Lav Diaz has once again been hailed Best Director, this time in the prestigious Venice Film Festival.
The director bagged the top prize at the Venice Film Festival’s Orizzonti (Horizons) section for his cinematic masterpiece Lahi, Hayop (Genus, Pan).
Diaz accepted the award virtually with a video message that was shown when the winners were announced on September 13, 2020 (September 12 in Venice).
The festival’s Orizzonti section is dedicated to “films that represent the latest aesthetic and expressive trends in international cinema.” It is run as a parallel to the competition for the Golden Lion.
Diaz already captured the Golden Lion prize for Best Picture at the 2019 Venice film fest. His winning entry to this year’s international competition follows the lives of three Filipino mine workers and the journey back to their island.
The Lahi, Hayop film which is shot entirely in black and white zeroes in on the nature of humanity and moral ambiguity. It stars Bart Guingona, DMs Boongaling, Nanding Josef, Hazel Orencio, Joel Saracho, and Noel Sto. Domingo.
The Filipino auteur wrote the following for his Director’s statement of the film:
“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.” the director wrote.
Among Lav Diaz’s many recognitions is the Best Director award at the Dublin Film Critics Circle (DFCC) held at the Audi Dublin International Film Festival in Ireland and the Best Picture award at the Basel Film Festival.
WATCH the official trailer for Lahi, Hayop (Genus, Pan) here and SEND CONGRATULATIONS in the comments below to Lav Diaz for winning Best Director at the Venice Film Festival!
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