FRESH off its win of the Grand Festival Prize at the recently conducted World Premieres Film Festival Philippines, the Lav Diaz epic Mula sa Kung Ano ang Noon now makes its way to the Concorso Internazionale of the 67th Locarno Film Festival. Produced by the Film Development Council of the Philippines and Sine Olivia Pilipinas, Diaz’s film is set in the Philippines during 1972 and the implementation of Martial Law by President Ferdinand E. Marcos. The 67th Locarno Film Festival takes place on Aug. 6-16. The announcement was made at the official festival press conference held July 16.
The Festival de film Locarno, throughout its 67 year history (having been founded in 1946), has occupied a special place amongst the major film festivals. It is one of the oldest film festivals in the world alongside Cannes and Venice. Lasting for eleven days every August, the Swiss-Italian town of Locarno, directly located in the heart of Europe, becomes the world capital of auteur cinema. The 2013 festival presented over 219 feature films, 59 short to mid length films, and represented 46 countries. An audience of 162, 919 people attended the acclaimed festival.
The title of the film, Mula sa Kung Ano ang Noon or From What is Before, is taken from the Latin phrase “a priori,” which is used in Western philosophy as knowledge independent of all particular experiences, an argument/ justification on the essentiality of truth that is easily gleaned even without empirical evidence, Diaz states. The story of the film revolves around the lives of poor villagers in one of the remotest regions of the Philippines before Martial Law was declared. Loosely based on real events and characters, the film examines how an individual and collective psyche responds to extreme and mysterious changes in social and physical environment. The epoch that was Marital Law, then obscures everything that is essentially Filipino and brings the Philippines into its darkest period.
Diaz’s latest feature is said to be the first full-length Filipino film to vie for the main competition at Locarno. It is eligible for the prestigious festival’s highest award, the Padro d’oro or Golden Leopard Grand Prize.
The full festival line-up may be viewed at the Locarno Film Festival Website: http://www.pardolive.ch/en/Pardo-Live/today-at-the-festival;jsessionid=AA2F6AFEB0ED105B9D3FFB4526C6EA67
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