'Mula sa Kung Ano ang Noon' wins Golden Leopard at Locarno

FROM WHAT IS BEFORE. Movie reviewer Oggs Cruz praises director Lav Diaz's attentiveness to the fiilm's themes. Screengrab from YouTube

FROM WHAT IS BEFORE. Movie reviewer Oggs Cruz praises director Lav Diaz's attentiveness to the fiilm's themes.

Screengrab from YouTube

GENEVA, Switzerland – A five-and-a-half-hour film from the Philippines, Mula sa Kung Ano ang Noon (From What Is Before), scooped the coveted Golden Leopard prize at the Locarno film festival in Switzerland on Saturday, August 16.

Clocking in at 338 minutes, the black-and-white film from director Lav Diaz beat 16 other films to the festival's top prize, the organizers said in a statement.

"From What Is Before" recounts the strange events that befall an isolated village in the Philippines in 1972 during the era of the dictator Ferdinand Marcos, when brutal militias roamed the countryside. (READ: 'Mula sa Kung Ano ang Noon' Review: Sorrowful histories)

Now in its 67th year, the Locarno festival takes place every summer in the picturesque Swiss town on the shores of Lake Maggiore.

The runner-up Special Jury Prize went to Listen up Philip by US director Alex Ross Perry. Portugal's Pedro Costa won best director for Cavalo Dinheiro (Horse Money).

There were also awards for actor Artem Bystrov for his part in the Russian film Durak (The Fool) and French actress Ariane Labed for Fidelio (the Odyssey of Alice)– Rappler.com