How Charo Santos Became an Oscar Frontrunner in ‘Ang Babaeng Humayo’

Original content appeared on: 


(Photo from @rbchanco Instagram)

August 2 saw a composed but visibly excited Charo Santos-Concio talking about Lav Diaz’s newest film ‘Ang Babaeng Humayo’ as news broke that the film was declared an official entry to the prestigious Venice Film Festival under its Best Picture category. Today, ‘Ang Babaeng Humayo’ is the proud winner of the 2016 Venice Film Festival Golden Lion Award. This is the highest honor for filmmakers participating in the famed film festival.

The honor of being invited to Venice after the film became an official part of the festival wasn’t lost on Charo even back then. She shared how she felt when she and Lav got invited to the film festival. “The invitation came as a surprise. It was a pleasant surprise. I am so excited.” At that time, the film’s lead star was still contemplating attending the film fest and awards ceremony in Italy. “I hope to be able to go and attend. We are working on it. I will go there for the experience. I just go with the flow. Whatever comes my way. If I feel that it’s going to be another great learning experience, then I’d go for it.”

The actress who is making an acting comeback via Lav Diaz’s latest opus said, “Natutuwa nga akobecause I feel like I am starting all over again. Parang I have come full circle. I feel so blessed. It could have been any actress. But this is about Lav. This is about the director. This is his film.” Charo further intimated, “The stars aligned na ako ang naisip na bigyan ng pagkakataon ni Direk Lav. I am excited. I am looking forward to meeting the other artists — actors, directors, writers, producers from other parts of the world and learning from them. There is so much to learn from others.”

#BiennaleCinema2016 La lista completa dei premi ufficiali assegnati #Venezia73: Photo @jacopo_salvi

A photo posted by La Biennale di Venezia (@labiennale) on

As for how the titular role came to her, Charo declared, “The offer of Lav Diaz came in a dinner.Tinanong lang niya ako kung gusto ko pa ulit bumalik sa acting. Sabi ko, ‘If I find the character interesting, why not?’ Three days after, he sent me the synopsis of an idea. You know me — I just enjoy the moment. My attitude is always if there is something new to learn, I’d go for it.”

The film is an epic of revenge and redemption that centers around a school teacher after she is set free for a crime she didn’t commit 30 years ago. In her own words, Charo see the film this way: “It is about love and revenge. It is about the transcendence of one’s humanity. How do you let go of your past? How do you let go of your baggage? How does one go back? After going through so much pain in life, how does one appreciate the inherent goodness in man again? That is the basic message para sa atin mula sa humanities, sa philosophies. The inherent goodness of man.”

For fans and cinema lovers who want to see the film, ‘Ang Babaeng Humayo’ runs for more than three hours. At her press conference last month, Charo said she was open to the idea of a shorter version of the film for showing in cinemas across the country, but declared the final decision would come from the film’s director. Even back then, Charo already expressed her hopes for the film to be well-received in Venice and for it to eventually become a commercial success in the Philippines. With this grand recognition attached to the film now, we are positive everyone will want to see why ‘Ang Babaeng Humayo’ became the first and only Filipino film to earn gold honors at the world’s oldest film festival.


Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.