Lavrente Indico Diaz aka Lav Diaz is a filmmaker from the Philippines who was born on December 30, 1958 and raised in Cotabato, Mindanao. He works as director, writer, producer, editor, cinematographer, poet, composer, production designer and actor all at once. He is especially notable for the length of his films, some of which run for up to eleven hours. That is because his films are not governed by time but by space and nature. His films are about the social and political struggles of his motherland and through these, he has garnered the admiration of the international festival circuit.
Since 1998 he has directed twelve films, and won several international awards. His 2002 film Batang West Side won Best Picture at the Singapore International Film Festival, plus awards at the Independent Film Festival of Brussels, Gawad Urian, and Cinemanila International Film Festival. He also received a Gawad Urian for his 2005 film Evolution of a Filipino Family and Special Jury Prize at the Fribourg International Film Festival in 2006 for Heremias, Book One. His film Death in the Land of Encantos, was the closing film of the Orizzonti section of the Venice Film Festival 2007, and was awarded a Golden Lion Special Mention. His 2008 eight-hour film Melancholia, a story about victims of summary executions, won the Orizzonti Grand Prize at the 65th Venice International Film Festival in 2008, and Florentina Hubaldo, CTE has received Best Film at Images Festival, Toronto and Jeonju International Film Festival in 2012. In 2010 he received a Guggenheim Fellowship and in 2011 joined the Board of Directors for Cine Foundation International.
His films often tackle the issues regarding the current social and political state of the Philippines. His film Kagadanan sa Banwaan ning mga Engkanto (Death in the Land of Encantos), the Closing Film of the orizzonti section of the Venice Film Festival 2007, was awarded with a Golden Lion Special Mention. Death in the Land of Encantos was also in competition at the Artistic Innovation Award (Visions) of the Toronto International Film Festival 2007. He received several awards at the Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature. His film Melancholia won the Orizzonti Grand Prize at the 65th Venice International Film Festival in 2008. In January 2011 he joined the Board of Directors for Cine Foundation International.
In 2013, his film Norte, The End of History was presented at Un Certain regard Cannes Film Festival and considered as “one of the most beautiful film seen in Cannes” (Jacques Mandelbaum, Le Monde) or even “quite possibly the best film there” (Daniel Kasman, Mubi), a “superb piece of focused narrative” (Jonathan Romney, Screen) –a broadened international recognition that earns him to be invited at FID Marseille to be part of the Official Competition Jury and eventually at the 2013 Locarno Film Festival as the President of the Jury.
He went back in 2011 at the Venice International Film Festival for his film Siglo ng Pagluluwal (Century of Birthing) and which earned the Grand Jury Prize at the 13th Cinemanila International Film Festival. The following year, his film Florentina Hubaldo, CTE won Best Asian Film at the Jeonju International Film Festival and gained the On-Screen Award at the Images Festival. He was also a recipient of the Guggenheim Fellowship in 2010 and the Prince Claus Award of The Netherlands in 2014.
At this year's Berlin International Film Festival, his film "Hele sa Hiwagang Hapis" (A Lullaby to the Sorrowful Mystery), an 8-hour narrative of the Philippine Revolution of 1896-1897 against the Spanish, was awarded the Silver Bear Alfred Bauer Award.