Active Vista Forefront

Active Vista honors filmmaker Lav Diaz with its Active Vista Forefront 2021 for his mastery in telling the stories of the Filipino people’s narrative. Every year, the festival pays homage to filmmakers who’ve used change to incite change. Active Vista celebrates revolutionaries - pioneers of minds and movements. These leaders of visions and thought march at forefront with their stories and storytelling, leading us into an awakening of the Filipino people’s struggles towards embracing it as our own.


Lav Diaz at the Forefront

 

 

“Huwag kayong matakot sumalungat sa mga kumbensyon.

Huwag kayong matakot mangwasak ng mga istrukturang ayaw magbago.

Huwag kayong matakot lumaban sa mga institusyong pyudal at pasista.

Huwag kayong matakot pumatay ng mga sistemang pumapatay sa inyong sining.

Huwag kayong matakot pumatay  ng mga sistemang pumapatay sa inyong kaluluwa.

Huwag kayong matakot pumatay ng mga sistemang pumapatay sa ating bayan.

Huwag kayong matakot pumatay ng mga sistemang pumapatay sa mundo.

Huwag kayong matakot magutom.

Huwag kayong matakot gumalaw na mag-isa kung kinakailangan.

Huwag kayong matakot lumabang mag-isa kung hinihingi ng pagkakataon.

Huwag kayong matakot lumaban para sa katotohanan.

Sa ultimo’y pinakamahalagang palayain ninyo ang inyong cinema nang sa gayo’y maisasakatuparan ninyo ang pinakamahalagang papel ng sining—ang pagpapalaya sa tao.”

- Lav Diaz

 

Lav Diaz is a critically-acclaimed Filipino filmmaker who currently holds the highest accolade given to a Filipino film, Venice Film Festival’s Golden Lion award for Ang Babaeng Humayo. Diaz, whose films often tackle socio-political issues such as feudalism and fascism, is one of the key members of the slow cinema movement with unusual feature lengths that range from 4 hours to 11 hours. He has been making films since 1991 which includes: Ebolusyon ng Pamilyang Pilipino, Batang West Side, Norte, Hanggangan ng Kasaysayan, Mula sa Kung Ano Ang Noon, at Ang Hupa, among others. In one of his interviews, he said, “Cinema should be free. Sino ba ang may-ari ng cinema?” - an interesting take on the art of filmmaking and who actually owns it.

Lav Diaz’s films tackle the question, “what does it mean to be a Filipino today?” by investigating the country’s abusive past from the hands of our oppressorsthe Spanish colonization, the American rule, the Japanese occupation, and the Marcos dictatorship, all of which triggered resistance from Filipinos. The way in which Lav Diaz frames his films often involves orchestrating calculated violence in order to show that the struggle to be set free from systemic oppression is one of art’s most critical roles in modern society.

Active Vista celebrates revolutionaries - pioneers of minds and movements. This year, Active Vista honors Filipino filmmaker Lav Diaz with its Active Vista Forefront 2021 for his mastery in telling the stories of the Filipino people’s narrative. Every year, the festival pays homage to filmmakers who have catalyzed change in the audience's perspective through their compelling storytelling. These leaders of visions and thought march at forefront with their stories and storytelling, leading us into an awakening of the Filipino people’s struggles towards embracing it as our own.


HIMALA: ISANG DAYALEKTIKA NG ATING PANAHON
8 mins. | 2020 | Philippines
Screening Schedule: September 26, 2021 | 7:00pm | via FB Live Broadcast 

Synopsis:
To this day, Ishmael Bernal’s movie Himala is still in our town, in our world. This will be reflected in the broader perspective of the majority, of the surrounding events. Beliefs still lie in the truth. Consciousness is still dominant at the level of illusion. The naive, savage, cruel, and selfish politics still prevail.

“Hanggang ngayon nasa loob pa rin ng pelikulang ‘Himala’ ang ating bayan, ang ating mundo. Malalarawan ito sa malawakang pananaw ng nakakarami, sa malawakang kaganapan sa paligid. Namamayani pa rin ang paniniwalang hungkag sa katotohanan.Namamayani pa rin ang mga kamalayang nasa antas ng ilusyon. Namamayani pa rin ang pulitikang walang muwang, ganid, malupit, at makasarili. Namamayani pa rin ang mga pinunong likha lamang ng mitolohiya. Namamayani pa rin ang mga idolong niyayakap ng kamangmangan ng nakakarami. Namamayani pa rin ang mga nilalang na naniniil sa karapatan ng kapwa nilalang. Namamayani pa rin ang mga alagad ng kasinungalingan. Ang mga huling kataga ni Elsa sa Himala ay mga katotohanang tumutudla sa ating mundong patuloy na nagdarahop sa katotohanan.”


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LAHI, HAYOP (GENUS PAN)
157 mins. | 2020 | Philippines | Fiction
Screening Schedule: September 27 - October 3, 2021 | Worldwide

Synopsis:
A look at how much human beings are like animals. Three illegal miners journey back to their island after months of toiling in hellish conditions. With their hard-earned money, they traversed the sea, the mountains and the forest until they reached their destination. Or did they really reach their cursed place?

Festivals & Awards:
Best Director, Venice Film Festival 2020


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BATANG WEST SIDE
315 mins. | 2001 | Philippines | Fiction
Screening Schedule: October 4 - 10, 2021 | Worldwide

Synopsis:
A Filipino teenager is shot to death on the sidewalk of New Jersey, USA. An investigation starts into his death. His family members and friends are interviewed. Along the way, we find out not only more about him but about the community of Filipinos in America in general, including the destructive effect of the drug “shabu” on its youth. The detective who handles the case also has his own personal demons to settle with his violent past.

Festivals & Awards:
NETPAC Award, Cinemanila International Film Festival 2001 | Best Film of the Decade, Gawad Urian Awards 2011 | Best Picture, Best Actor (Joel Torre), Best Supporting Actor (Raul Arellano), Best Supporting Actress (Gloria Diaz), Best Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Production Design, Best Music, Best Sound, Gawad Urian Awards 2002 | Best Asian Feature Film, Singapore International Film Festival 2002