Pinoy pride shines once again in the realm of film, with local talents set to showcase their works on a global stage, and leading the charge are two locally produced films, listed on the official lineup of the 38th Annual Sundance Film Festival.
Taking part in the World Cinema Dramatic Competition, director-writer Martika Ramirez Escobar’s “Leonor Will Never Die,” local title “Ang Pagbabalik ng Kwago,” former Filipino film industry heavyweight Leonor Reyes, who made a name for herself creating wildly popular action movies, now struggles to pay the bills. In the midst of reworking an abandoned script starring a young lead searching for vengeance for her brother’s murder, Leonor falls into an accident and lands in a coma—and straight into her incomplete movie.
“Leonor Will Never Die” took eight years of work, and leading the charge alongside Escobar are stage veteran Sheila Francisco, playing Leonor, as well as a colorful cast of actors, such as Rocky Salumbides, Bong Cabrera, Anthony Falcon, Rea Molina, Tami Monsod, Allan Bautista, and Dido de la Paz.
Alongside “Leonor Will Never Die,” Don Josephus Raphael Eblahan’s “The Headhunter’s Daughter” will be featured at Sundance’s Shorts Program 4. According to the film’s description on the festival website, the Ilokano short film centers around main character Lynn as she leaves her family behind and “traverses the harrowing roads of the Cordilleran highlands to try her luck in the city as a country singer.
This year’s Sundance Film Festival will be held at Park City, Salt Lake City and the Sundance Mountain Resort in Utah, as well as online. Schedules of screenings are available on the Sundance website.