Martial law musical wins in Colombia
After premiering at the Berlinale, Lav Diaz’s martial law musical “Ang Panahon ng Halimaw” won the top prize in the Gems section of the 58th Festival Internacional de Cine Cartagena de Indias (Ficci) held in Colombia recently.
The Filipino film bested such acclaimed films as France’s “BPM,” South Korea’s “The Day After” and the United States’ “The Florida Project.”
The news was relayed to the Inquirer by Diaz, who had just served as the president of the jury of another cinema event in Latin America, the Festival Internacional de Cine de la Unam (Ficunam) in Mexico City, Mexico.
Diaz also gave a master class in Mexico. His latest film was shown at the Ficunam.
Diaz said of this latest honor: “Masaya ako para sa bayan, para sa Filipino, pero hindi naman ibig sabihin, pinakamaganda na ’yung film natin …”
The Cartagena fest’s website describes “Ang Panahon ng Halimaw” as “a highly complex piece—where each character, victim or victimizer, has time to express himself in songs without music, with lyrics that come and go in a tremendously disturbing repetition.”
Producer Bianca Balbuena told the Inquirer that “Ang Panahon ng Halimaw” is also headed to the Vilnius International Film Festival in Lithuania (ongoing until March 29), before its Asian premiere at the Hong Kong International Film Festival next month.
On being a juror, he described the work as difficult but rewarding. He said: “Mahirap dahil iba-iba siyempre ang punto ng bawat member—depende sa kultura at karanasan nila sa cinema. O kung paano nila tingnan ang cinema bilang bahagi ng malawakang cultural movement.”
He cited his recent experiences in Berlin and Mexico City as examples. “Just last week, I headed the jury at the Ficunam, and us five members battled through the selection.”
He recalled that the Berlinale also chose him to head the jury last year “but, at the time, I was at Harvard for my fellowship.”
Diaz is now in Geneva, Switzerland, for a retrospective at the International Film Festival and Forum on Human Rights (ongoing until March 18).
Four of his films are being screened there—“Death in the Land of Encantos,” “Mula sa Kung Ano ang Noon,” “Norte, Hangganan ng Kasaysayan,” and “Pagsisiyasat sa Gabing Ayaw Lumimot.”
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