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‘Ang Babaeng Humayo’ to compete at 73rd Venice Filmfest

Charo Santos

“ANG Babaeng Humayo,” starring former ABS-CBN President Charo Santos-Concio and directed by Lav Diaz, has been chosen as one of the 20 films to compete at the Venice Film Festival 2016 from Aug. 31-Sept. 10 at The Lido in Venice.

The movie, translated in English as “The Woman Who Left” and runs for three hours and 46 minutes, is said to be the longest film in this year’s competition, according to UK’s “The Telegraph.”

“Although in Diaz terms that’s still pretty punchy: ‘A Lullaby to the Sorrowful Mystery,’ which premiered at Berlin earlier this year, came in at a sniff over eight hours,” the same news website reported.

Diaz received the Silver Bear Alfred Bauer Prize at the 66th Berlin International Film Festival recently. The recognition is presented to a feature film that “opens new perspectives on cinematic art.”

English director Sam Mendez will head this year’s main jury of the 73rd Venice Film Festival. Other panelists include Joshua Oppenheimer, Lorenzo Vigas, Lauriie Anderson, actress Chiara Mastroianni, Bond Girl Gemma Arton, singer Zhao Wei, German actress Nina Hoss, and Italian screenwriter Giancarlo de Cataldo.

The international jury will present the Golden Lion for best film, the Silver Lion for best director, the Grand Jury Prize, the CoppaVolpi for best actor and actress, the Marcello Mastroianni Award for best young actor or actress, the best screenplay award and the Special Jury Prize.

In May, Santos announced that she was returning to acting via the movie of Diaz.

She recallled that she was approached by Diaz and asked if she wanted to star in his new film under Cinema One.

“If it is an interesting character, why not?” Santos told Diaz.

Two days later, Diaz sent her the script. “Binasa ko nang buo. Nagustuhan ko s’ya,” she said. The film was completed in 10 days and shot in Santos’ home province of Oriental Mindoro.

“It’s nice to be back on the field. It’s nice to see it naman from the perspective of persons facing the cameras,” said Santos.

“Iba naman ang challenge kasi you breathe life to the character. Iba naman siya.

“Instead of now looking at the logistics and all the production requirements, looking at cash flows, pagtatrabahuhan mo talaga yung character mo, aalamin mo, kikilalanin mo,” added Santos, in an interview with entertainment website PEP.

In the 1980s, Santos has produced a number of films, including the critically acclaimed “Oro, Plata, Mata” under the Experimental Cinema of the Philippines.

Santos made a name for herself as a dramatic actress in Mike De Leon’s film “Itim” where she won Best Actress at the 1977 Asian Film Festival. The award-winning actress has also received nominations in FAMAS and Urian awards.

Her other memorable films include “Gumapang Ka sa Lusak,” “Pag-Ibig na Walang Dangal,” “Kontrobersyal,” “Ms. Dolora X,” etc.

Santos, host of the longest drama anthology in Asia “Maalaala Mo Kaya” aired on ABS-CBN, was one of the country’s top actresses when she was invited to join the corporate world in 1987.

In 2008, Santos was appointed the 5th president of ABS-CBN, the first woman head of the largest media conglomerate in the country.

When she retired as President of the network in January 2016, Santos was appointed Chief Content Officer of ABS-CBN and President of the ABS-CBN University.