MANILA — “Leonor Will Never Die,” the Sundance award-winning film by first-time director Martika Ramirez Escobar, will finally be shown locally as the opening title of this year’s Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival.
Starring stage veteran Sheila Francisco as the title character, “Leonor Will Never Die” will screen at the Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo at the Cultural Center of the Philippines on August 5.
“Trivia: This is a true homecoming as Leonor was originally a Cinemalaya baby. But alas, the rest is historical revisionism. Wuw,” the team behind the film said on its official Facebook page.
The film with the Filipino title “Ang Pagbabalik ng Kwago” centers on Leonor, a retired writer and director from the ‘80s who, in a coma, enters the world of her unfinished screenplay.
“It was like a gift that a role like this will come my way. Having been also an artist myself dabbling in so many things, I really empathize with Leonor and her passion for writing,” Francisco earlier said of her character.
Referring to the warm reception to the film, she added: “People are so open to receive also kasi dati ma-formula tayo. ‘Di ba dati lahat action lang, or love team lang. Pero ngayon napaka-diverse ng mga topics na pwede nating i-tackle as actors and filmmakers.”
“Leonor Will Never Die” made its world premiere in January 2022, as an entry in the World Dramatic Competition of the prestigious Sundance Film Festival.
It took home the Sundance Special Jury Award for Innovative Spirit, and went on to be screened in various international film festivals in San Francisco, Switzerland, and Taipei, among others.