7 Lav Diaz films, 2 other PH movies featured in events abroad
Seven films of multi-awarded indie filmmaker Lav Diaz will be featured in a three-week exhibition and retrospective at the 2022 Brussels Arts Fair (Kunstenfestivaldesarts) in Belgium, “revealing Diaz’s storytelling instincts and sensibilities along with his filmmaking style, reminiscent of such cinematic poets as Andrei Tarkovsky, Robert Bresson and Béla Tarr.”
This was announced at the art fair’s official website, www.kfda.be. The event will run from May 7 to May 28.
“In viewing [Diaz’s] films, one feels the crushing weight of his obsession with trauma, suffering and the darkest sides of humanity. In the bleakest of situations his ambitious and irrepressible search for poetry makes that through the painful truth glimmers of hope emerge,” stated the website about Diaz and his works.
To be screened are the following: “The Halt,” “From what is Before,” “Genus, Pan,” “Evolution of a Filipino Family,” “Heremias Book 1,” “Batang West Side” and “Investigation on the Night that Won’t Forget.”
When asked how important the event was to him, since he has already been the subject of retrospectives by international film festivals in the past, Diaz said: “Retrospectives connote maturity, not only in a person’s age but also in his art. This is similar to receiving Lifetime Achievement awards and other recognitions. It’s a way to remember and celebrate what an artist has been creating through the years.”
The director also told Inquirer Entertainment: “For me, this is a way to continue the discourse on the importance of arts, as well as on the ongoing cultural war. I promise to continue making films, particularly those that criticize human existence.”
The jet-setting Diaz, who is currently in Manila, has just finished making the film “Bihinang,” which tells of the situation of neglected indigenous groups in the Philippines.
Meanwhile, Zig Dulay’s short film “Black Rainbow” has been invited to participate in two significant film events abroad: The 2022 Moscow Children’s International Film Festival in Russia this April and the 2022 Harlem International Film Festival in May.
“Black Rainbow” tells the story of an Aeta boy who dreams of becoming a lawyer to protect his community from corporate giants trying to occupy their ancestral lands.
The festival in Moscow ended on April 24, while the one in Harlem, New York, will be from May 5 to May 8.
“Both would have been fun experiences if I were able to attend; sadly, there’s not enough time to process all of my papers, even though I have the necessary visas,” Dulay told Inquirer Entertainment. “Also, I already have commitments lined up here in Manila. Aside from the film workshops and talks I agreed to do, preproduction work for my new TV series is about to begin. Nevertheless, my co-producers at the Uncle Scott Global Productions, namely Joyce and Scott Jameson and Nelvin Adriatico, who are based in New York have agreed to attend the event.”
Asked what his goal was in creating “Black Rainbow” and whether or not he has already achieved it, Dulay replied: “Firstly, I decided to work on it because I have been busy making TV series these past years. I had wanted to immerse myself in filmmaking once again. I was afraid that I’d already forgotten how to do it. And since this decision was made during the pandemic, I opted to make a short film.
“Secondly, I had wanted to reorient myself with the process of creating art, particularly on the subject matter that’s close to my heart. Since ‘Paglipay’ (Aeta), ‘Sahaya’ (Badjao), ‘Legal Wives’ (Maranao) and ‘Project Destination’ (Ifugao), stories of the lives of Indigenous Peoples (IPs), I can say the story of ‘Black Rainbow’ is also close to my heart,” he pointed out.
“I believe that aside from promoting the colorful culture of the IPs, it is also important that they have representation in media in order to properly introduce them to the world. To be able to tell their stories here and abroad is a big achievement, especially for our Aeta brothers,” Dulay declared.
Meanwhile, Richard Soriano Legaspi’s microfilm, “Job Order,” an excerpt from his full-length documentary “Half-Way Home,” will be representing the country at the 2022 ALV Video Art Festival in Alicante, Spain.
“The film tells the daily journey of migrant workers in Taiwan in a fast-moving symbolic narrative as a reflection of their limited time,” according to its director.
“The fact that the film made it to the festival, out of 1,700 entries, is not just a validation of its worth—even though it’s a microfilm project—but also of my work as a filmmaker,” Legaspi told Inquirer Entertainment. “I hope that the film serves as a progenitor mirror for the audience to understand the journey and struggles of Asean workers in Taiwan. The film is also about shared memories, temporality, and the notion of other spaces inspired by the concept and definition of [French philosopher] Michel Foucault.”
“Job Order” is vying for the Special Mention, said Legaspi. It will be screened in two major venues, the MACA Contemporary Art Museum and the Museu d’Aigües d’Alacant–Pous de Garrigós, from May 5 to May 14.
“Job Order” also won the Special Honor Mention award at the recent 21 Islands Short Film Fest in New York, United States.
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