NEWSFLASH! MANILA, Philippines—Award-winning film and television director Marilou Diaz-Abaya died Monday night from a lingering illness. She was 57.
Diaz-Abaya is the most awarded woman director in the history of the Filipino Academy of Movie Arts and Sciences, having already received four FAMAS Best Director awards. She has done more than 20 feature films since 1980.
She has also received awards and citations from various international award-giving bodies, including British Film Institute Awards, International Federation of Film Critics, and Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema.
In 2001, Diaz-Abaya was awarded the Arts and Culture Prize of the Fukuoka Asian Culture Prizes. The Fukuoka award is a highly prized honor awarded to Asians who have distinguished themselves in the field of culture. Her works “blends entertainment, social consciousness, and ethnic awareness,” according to the citation.
Her films have also been exhibited at festivals Munich, Dusseldorf and Fukuoka. Her 1998 masterpiece “Jose Rizal” was exhibited as the closing film at the Guggenheim Museum in New York City on March 1999. The film-and-video exhibit “Empire and Memory,” marked the centennial of the 1899 Philippine-American War.
She was 2005 Women for Peace, co-nominee for the Nobel Peace Prize.
Born on March 30, 1955 in Quezon City, Diaz-Abaya graduated with a Bachelor of Arts major in Communication Arts degree from Assumption College in Makati in 1976. She obtained her Master of Arts in Film and Television degree from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles in 1979, and pursued her post-graduate studies at London International Film School.
She is founder and president of Marilou Diaz-Abaya Film Institute and Arts Center, and film instructor at the Ateneo de Manila University.
Diaz-Abaya is married to filmmaker Manolo Abaya, with whom she has two sons, Marco and David. Almi M. Ilagan, Inquirer Research