GENEVA: A five-and-a-half-hour film from the Philippines Mula Sa Kung Ano Ang Noon (From What Is Before) scooped the coveted Golden Leopard prize at the Locarno film festival in Switzerland on Saturday (Sunday in Manila).
Clocking in at 338 minutes, the black-and-white film from director Lav Diaz beat 16 other films to the festival’s top prize, the organizers said in a statement.
Mula Sa Kung Ano Ang Noon recounts the strange events that befall an isolated village in the Philippines in 1972 during the era of the dictator Ferdinand Marcos, when brutal militias roamed the countryside.
The film also won the Grand Festival Prize at the 2014 World Premieres Film Festival.
The indie filmmaker competed with seven other filmmakers: Rosario Boyer from Brazil, who directed The Sharks of Copacabana; Alfredo León León from Ecuador, Mono Con Gallinas; Reza Azamian from Iran, Romantic Nostalgia; F. Serkan Acar and Yilmaz Okumus from Turkey, Our Hodja; and, from Spain, Arturo Prins, Autopsy of Love; Vicente Perez Herrero, Crustaceans; and Juan Pinzas, New York Shadows.
Diaz also won a Gawad Urian Best Picture for another film Norte, the End of History, from a local critics’ group.
Now in its 67th year, the Locarno festival takes place every summer in the picturesque Swiss town on the shores of Lake Maggiore.
The runner-up Special Jury Prize went to Listen up Philip by US director Alex Ross Perry. Portugal’s Pedro Costa won best director for Cavalo Dinheiro (Horse Money).
There were also awards for actor Artem Bystrov for his part in the Russian film Durak (The Fool) and French actress Ariane Labed for Fidelio (the Odyssey of Alice).