MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Lav Diaz has won another international film festival award!
The celebrated director was awarded the 2016 Venice Film Festival Golden Lion on Saturday, September 10 (Sunday, September 9 in the Philippines) for his film, Ang Babaeng Humayo (The Woman Who Left).
The Golden Lion award is the highest honor given at the Venice Film Festival.
pic.twitter.com/nMScYVjwmy — Biennale di Venezia (@la_Biennale) September 10, 2016
"My head is spinning right now, this is unbelievable," Lav started his acceptance speech. He went on to thank those involved in his film, including his lead actors, Charo Santos and John Lloyd Cruz.
"It looks beautiful," he said about his trophy. "This is for my country, for the Filipino people, for our struggle, and for the struggle of humanity, thank you, thank you, thank you so much."
Ang Babaeng Humayo, which stars Charo Santos and John Lloyd Cruz, is about a wrongly convicted schoolteacher who plots revenge against the ex-boyfriend who framed her, disguising herself in a bid to get close to her quarry.
The movie clocks in at 228 minutes (a little over 3 hours). Lav's other film, Hele Sa Hiwagang Hapis (A Lullaby for the Sorrowful Mystery) was 8 hours long.
Hele, starring Piolo Pascual and John Lloyd Cruz, won the Silver Bear award at the 2016 Berlin Film Festival. (READ: Piolo Pascual talks about making 8-hour film with Lav Diaz, John Lloyd Cruz)
Aside from those two awards, Lav also won a Golden Leopard at the 2014 Locarno International Film Festival for Mula sa Kung Ano ang Noon (From What Is Before) and Un Certain Regard at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival for Norte, Hangganan ng Kasaysayan (Norte, the End of History).
In a statement, Communications secretary Martin Andanar congratulated Lav for his triumph at the Venice Film Festival.
"We congratulate Lav Diaz’s Ang Babaeng Humayo for bringing honors to the Philippines by winning the Golden Lion during the Venice Film Festival.
"This triumph of Lav Diaz, an independent filmmaker described by the Irish Times as ‘a master of the Philippines,’ is the latest addition to the Philippines’ biggest ever haul of awards in this year’s A-list film festivals. Berlinale, Cannes, and now Venice, the luster of the world-class Filipino talent has continuously shone!"
At the 2016 Venice Film Festival, Best Actor went to Argentina's Oscar Martinez for his portrayal of a cynical Nobel Prize-winning author in comedy The Distinguished Citizen, while Best Actress was snapped up by Emma Stone for her depiction of a love-struck actress in US musical La La Land. – With reports from AFP/Rappler.com