FilmPress Release

Film: Anima’s Leonor Will Never Die headlines 18th Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival

MANILA, PHILIPPINES — Award-winning film Leonor Will Never Die (Filipino title: Ang Pagbabalik ng Kwago), produced by ANIMA and Arkeo Films, will finally have its Philippine debut as it has been selected as the opening feature of this year’s Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival.

The film held its international premiere in January and has proven to be a smashing success, bagging the Sundance Special Jury Award for Innovative Spirit at the prestigious Sundance Film Festival. It has also been shown at various movie screenings in the Czech Republic, Switzerland, and Taiwan, among others.


Parang kaming niyakap. Cinemalaya has been a huge part of my life as a film lover — simula nung high school as an audience hanggang nung screening ng thesis ko, at ngayon sa first feature. Katabi ko ang Cinemalaya every step of the way and so I’m so happy na dito unang maipapalabas ang pelikula namin!” said Director Martika Ramirez Escobar.

The award-winning film focuses on stage veteran Sheila Francisco’s titular character, Leonor, a major player in the Filipino film industry in the ’80s, who falls into a coma before finishing her final screenplay. When she regains consciousness years later, she struggles to complete her magnum opus while navigating life in an entirely new environment.

The film, Martika’s directorial debut, has been lauded by critics here and abroad for its meta storytelling that combines a fever dream premise with a postmodern reality topped with sharp dialogue delivered by an outstanding ensemble.

ANIMA, KROMA Entertainment Inc.’s film production studio, continues its winning streak, having won big awards at the recently concluded 70th Filipino Academy of Movie Arts and Sciences (FAMAS) Awards for Kun Maupay Man It Panahon top-billed by Charo Santos and Daniel Padilla.

Visit ANIMA’s official website to discover more of the production studio’s award-winning filmography and other works.

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