Lav Diaz’s Film Starring Charo Santos to Compete in the Venice Film Festival

Lav Diaz's Film Starring Charo Santos to Compete in Venice Film Festival

A few months ago, we reported that Lav Diaz is working on another film. Fresh off the heels of his award-winning Hele sa Hiwagang Hapis’ Berlinale win, he will return to the set, and this time he will compete at the Venice Film Festival. His lead star? Charo Santos-Concio, the former chief executive officer and president of ABS-CBN.

The film is called Ang Babaeng Humayo (The Woman Who Left), and was shot in 10 days in Mindoro. It is inspired by the Leo Tolstoy short story God Sees the Truth but Waits, and will revolve around the story of Horacia Somorostro, whose “living has become a veritable reclusion perpetua, an imprisonment. Life’s spins and randomness has been very difficult, vicious and inexplicable for her.” 

Santos-Concio will star with John Lloyd Cruz, Michael de Mesa, Nonie Buencamino, and wife Shamaine Centenera-Buencamino.

The current chief operating officer of ABS-CBN is known for hosting Maalaala Mo KayaAsia’s longest-running drama anthology program, but before that, she acted in Mike de Leon’s Itim and Lino Brocka’s  Gumapang Ka Sa Lusak. In Humayo, Santos-Concio said that she was personally offered the role of Somorostro by the director.

When asked if she would return to acting full-time, she said, “I just go with the flow, I don’t really plan. I don’t plan anything parang whatever the universe offers me now, if my heart and my gut think it’s the right thing to do and I will have fun and I will have a great adventure then I’m open to it.”

Lav Diaz is a critically-acclaimed director whose films have been recognized in the Venice Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival, and the New York Film Festival. Last year, his film Norte, Hangganan ng Kasaysayan was screened at the Un Certain Regard section of 2013 Cannes Film Festival and was selected as the Philippines’ entry to the Best Foreign Language Film category at the 87th Academy Awards. His latest opus, Hele, was screened at the Berlin International Film Festival, where it won the Alfred Bauer Prize, an award given to films that offer new perspectives in cinema.

Humayo will compete at the main competition, and will be the only Asian film in the lineup. It will compete against movies like Ana Lily Amirpour’s The Bad Batch starring Keanu Reeves and Jim Carrey, Damien Chazelle’s La La Land starring Ryan Gosling  and Emma Stone, Derek Cianfrance’s The Light Between Oceans starring Michael Fassbender and Alicia Vikander, and Tom Ford’s Nocturnal Animals starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Amy Adams.

Two other Filipino films will be screened at Venice: Eduardo Roy’s Pamilya Ordinaryo” in Venice Days, an independent event, and Bradley Liew’s “Singing in Graveyards” in the Critics’ Week section.

The 73rd Venice Film Festival will be held in Italy from August 31 to September 10.


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