"Mula sa Kung Ano ang Noon" retitled "What Is Before" for international screening, competed at the 2014 Locarno International Film Festival where it won the main prize, the Golden Leopard. This was the first Filipino film ever to be included in the main competition of the Locarno Film Festival and ever to win the Golden Leopard. The film also had its North American premiere at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival, under the Wavelengths section. It was also included in the BFI's (British Film Institute's) London Film Festival, on its “Dare” section—a collection of in-your-face, up-front and arresting [films] that take you out of your comfort zone … challenging the cinematic form and our ways of watching. The film was a grand slam at the recent 2015 Gawad Urian Awards, winning four major awards with Best Picture, and a Best Editing, Best Screenplay, and Best Director for Lav Diaz.
"Mula sa kung Ano and Noon" is said to be a return to the aesthetics the filmmaker has made his own: It's filmed in beautiful black-and-white, has a static but meticulously designed mise-en-scene and clocks in at over five hours, and it is his most overtly political film yet. The film is also said to be the product of a bare-bones crew, some of whom also play important parts in the film.
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