“Ang Panahon ng Halimaw” Bags Grand Jury Prize for Best Picture at 67th FAMAS Awards
Epic Lav Diaz musical celebrates a new noir in Philippine cinema
Ang Panahon ng Halimaw (Season of the Devil), a movie by celebrated filmmaker Lav Diaz and co-produced by Globe Studios, was awarded the Grand Jury Prize for Best Picture at the recently held 67th Filipino Academy of Movie Arts and Sciences (FAMAS) Awards.
The almost four-hour epic, which stars Piolo Pascual and Shaina Magdayao, was a complete departure from the usual masterpieces of Diaz that cinephiles have associated with his body of work. For Ang Panahon ng Halimaw, Diaz effectively mixed his usual austere aesthetics with powerful dialogues set in unaccompanied live “rock opera” fashion to tell a melodramatic story of a society beset of authoritarianism, repression, and violence.
Set in the late 1970s, the film tells the story of husband and wife, Hugo (Pascual), an activist, poet and teacher, and Lorena (Magdayao), a young doctor. Their story started when Lorena tried to open a clinic to help the masses in a remote and poor village, ruled by uniformed armed men who sowed fear and terror to control the people. With her beauteous looks and principled mind, Lorena quickly caught the eye of the armed men’s bawdy leader. When Lorena disappeared under mysterious circumstances, Hugo was initially reluctant to look for her, but eventually decided to head to the village to try and find his wife.
Other stellar thespians in the cast include Angel Aquino as Angelita, Pinky Amador as Kwago, Hazel Orencio as Teniente, and Bituin Escalante as the onscreen storyteller.
The FAMAS accolade is the second award received by this Diaz cinematic opus. It also won Best Film in the Gems section of the 58th Festival Internacional de Cine Cartagena de Indias last March 2018 and competed for the Golden Bear award in the Main Competition section of the 68th Berlin International Film Festival.
Other winners at the 67th FAMAS Awards include Gusto Kita With All My Hypothalamus for Best Picture, Dwein Baltazar for Best Director and Best Screenplay, and Nadine Lustre for Best Actress honors for her movie Never Not Love You. The Best Actor award was shared by ageless actor Eddie Garcia and actor-chef-restaurateur Victor Neri for A Short History of a Few Bad Things and ML, respectively.
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