By Boy Villasanta I Published: July 31, 2020
After Italy was devastated by the deadly COVID-19, the spirit of the Venice International Film Festival isn’t dampened and goes on with its 77th edition in its original physical form.
World-renowned filmmakers are part of the many activities of the oldest international film fest in the world, including our very own Lav Diaz, an internationally acclaimed director whose new film, “Lahi, Hayop” (Genus, Pan) will compete in a very important section of the event, the Orizzonti Concorso.
Orizzonti (Horizons), according to the Venice website, is a component of the 2020 Mostra Internazionale D’Arte Cinematografica La Biennale de Venezia as an international competition dedicated to films that represent the latest aesthetic and expressive trends in international cinema.
“Lahi, Hayop” (Genus, Pan)” stars Bart Guingona, DMs Boogaling, Hazel Orencio, Fernando Josef, also known as Nanding Josef, Joel Saracho, and Noel Sto. Domingo.
According to Joel Saracho, an active political activist, “Lahi, Hayop”, which he translated to “Race, Animal,” the film is about man’s brutish qualities.
Joel has already been involved in Lav’s four films, namely, “Hele sa Hiwagang Hapis” (Lullaby to the Sorrowful Mystery) in 2016 and competed at the 66th Berlin International Film Festival; “Ang Panahon ng Halimaw” (Season of the Devil), which vied in the main competition of the 2018 Berlinale, and “Ang Hupa” (The Halt), screened at the 2019 Cannes International Film Festival.
“I’m about to complete the Top 3. I’ve been to Berlinale, already attended Cannes. Venice to go. Here it is. Once more from Genius, Lav Diaz,” said Joel who is also a journalist.
Joel isn’t keen on going to Venice, though.
“But there is pandemic. But it’s not a priority to spend and make a difference. I’m still boastful of this movie. And, exalt another masterpiece of Lavrente,” quipped Joel citing Lavrente, the real first name of Lav.
Diaz’s latest masterpiece is the shortest of his opuses as it runs two hours and 30 minutes.
Lav’s inclusion in Orrizonti isn’t his first when his “Death in the Land of Encantos” was awarded a Special Mention in 2007 while “Melancholia” won top prize in 2008.
In 2016, “Ang Babaing Humayo” (The Woman Who Left) competed at the Venice filmfest and won the prestigious Golden Lion plum.
This year’s jury of the Orizzonti with 19 entries is headed by famous French director “Claire Denis”.
La Biennale Venezia runs from September 2 to 12 this year.