documentaries

Ramona Diaz docu on Leni Robredo campaign joins Sundance 2024 line-up

Rappler.com

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Ramona Diaz docu on Leni Robredo campaign joins Sundance 2024 line-up

Sundance's Twitter

(1st UPDATE) 'And So It Begins' also features Maria Ressa and Rappler's fight against disinformation

MANILA, Philippines – Sundance Film Festival 2024 has revealed its line-up for its 40th edition, and included among the 92 films around the globe is award-winning filmmaker Ramona Diaz’s And So It Begins, a documentary on former Vice President Leni Robredo’s 2022 presidential campaign.

“We are Sundance-bound!!!” the filmmaker exclaimed on X (formerly Twitter). The official entries were announced in a Variety report on Wednesday, December 6.

The documentary, which Diaz was director, screenwriter, and producer for, shows how a “quirky people’s movement rises to defend the nation against deepening threats to truth and democracy.”

“Amidst the traditional pomp and circumstance of Filipino elections…. In a collective act of joy as a form of resistance, hope flickers against the backdrop of increasing autocracy.”

Known as the Kakampink movement among its movers and shakers, the film highlights the peoples’ efforts in combating dictator’s son Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s candidacy for president – which was built on a widespread social media campaign built on spreading disinformation against Robredo.

Expect to see flashbacks of house-to-house campaigns, massive pink rallies, and donation drives that ultimately culminated in the launch of nonprofit organization, Angat Buhay Foundation.

Diaz’s latest documentary will also feature Rappler and its CEO Maria Ressa’s fight against disinformation.

When Ressa accepted her Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo in 2021, she had spoken extensively about championing persecuted journalists’ pursuit of the truth and “holding power to account.”

Consequently, Diaz’s And So It Begins is set against the backdrop of a “multiverse of disinformation” decades after Ferdinand Marcos Sr. was ousted and forced into exile along with his family during the 1986 People Power Revolution.

Prior to this feat, Diaz has been at the helm of other award-winning documentaries such as IMELDA, A Thousand Cuts, and Motherland. A Thousand Cuts, her documentary on Rappler founder Maria Ressa, brought home the “Outstanding Social Issue Documentary” Emmy in 2022.

A companion piece to A Thousand Cuts, And So It Begins marks Diaz’s return to the Sundance festival with an insightful film that documents hope and the fight for democracy in the Philippines’ post-truth media age.

Interested viewers can snag tickets from $25 (approximately P1,400) for a single ticket to $350 (more than P19,000) for certain Sundance packages. On-site festival tickets also start at $30 (approximately P1,600) for single tickets. The film will also be available to stream online for US audiences. All options can be viewed via the official Sundance website.

For nearly four decades, the Sundance Film Festival has given a spotlight to “original storytellers and audiences seeking new voices and fresh perspectives.” The festival is seen as one of the most prestigious film festivals globally, taking pride in its storyteller-centered approaches and consistent critical acclaim. – with reports from Ally de Leon/Rappler.com

Ally de Leon is a Rappler intern.

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