Filipino film ‘Leonor Will Never Die’ wins Toronto festival’s emerging filmmaker award

Leonor Will Never Die Toronto filmmaker award
Martika Ramirez Escobar’s first feature film has received its 2nd international award. Photos from Leonor Will Never Die FB.

Filipino film “Leonor Will Never Die” has won the Amplify Voices Award for emerging filmmakers at the 2022 Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF).

Cinemalaya-winning writer-director Martika Ramirez Escobar’s first feature film bagged the special award presented by Canada Goose to the three best feature films by under-represented filmmakers participating in the festival that ran from September 8-18.

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The TIFF jury awarded “Leonor Will Never Die, for its original voice, made by a fearless filmmaker who knows how to bring the fun and an incredible lead performance. This film is truly one of one.”

“When we were making this film a few years ago, we never expected to even get this far. All we wanted was to screen our tiny film in a cinema and we got more than that,” Martika Ramirez Escobar said in her acceptance speech at the award ceremony.

“Leonor Will Never Die” follows Leonor Reyes (Sheila Francisco), a retired screenwriter of Filipino action films who is transported into the story of one of her own unfinished scripts after falling into a coma.

After TIFF, the film was screened to raise funds to benefit Ahon Siargao, a foundation that aims to put up a community learning hub for the schoolchildren of Burgos on Siargao island.

All of the proceeds from the screening will be used to fund the proposed Burgos Karunungan Center to address learning poverty in the Siargao community.

The fundraiser screening was held on September 24 at Greenbelt 3, Cinema 1 in Makati City, Metro Manila.

Escobar’s directorial debut earlier won the Special Jury Award for Innovative Spirit at the Sundance Film Festival, the largest independent film festival in the United States.

Yellow Rose, the film by Diane Paragas starring Eva Noblezada, Princess Punzalan, and Lea Salonga, won Best Feature at the 2019 Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival in Canada.

SEND CHEERS in the comments below to the cast and crew of the Filipino independent film “Leonor Will Never Die” for winning the Amplify Voices Award at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) and raising funds for needy schoolchildren in Siargao!

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Margo is a voracious reader - some might even say she reads too much for her own good. She majored in BS Psychology and hopes to become a forensic psychologist one day. She’s also an aspiring writer, mental health advocate, and a staunch believer of equality.