayo” (The Woman Who Left).

Diaz, 57, has described “Humayo” 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,” he said as he accepted the Golden Lion award at the world’s oldest film festival for his black-and-white movie.

“Humayo” is a story about the absurdity of human existence. A wrongly convicted schoolteacher plots retribution against the former boyfriend who framed her, disguising herself in a bid to get close to her prey.

Gaining freedom in the late 1990s after 30 years behind bars, Horacia (Santos) discovers her loved ones are either dead or gone, and the former boyfriend, now a wealthy underworld boss, becomes the target of her simmering rage.

Winning streak

With Diaz’s latest win, the Philippines has scored major awards from the top three A-list film festivals in the world—Berlin, Cannes and Venice—this year.

In February, Diaz brought home the Silver Bear Alfred Bauer Prize for the eight-hour historical epic, “Hele sa Hiwagang Hapis,” at the Berlinale.

In May, Jaclyn Jose was declared best actress for her role in Mendoza’s gritty urban drama, “Ma’ Rosa,” at Cannes.

Diaz is no stranger to international awards, particularly at the Venice fest.

In 2007, he got the special mention citation in the Orizzonti section for “Death in the Land of Encantos.” The following year, he bagged the Orizzonti award itself for “Melancholia.” Orizzonti is a special section in Venice that highlights “new trends in cinema.”

In 2014, Diaz won the Golden Leopard award at the Locarno International Film Festival in Switzerland, for “Mula sa Kung Ano ang Noon.”

Award collection

His menagerie is almost complete, having won a Golden Leopard, Silver Bear and Golden Lion in two years’ time.

Four hours before the Venice awards ceremony, “Humayo” won best foreign language film at the 6th Smile Awards, also held in Venice.

The award seeks to honor Venice competition films that shed light on the struggles of marginalized people.

A day before the Venice main competition awards ceremony, Eduardo Roy Jr.’s “Pamilya Ordinaryo” won the BNL Audience Award in the 13th Venice Days tilt.

Also on Saturday, Allen Dizon won best actor for his role in Mel Chionglo’s “Iadya Mo Kami” at the 13th Salento International Film Festival in Tricase, Italy.

Mendoza, best director for “Kinatay” at Cannes in 2009, said he was very happy for Diaz, describing his victory as “a historic moment for Philippine cinema. We should all celebrate Lav’s achievement because it has raised Filipino movies to another level again.”

Lamangan, whose film “The Flor Contemplacion Story” won the Golden Pyramid award at the Cairo International Film Festival in 1995, said Diaz’s triumph was a great honor for the country. “Truly, it’s a shot in the arm for our movie industry. Congratulations to Lav!”

Unanimously acclaimed

Diaz’s latest work was unanimously acclaimed by critics, as well.

Dubbed “marathon man” by Screen International for his protracted films, Diaz has shrugged off such criticisms, saying, “My cinema is free.”

He has insisted that he takes an organic approach in filmmaking. “If a film is complete at three hours then it would end at three hours.”

Diaz, also the cinematographer and editor of “Humayo,” said he would not hesitate to delete a “beautiful shot” if it were superfluous.

In “Humayo,” he took a more philosophical route—unlike his earlier works that were overtly polemical and political.


SPOTLIGHT A jubilant director Lav Diaz offers the Golden Lion award for Best Film that he won for “Ang Babaeng Humayo” during the 73rd Venice Film Festival to the Filipino people, their struggle and humanity. AFP

Diaz said he was working on a trilogy on reclusion perpetua. “Stories on prison as a metaphor for the curse of living.”

Inspired by Leo Tolstoy’s short story “God Sees The Truth, But Waits,” Diaz recalled that writing “Humayo” was a breeze. “The story just flowed naturally.”

Logic of living

He asserted: “Existence is so fragile and, in the end, we don’t know anything. The film’s story is simple and complex at the same time. Where’s the logic of living?”

Exclaimed producer Ronald Arguelles of Cinema One (which produced “Humayo”): “I am overjoyed that we got to experience all this.”

Actor Nonie Buencamino, who is in the cast, said: “I am proud, happy and feel very fortunate to be part of this film.”

Santos was similarly ecstatic: “I feel so honored and proud to be part of this special project. What a privilege! God has always been good to me.”

She received rave reviews for her performance. Variety’s Guy Lodge even tweeted that she should’ve won best actress over Hollywood star Emma Stone who brought home the trophy for her role in Damien Chazelle’s musical “La La Land.”

There were reports that the Venice jury couldn’t give other major awards to the Golden Lion winner.

Lodge tweeted: “Stone’s win is a mirage … Santos is the real Oscar frontrunner.” With reports from wires


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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