WINNER OF THE ALFRED BAUER PRIZE SILVER BEAR
AT 66th BERLINALE – MAIN COMPETITION
Directed by Lav Diaz (Philippines)
Executive produced by TEN17P
Produced by Epicmedia, Sine Olivia
Co-produced by PŌTOCOL, Akanga Film Asia
Co-executive produced by Henry Wee, Empyreal
Interconnected narrative threads on the Philippine Revolution of 1896-1897 against Spain characterise Hele sa Hiwagang Hapis– the story of the ballad Jocelynang Baliwag, which became the hymn of the revolution; Gregoria de Jesus’ forlorn search for the body of the Father of Philippine Revolution Andres Bonifacio; the journey of the Philippine fictional book heroes Simon and Isagani; the role of the Philippine mythical hero of strength Bernardo Carpio and the half-man, half-horse Tikbalang/Engkanto, on the Filipino psyche. The film is a marriage of history, literature and mythology.
Lavrente Indico Diaz aka Lav Diaz is a filmmaker from the Philippines who was born on December 30, 1958 and raised in Cotabato, Mindanao. He works as director, writer, producer, editor, cinematographer, poet, composer, production designer and actor all at once. He is especially notable for the length of his films, some of which run for up to eleven hours. That is because his films are not governed by time but by space and nature. His films are about the social and political struggles of his motherland and through these, he has garnered the admiration of the international festival circuit.
Since 1998 he has directed twelve films, and won several international awards. His 2002 film BATANG WEST SIDE won Best Picture at the Singapore International Film Festival, plus awards at the Independent Film Festival of Brussels, Gawad Urian, and Cinemanila International Film Festival. He also received a Gawad Urian for his 2005 film EVOLUTION OF A FILIPINO FAMILY and Special Jury Prize at the Fribourg International Film Festival in 2006 for HEREMIAS, BOOK ONE. His film DEATH IN THE LAND OF ENCANTOS, was the closing film of the Orizzonti section of the Venice Film Festival 2007, and was awarded a Golden Lion Special Mention. His 2008 eight-hour film MELANCHOLIA, a story about victims of summary executions, won the Orizzonti Grand Prize at the 65th Venice International Film Festival in 2008, and FLORENTINA HUBALDO, CTE has received Best Film at Images Festival, Toronto and Jeonju International Film Festival in 2012. In 2010 he received a Guggenheim Fellowship and in 2011 joined the Board of Directors for Cine Foundation International. The Venice Film Festival calls him “the ideological father of the New Philippine Cinema”.
In 2013, his film NORTE, THE END OF HISTORY was presented at Un Certain regard Cannes Film Festival and considered as “one of the most beautiful film seen in Cannes” (Jacques Mandelbaum, Le Monde) or even “quite possibly the best film there” (Daniel Kasman, Mubi), a “superb piece of focused narrative” (Jonathan Romney, Screen) –a broadened international recognition that earns him to be invited at FID Marseille to be part of the Official Competition Jury and eventually at the 2013 Locarno Film Festival as the President of the Jury.
In 2014, his film FROM WHAT IS BEFORE won the Golden Leopard at the Locarno Film Festival.
World Premiere – Main Competition – 66th Berlin International Film Festival, Berlin, 2016
Asian Premiere – Official Selection – 40th Hong Kong International Film Festival, Hong Kong, 2016
Format: DCP / 5.1 surround sound
Runtime: 480 minutes
Language: Tagalog, Spanish
Piolo Pascual, John Lloyd Cruz, Hazel Orencio, Angeli Aquino, Alessandra de Rossi, Susan Africa, Bernado Bernado, Cherie Gil