TOKYO – Filipino auteur Lav Diaz’s latest masterpiece, “Season of the Devil (Ang Panahon ng Halimaw)” will make its Japan premiere at this year’s Tokyo International Film Festival (TIFF), after it was selected as one of the Southeast Asian music-themed films to be featured at the Crosscut Asia section of the festival.
The four-hour black and white rock opera debuted at the 68th Berlin International Film Festival. It bagged the Best Picture award at the Bildrausch Filmfest Basel in Switzerland.
Starring Piolo Pascual, Shaina Magdayao, Pinky Amador, Bituin Escalante, Joel Saracho, Angel Aquino, Hazel Orencio and Bart Guingona, the film is set during the martial law period in the Philippines in the 1970s.
Aside from Diaz’s “Season of the Devil,” the showcase entitled “Crosscut Asia #05: Soundtrip to Southeast Asia” will also include films featuring popular Isan band music from Thailand and Cambodian pop songs.
Diaz was first introduced to audiences in Japan in 2009 when the 22nd TIFF screened his short film “Butterflies Have No Memories (Walang Alaala ang mga Paru-Paro).” His subsequent films received much critical attention and many awards from leading festivals making him one of Southeast Asia’s most notable directors. “From What Is Before (Mula sa Kung Ano ang Noon)” earned him the Golden Leopard at Locarno in 2014, “A Lullaby to the Sorrowful Mystery (Hele sa Hiwagang Hapis)” took the Silver Bear at Berlin in 2016 and “The Woman Who Left (Ang Babaeng Humayo)” won the Golden Lion at Venice, also in 2016.
The 31st TIFF will take place on Oct. 25 to Nov. 3 at Roppongi Hills and other venues in Tokyo.
This article was originally published in Filipino-Japanese Journal August 2018 issue.
(Words by Florenda Corpuz, Photograph courtesy of TIFF 2018)