` Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) `

Lav Diaz Wins the Golden Lion Prize at the 73rd Venice Film Festival


“I want to dedicate this film to the Filipino people and their struggle, and humanity’s struggle,” said Lav Diaz as he thanked his cast, crew, and the jury and audience of this recent 73rd Venice Film Festival on his triumphant win of the Golden Lion Prize for his film, Ang Babaeng Humayo (The Woman Who Left).


Adding to his recently won awards: the 2016 International Short Film Festival Oberhausen Principal Prize for his short film Ang Araw Bago ang Wakas (The Day Before the End), the 2016 Berlin Film Festival Silver Bear Alfred Bauer Prize for Hele Sa Hiwagang Hapis (A Lullaby for the Sorrowful Mystery), the 2014 Locarno International Film Festival Golden Leopard for Mula sa Kung Ano ang Noon (From What Is Before), and the 2013 Cannes Film Festival Un Certain Regard for Norte, Hangganan ng Kasaysayan (Norte, the End of History), Diaz now has the distinction of being the first Filipino to win the Golden Lion from the oldest existing film festival in the world.


Known for his contemplative and poetic dramas with immersive and extensive running times, Diaz makes a exultant return to form, using Leo Tolstoy’s short story “God Sees the Truth but Waits” in crafting a tale that tackles the absurd nature of life and humanity. Ang Babaeng Humayo is a black-and-white revenge tale of a schoolteacher who after thirty years of wrongful imprisonment and having lost time and her loved ones, seeks her own brand of justice by hunting down her ex-lover who framed her. The film stars Hele collaborator and acclaimed actor John Lloyd Cruz, and the comeback of ABS-CBN chief content officer, media executive, and veteran actress, Charo Santos-Concio, whose performance in Ang Babaeng Humayo also earned praise at the festival.


Diaz’s exemplary honor as a Filipino filmmaker with his film at the festival spells further recognition of a flourishing cinema for the Philippines. Filipino independent and alternative cinema continues to capture the interest and attention of an increasingly curious local audience, and mainstream studio products steadily realize the value of thoughtful and challenging content and themes for its viewers. As avenues for cinema propagate through various festivals, film events, screening venues, digital media, and technology, we are reminded by Ang Babaeng Humayo’s win of the impact cinema can have on our culture, heritage, and history.


Film Development Council of the Philippines