I have always been a fan of our indie films. So many of our great actors and actresses started out with playing lead roles in such an interesting movie genre.

There’s something raw about these types of films and in one way or another, it separates the real actors from those who are just popular for reasons totally unrelated to good acting.

I find it unsurprising – rather, much anticipated – that a Filipino-produced-and-directed film would win the top prize in an international film festival. And not to mention, it stars one of the finest actresses of all time, Ms. Charo Santos-Concio.

“Ang Babeng Humayo (“The Woman Who Left”) is a story about a schoolteacher’s attempt to lead a normal life after spending her 30-year imprisonment for a murder she didn’t commit. The irony plays as she also plots the murder of the man who framed her while she tries to tackle life outside the prison cell. Talk about normal life, right?

Released after someone else confesses to the crime, Horacia (the main character) finds out that her husband died, and her daughter had moved out and her son had gone missing. The big twist unravels when she learned that a former lover had set her up to be jailed.

Horacia is played by ABS-CBN Chief Content Officer Charo Santos in her first film foray in nearly two decades. In an online article, the actress-turned-executive revealed why she accepted the role after a considerably noticeable hiatus from starring in movies.

“I really wanted to work with this director … I wanted to understand the aesthetics behind his cinema, why he produces long-running films,” Concio, the former president and chief executive officer of ABS-CBN Corp., told Reuters.

“He doesn’t manipulate the audience, he doesn’t manipulate the characters, he allows the characters to go through the journey and to feel the journey,” she added.

“Ang Babaeng Humayo” won the golden lion, the top prize at the 73rd Venice Film Festival in Italy. The prize is awarded by an eight-member jury of filmmakers and actors, headed this year by British film and stage director Sam Mendes.

The film runs for about 228 minutes (nearly four hours) and is the 19th film of the 57-year-old director. It also won Best Foreign Language Film at the Sorriso Diverso Venezia 2016 Awards, one of the collateral awards handed out before the festival’s major honors.

Produced by Cinema One Originals and Sine Olivia Pilipinas, “Ang Babaeng Humayo,” also features performances from John Lloyd Cruz, who walked beside Santos on the red carpet.

Twenty U.S. and international movies featuring top Hollywood talent and auteur directors were in competition at the world’s oldest film festival, in its 73rd outing this year. The event is seen as a launching pad for the industry’s award season.

The Best Director award was shared by Russia’s Andrei Konchalovsky for the Holocaust drama “Rai” (“Paradise”) and Mexico’s Amat Escalante for “La Region Salvaje” (“The Untamed”).

Commenting on Escalante’s drama, which opens with a naked woman being pleasured by a tentacled creature, jury member and Venezuelan director Lorenzo Vigas said the movie affected all the judges emotionally.

American actress Emma Stone took the Best Actress prize for her role in the musical “La La Land” and Argentine actor Oscar Martinez was named Best Actor for his performance in the comedy-drama “El Ciudadano Ilustre” (“The Distinguished Citizen”).

German actress Paula Beer received the Marcello Mastroianni Award acknowledging an emerging performer, for her role in post-war drama “Frantz.”

In an article released a few days ago, director Lav Diaz described “Ang Babaeng Humayo” (“The Woman Who Left”) as a testimony to the struggles of the Philippines after centuries of colonial rule.

“This is for my country, for the Filipino people, for our struggle, for the struggle of humanity,” the 57-year-old said as he accepted the Golden Lion award for his black-and-white movie.

Congratulations Direk Lav, and to the cast and crew, you are all amazing.

Once again, we (Filipinos) have proven that real talent shines even in a global capacity.

***

Monet Lu is a Marikina-born, award-winning celebrity beauty stylist with his own chain of Monet Salon salons across Southern California and Las Vegas, Nevada. Ultimately, Monet is known as an all-around artiste who produces sold-out fashion and awards shows as well as unforgettable marketing campaigns. Monet is also the founder of the revolutionary all-natural beauty products such as Enlighten, your solution to discoloration. To contact Monet, please visit www.monetsalon.com or email him at monetsalon@aol.com

Monet Lu
Monet Lu

Monet Lu is a Marikina-born, award-winning celebrity beauty stylist with his own chain of Monet Salon salons across Southern California and Las Vegas, Nevada. Ultimately, Monet is known as an all-around artiste who produces sold-out fashion and awards shows as well as unforgettable marketing campaigns. Monet is also the founder of the revolutionary all-natural beauty products such as Enlighten, your solution to discoloration . To contact Monet, please visit www.monetsalon.com or email him at monetsalon@aol.com.

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