Lav Diaz himself could not make it.
But Piolo Pascual and Shaina Magdayao led the cast of "Ang Hupa" as they celebrated its premiere at this year's Directors' Fortnight at the Cannes Film Festival in France this Wednesday (PH time).
Photos shared by Film Development Council of the Philippines chair Liza Diño on Facebook showed Pascual and Magdayao gracing the screening of their movie, the latest from Diaz.
In a short video clip posted on Instagram, part of the introductory speech Diaz prepared saw the director tell his audience: "The majority of the world's populace now doesn't trust the future. There is an urgency now to reclaim that trust."
Diaz was apparently in Cuba for a prior commitment.
Little is known about "Ang Hupa" other than it is a 4-and-a-half-hour science-fiction movie, which also stars Pinky Amador, who was at the premiere as well along with actress Mara Lopez.
The Directors' Fortnight is a non-competitive film festival that runs concurrently with the Cannes Film Festival.
It is organized by the French Directors Guild and has been presented in Cannes since 1969. According to its website, it prides itself by its "freedom of thinking," and that its non-competitive nature highlights "its true intention of sharing its films."