After creating Philippine cinema history by winning the prestigious Golden Lion for Best Film award at the recent Venice Film Festival, Lav Diaz’s “Ang Babaeng Humayo” once again created a buzz among movie critics, this time, at the film’s North American premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF).
In an article written by Lorenzo Esposito of Cinema Scope, he said, “If there’s someone who thinks that The Woman Who Left is a minor Lav Diaz film—because it’s the second one this year, or because, at 227 minutes, it’s “short” for him—let’s say up front that this is one of his best.”
Ben Nicholson of Cine Vue, meanwhile, gave the Cinema One Originals and Sine Olivia-produced film four out of five stars and even described lead star Charo Santos’ performance as Horacia as “incredible” and “magnetic.”
Charo, upon her arrival in Toronto, shared in an interview how happy she is for director Lav Diaz with the Golden Lion win.
“It makes me proud and very happy for Lav Diaz. He really deserves this. When we talked in March, we said we would only make a movie. We are just going to have fun. But this is more than just having fun. This is a great adventure, and really, a most unforgettable moment,” Charo said.
Cinema One head Ronald Arguelles, who is one of the producers of the film, is also ecstatic with the unexpected win.
“We are just very happy already that we won the Golden Lion. It’s an achievement itself. We didn’t expect that a small film could win the award,” he said.
Ronald was among the team who joined Lav, Charo, and John Lloyd Cruz at the Venice Film Festival where he described the internationally-acclaimed director as a film ‘rock star.’
“Ang Babaeng Humayo,” with the international title “The Woman Who Left,” tells the story of Horacia (Charo Santos), a woman seeking revenge after being convicted for decades for a crime she didn’t commit.
The film, which marks the movie comeback of former ABS-CBN president and CEO, and now chief content officer Charo, was originally produced to open this year’s Cinema One Originals independent film competition.
With this landmark achievement, Ronald hopes the Golden Lion award win can leverage Cinema One’s business as it aims to produce more films like “Ang Babaeng Humayo.”
“We have a worldwide distributor for our films, Films Boutique. The Golden Lion honor will definitely help them sell, and hopefully, we can produce more films. We can now attract big filmmakers to do a film with us,” he shared.
Ronald also confirmed that the local cinema exhibition is already in the works, but they have yet to finalize the playdates.
Aside from Lav’s cinematic masterpiece by Lav and Charo’s critically acclaimed performance, viewers can also look forward to the provocative performance of actor John Lloyd Cruz as Hollanda, a transgender prostitute.
In an interview with “TV Patrol,” John Lloyd gave a glimpse of his character.
“She dresses like a woman. But she has not undergone surgery. In the story, Hollanda is changed by Ma’am Charo’s character.”
He also recounted his Venice Film Fest experience and shared what an emotional moment it was for him.
“I was trying my best to not cry. But I couldn’t help but be really emotional. For me, it’s a defining moment for Philippine cinema. We were also approached by the jury during the after party and they were telling us how the film affected them.”
“ANG BABAENG HUMAYO” UMANI NG PAPURI SA TORONTO FILM FEST; LOCAL SCREENINGS SA BANSA, KINAKASA NA
Matapos gumawa ng kasaysayan sa PH cinema sa pagkapanalo sa prestihiyosong Golden Lion for Best Film sa katatapos lang na Venice Film Festival, muling gumawa ng ingay mula sa film critics ang pelikulang “Ang Babaeng Humayo” sa North American premiere nito sa Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF).
Sa review na isinulat ni Lorenzo Esposito ng Cinema Scope, sinabi niya na “If there’s someone who thinks that The Woman Who Left is a minor Lav Diaz film—because it’s the second one this year, or because, at 227 minutes, it’s “short” for him—let’s say up front that this is one of his best.”
Samantala, binigyan naman ni Ben Nicholson ng Cine Vue ng four out of five stars ang pelikulang prinoduce ng Cinema One Originals at Sine Olivia at inilarawan pa ang pagganap ng lead star na si Charo Santos bilang “incredible” at “magnetic.”
Sa isang interview sa kanyang pagdating sa Toronto, pinahayag ni Charo kung gaano siya kasaya para kay Lav at sa Golden Lion award.
“Nakakaproud, nakakatuwa and I am very happy for Lav Diaz. He really deserves this. Nung nag-usap kami noong Marso sabi namin gagawa lang kami ng pelikula. We will just going to have fun. But this is more than just having fun. This is a great adventure and really a most unforgettable moment,” sabi ni Charo.
Nag-uumapaw din sa saya ang Cinema One head at isa sa producers ng pelikula sa hindi inaasahang panalo.
“Napakasaya namin na nanalo tayo ng Golden Lion. Achievement na yun pa lang. Hindi naming inaasahan na ang isang maliit na pelikula ay mananalo ng ganito kalaking award,” sabi niya.
Kasama si Ronald sa kumatawan sa pelkula sa Venice Film Festival kung saan inilarawan niya ang internationally-acclaimed na director bilang isang film ‘rock star.’
Tampok sa “Ang Babaeng Humayo,” na may international title na “The Woman Who Left,” ang kwento ni Horacia (Charo Santos), isang babaeng naghahanap ng paghihiganti matapos siyang makulong ng mahabang panahon para sa isang krimeng hindi niya ginawa.
Minarkahan din nito ang pagbabalik pelikula ni former ABS-CBN president at ngayon chief content officer na si Charo at prinoduce para sana buksan ang Cinema One Originals independent film competition para sa taong ito.
Umaasa si Ronald na makakatulong ang Golden Lion award para makalikha pa ng mga dekalibreng pelikula ang Cinema One.
“Mayroon tayong worldwide distributor ng ating mga pelikula, ang Films Botique. Tiyak makakatulong ang karangalang dala ng Golden Lion para mas maibenta nila ang ating mga titulo nang sa gayon ay maka-produce pa tayo ng mga ganitong films. Makakatulong din ito para maka-partner natin ang malalaking filmmakers para gumawa ng proyekto,” pagbabahagi ni Ronald.
Kinumpirma rin ni Ronald na ipapalabas ang “Ang Babaeng Humayo” sa mga sinehan sa bansa at iaanunsyo na lamang nila kung kailan ang final playdates.
Bukod sa cinematic masterpiece ni Lav at pagbabalik-pelikula ni Charo, isa ring dapat abangan ng manonood ang mapanghamong pagganap ni John Lloyd Cruz bilang trans prostitute na si Hollanda.
Sa isang panayam sa “TV Patrol,” inilarawan ni John Lloyd ang kanyang karakter.
“Nagbibihis babae sya. Pero di siya operada. Si Hollanda ay binago ng character ni mam Charo sa story.”
Binalikan niya rin ang kanyang Venice Film fest experience at binahagi ang emosyonal na sandali.
“I was trying my best na hinid pumatak ang luha ko. Pero I cant help but be really emotional. For me it’s a defining moment for PH cinema. Nilapitan din kami ng jury sa after party at sinabi how the film affected them.”
About Cinema One and Cinema One Originals:
Cinema One Originals is an annual film festival spearheaded by Cinema One channel. It is now the longest running film festival in the country that produces its own content. Cinema One is the number one movie cable channel in the country. It is owned and operated by Creative Programs, Inc. a subsidiary of the media and entertainment company, ABS-CBN Corporation.
About ABS-CBN Corporation
ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corporation is the leading Philippine information and entertainment media conglomerate. In the Philippines, ABS-CBN produces a wide variety of engaging world-class entertainment programs in multiple genres and balanced credible news programs that are aired on free-to-air TV via Channels 2 (VHF) and 23 (UHF) and a regional network of TV and radio stations nationwide. It also provides news and entertainment programming for nine channels on cable TV. The Company owns the leading film and music production and distribution outfit in the Philippines, and has interests in cable TV, mobile and Internet multimedia services, and glossy-magazine publishing. It brings its content to worldwide audiences via cable, satellite and the Internet, primarily through ABS-CBN Global’s The Filipino Channel (TFC).