Meryl Streep chats with John Lloyd, Hele sa Hiwagang Hapis Team
The eight-hour long movie, Hele sa Hiwagang Hapis, directed by Lav Diaz won the Silver Bear Alfred Bauer Prize at the recently concluded 66th Berlin Film Festival (Berlinale). The prize is given to a feature film that opens new perspectives.
There were 18 films that competed for Golden and Silver Bears at the Berlinale. The top prize of Golden Bear for Best Film went to Fire at Sea, which is a documentary film from Italian director Gianfranco Rosi.
Hele sa Hiwagang Hapis did not win any acting award for its stellar cast which include Johh Lloyd Cruz, Piolo Pascual , Alessandra De Rossi, Cherie Gil, Susan Africa, and Angel Aquino, among others. But something else happened that more than made up for the lack of any acting trophy to take home.
And that’s none other than having a photo op and a chance to chat with Hollywood royalty Meryl Streep, who headed the international jury of the Berlinale.
John Lloyd and Angel Aquino were starstruck, as was Paul Soriano, Toni Gonzaga’s husband and producer of the epic film by Lav.
Toni was very proud of her husband but was envious of his rubbing elbows with Meryl. Who wouldn’t? Meryl is considered to be one of the most brilliant and versatile actresses of all time.
According to Toni’s instagram post, Meryl asked Paul, “Who in the right mind will produce an 8 hour film?” Toni answered that question with, “My husband! I’m so proud of you! Mabuhay ang Pelikulang Pilipino!”
On the side, the Philippine team to the Berlinale also gushed over English actor Clive Owen, star of Children of Men, who is also a member of the international jury for the festival.
It was a sweet victory for Hele sa Hiwagang Hapis and for the Philippines as well. The director, producer, and members of the cast are bringing home the Silver Bear, complemented by memories of meeting the incomparable thespian that is Meryl Streep.