Mindanaoans are not only motivated to better their lives and disprove the common misconception that Mindanao is a place of war and chaos, but they also go out of the open and defy the norms of a predefined society. This is what happened to the aspirations Mindanaoan named Lavrente Indico Diaz or famously known as Lav Diaz, who grew up in Datu Paglas in the province of Maguindanao to a religious Catholic mother and a socialist intellectual father.
Lav Diaz is now known as one of the greatest filmmakers and directors of the country today with his critical view of the various issues of the society which he depicts in his movie creations.
Growing up as a pure utilitarian of culture and artistic expression, Diaz became famous for producing films that are unusually long which usually take 4 to 5 hours to finish. With the trend of movie-making changing over the years, he has that conviction of not changing his style and it is up to his audience to find beauty in his craft and appreciate what he worked for. His friends, critics, and his audience as well will always have a whole new experience of movie-watching with his black-and-white films that are reminiscent of the era where film production is still young.
Growing up in a remote area in Mindanao with a limited access to television and recorded films, he and his father would go to a far place where they could watch any movies of their desire and would marvel together how those movies gave them the thrilling and funny feels.
His interest in movie-making started when he made a documentary about street children. He then started to be contacted by international bodies commending him for his work and started to receive offers for more films to make. With his combined skill and talent, he was able to travel around the world and explore different things that someone who was still starting to find his craft will get the same chance.
One of his movies was the “Ebolusyon ng Isang Pamilyang Pilipino” which he made with his friends who also served as his crew. He started making films in the Philippines in the late 1990’s for Regal Films and from there, his career in Philippine cinema flourished.
He created critically acclaimed films like “Mula sa Kung Ano ang Noon”, which earned him the Golden Leopard at the Locarno International Film Festival in 2014, and his “Norte” and “Hangganan ng Kasaysayan” that were both featured and sold out in the country and abroad.
He said that with the advent of technology and digital cinema, his genre of filmmaking will not lose its taste but instead, he saw that the modern way of video production proved to be a huge help in making long films similar to his creations.
Lav Diaz is an epitome of a Mindanaoan that no matter how things may change due to the effects of wars and conflicting ideologies, we still go back to our roots where we are comfortable and unique from everyone else. He sends out the message that we should embrace our peculiarities because there will be someone who will love and appreciate them.