Diane was named Best Director for a Global Feature while lead actor Jake Cuenca was recognized as Best Actor in a Feature.
Her first feature-length work, Awaken, yet another masterful exploration of dream states and altered consciousness, is slated for a late-2014 release. Diane’s feature directorial debut just bagged her the best director Global Feature award at the recently concluded Manhattan Festival besting other nominees from around the world. “I like exploring the dichotomy, dual nature, and inner conflict, as well as the contradictions and paradoxes of, the characters and themes of my films. Life is never one-dimensional,” the young director shared.
“It took me completely by surprise,” revealed Diane, when asked if she expected such reception for her work. “I knew I had very talented people on the cast and crew, and we had given this movie the best of ourselves, but you don’t do these things for the accolade.”
“I didn’t even realize they had called my name,” she shared of the experience. “I managed to get out of my seat, pero hindi pa ako nakakarating sa stage nagpapasalamat na ako. I was so overwhelmed.”
Diane considers herself a sort of renegade disciple of filmmaking. She has nurtured a long-standing love affair with the art form since her days in the Art Studies program of UP Diliman. Over the years, she has dabbled in songwriting, directing and producing music videos, and executive-producing shows around the world, until she finally decided to pursue her first love and enroll in the film program in New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.
In 2012, Diane came out with the mind-bending short film The Rapist, which was cited as one of the Most Popular Films and Best Short Films in IFFM, and was shortlisted among the Best Short Films in Asia in the Singapore-based indie film portal Viddsee.
Mulat is Diane’s first full-length feature film, which tells the story of a woman named Sam, played by newcomer Loren Burgos. Sam is caught between the promise of a future with her fiancé Vincent (Ryan Eigenmann) and the less certain but perhaps more fulfilling search for a life apart from him. She meets the character of Jake but begins experiencing mysterious hallucinations, causing her to question what she perceives as reality.
Mulat is set to open in Philippine theaters in December as part of the Metro Manila Film Festival’s (MMFF) New Wave category. It will be screened at Glorietta 4 and SM Megamall theaters from Dec. 17 to 24 as part of the celebration of the 2014 MMFF.