LAV DIAZ wins the ORIZZONTI AWARD for Best Director at the 2020 Venice Film Festival

LAV DIAZ wins the ORIZZONTI AWARD for Best Director at the 2020 Venice Film Festival

Filipino Master Filmmaker Lav Diaz was awarded the Orizzonti Award for Best Director for his film Lahi, Hayop (Genius Pan) by the same festival that labeled him the Ideological Father of the New Philippine Cinema, the Venice Film Festival (77th edition this 2020).

Lav Diaz’s “Lahi, Hayop” Trailer

The Orizzonti competition is a dedicated section of the Festival “to films that represent the latest aesthetic and expressive trends in international cinema.”

The official winners were announced by the international juries during the Awards Ceremony early Sunday, September 13 (September 12 in Venice).

Lahi, Hayop stars Bart Guingona, Nanding Josef, DMs Boongaling, Joel Saracho, Noel Sto. Domingo, and Hazel Orencio. Aside from directing the film, Diaz is also the producer, screenwriter, and editor of this relatively short film with a running time of two-and-a-half-hour compared to his other films.

Lav Diaz’s films can be considered a constant attraction at the Venice Film Festival. In 2008, his film Melancholia won the Venice Horizons Award (Best Film) and in 2016, Charo Santos’ comeback film Ang Babaeng Humayo won the Venice Film Festival Golden Lion for Best Film

In his DIRECTOR’S STATEMENT for the film Lahi, Hayop, Lav Diaz wrote:

“I once was asked to define man, the so-called human beings, supposedly the most superior inhabitant of planet Earth, and due to the moment’s urgency, for a quick reply, all I could muster was an animal simile (Man is an animal), and I felt terrible, I thought I fumbled, but then looking back now, it was in fact the better answer. Yes, in fact, man remains on that level, animal. And I came upon a discourse exactly on this matter: that despite us being the better developed species, most of us still retains the demeanor and comportment of the chimpanzee, the genus Pan, part of Hominidae, the great primate family. And, so, by nature, we are violent, aggressive, obsessive, transgressive, imposing, envious, territorial, narcissistic and egotistical, very much like our cousin, the genus Pan. But then, there’s hope, the study says that the human brain is still developing and once it has achieved full development, man shall be complete, a truly self- actualised species, altruistic, saintly and true, just like Buddha, Gandhi, Christ and the farmer, Mang Osting, who generously provides for my vegetarian needs. Thus, this film, Lahi, Hayop… it has always been my desire to make a film about animals; but, man as animals, man honestly acting like one, an animal, as he has been acting like an animal all his life anyway.

Lahi, Hayop is the only Filipino film in competition at the world’s oldest film festival, the 77th Venice Film Festival. 

Watch Lahi, Hayop on MOOV, Cinema Centenario’s online video on-demand channel.

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