Award-winning director Lav Diaz just shrugged off persistent negative remarks made by certain independent directors about the ongoing promotional strategies of his film Hele sa Hiwagang Hapis.
The film, which will be released by Star Cinema starting March 26, is currently being promoted with the tagline “Take the Hele Challenge” on account of its length.
Among those who reacted negatively and poked fun at the promotional tagline on their respective social media accounts were Single/Single director Pepe Diokno and My Big Love director Jade Castro.
In an exclusive interview with Push.com.ph, Direk Lav said, “It’s their problem. Dapat tumulong sila sa bayan, ‘wag ‘yung negatibo sila. Hindi magandang view ‘yun. Kasi ang medium natin it’s about culture eh, wala namang divide ‘yan eh.”
Personally, Direk Lav does not think that his eight-hour film is a “challenge.”
“Mas challenge ‘yung issue ng pagko-confront sa kasaysayan natin. More about that hindi ‘yung length. It’s more on ‘Handa na ba kayong harapin ang nakaraan natin?’ ‘Handa na ba kayong harapin ang issue ng paghahanap ng kaluluwa ng Pilipino?’” he pointed out.
If anything, he said that “maiksi lang ‘yung eight hours” especially since, according to him, “Bumoboto tayo ng mga taong nanloloko sa atin ng four years di ba. ‘Yung ibang pulitiko diyan 18 years na andoon pa rin sila. Mas challenge ‘yung paano sila palayasin. Eight hours is very brief.”
Direk Lav said that he is very happy with his first collaboration with Star Cinema particularly because he got all the creative freedom for his film.
“Wala naman. They gave me freedom. They gave me creative control. Ang laking tulong ‘yung ganon na may kalayaan ang alagad ng sining to do things and ultimately they will be helping and now they are helping. Ang ganda ng collaboration na ‘yan eh. We should be thankful for that,” he said.
Now that his Silver Bear-winning film is set to take on a wider audience, Direk Lav is not dismissing the idea of putting his other creations in the mainstream scene.
“It’s a good start na niyakap na ito na wala naman palang kaibahan ‘yung independent at mainstream. Walang kaibahan ‘yung mahaba at maiksi. It’s the cinema. Magandang simula ito. Katulad ng Norte [The End of History ] tapos ito walong oras so nawasak na ‘yung mga tinatawag na walls na ‘yan eh,” he ended.
Hele sa Hiwagang Hapis opens in Glorietta, Trinoma, Market! Market!, Greenhills, SM North Edsa, SM Megamall, SM Fairview, SM City Manila, SM Mega Center, Robinsons Metro East, Robinsons Galleria and at the new Cinemateque Centre Manila on Kalaw Avenue (the former Instituto Cervantes de Manila) starting March 26.