Filipino movies

‘Leonor Will Never Die’ to open Cinemalaya Film Festival 2022

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‘Leonor Will Never Die’ to open Cinemalaya Film Festival 2022

OPENING FILM. 'Leonor Will Never Die' is set to open Cinemalaya 2022.

Courtesy of CCP

The film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2022

MANILA, Philippines – Leonor Will Never Die (Ang Pagbabalik ng Kwago) is set to open the 18th Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival on August 5, 6 pm, at the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) main theater. 

The film, directed by Cinemalaya alum Martika Ramirez Escobar, follows a woman named Leonor Reyes, a once-successful action filmmaker now struggling to make ends meet. Responding to an ad calling for screenplays, she tinkers with an old unfinished action script and finds the perfect opportunity to finish it when a television knocks her out and sends her into a coma, which then transports her into the world of the film. 

The film stars Sheila Francisco in the title role, along with Bong Cabera, Rocky Salumbides, and Anthony Falcon.

Aside from directing the film, Escobar also wrote the script. The film marks her feature film debut. It premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2022, becoming the first Filipino film to compete since 2006’s Ang Pagdadalaga ni Maximo Oliveros. The film was then given the Special Jury Prize for Innovative Spirit at the festival.

The 18th Cinemalaya festival will run from August 5 to 14. This edition marks the festival’s return to on-site screening since the pandemic began. It will be screened at the CCP, as well as in select malls in Metro Manila. 

Free tickets to the opening program and opening film will be given on a first-come-first-served basis at the CCP Ramp two hours before the screening time. For more details, check out the CCP and Cinemalaya websites. –

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