Leonor Will Never Die


Leonor Will Never Die

The Philippines, 2022, 99’, Filipino
Directed by: Martika Ramirez Escobar
Screenplay: Martika Ramirez Escobar
Photography (color): Carlos Mauricio
Editing: Lawrence Ang
Art Direction: Eero Francisco
Coloring: Timmy Torres
Sound: Corinne De San Jose
Music: Alyana Cabral, Pan De Coco
Producers: Monster Jimenez, Mario Cornejo
Cast: Sheila Francisco (Leonor), Bong Cabrera (Rudy), Anthony Falcon (Ghost Ronwaldo),
Rocky Salumbides (Ronwaldo, in film), Allan Bautista (Valentin), Rea Molina (Isabella), Ryan
Eigenmann (Ricardo), John Paulo Rodriguez (Junior), Dido dela Paz (Mayor), Tami Monsood
(Dra. Valdez), DMs Bongaling (Jojit), Rosario Elena Perez (Lolita)

Date of First Release in Territory: TBA

An assured debut like Leonor Will Never Die is rare in Philippine cinema. The film is about an action film writer named Leonor (Sheila Francisco), who is still living in the glory days of action movies. She lives in a house full of memories, her room stacked with papers, VHS tapes, records, and other memorabilia that tethers her to her past (much like the film star in Escobar’s short film Pusong Bato). She lives with her son Rudy (Bong Cabrera), who’s had enough of her mother’s refusal to move on, not just from her past but even with the death of her son Ronwaldo (Anthony Falcon), who still lives among them as a ghost. Ronwaldo’s namesake (Rocky Salumbides) now lives as the hero in her last screenplay, the action film Ang Pagbabalik ng Kwago. One day, Leonor finds an ad in a newspaper for a call for screenplay entries for a filmfestival. She finds a renewed strength to finish her screenplay, but fate has something else in mind. One day, while taking a break from writing, she gets hit by a television thrown out the window from the apartment above them, and falls into a coma. From here, Escobar cheekily takes us inside a writer’s head, how imagination commingles with desire, grief and heartbreaks and how even the creative process can be a weight to one’s soul when operating under such a heavy burden. In Leonor, we see how a mother grieves and picks up the pieces of her life by putting it into words. We get to watch Leonor finish her screenplay Ang Pagbabalik ng Kwago (“The Return of the Owl”) by living in it – as an action grandma who is both omnipresent and a witness to the words she’s stringing along. It’s absurd, fantastical, and an absolute joy to watch – even when we transition into Escobar’s mind herself. Leonor is Escobar’s love letter to filmmaking, from the macho Filipino action films of the 1970s and 1980s to the personal toils of birthing one’s passion film.


Martika Ramirez Escobar 

Though Leonor Will Never Die is Escobar’s debut film, Escobar has been around in the industry for quite some time. She graduated with honors from the University of the Philippines and her thesis film, Pusong Bato (“Stone Heart”) competed at the 19th Busan International Film Festival. As a cinematographer, she has lensed films such as Hello, Stranger: The Movie or the music videos of Zack Tabuldo (Heart Can’t Lose) and The Juans (Sabik). Leonor Will Never Die is the fruit of Escobar’s long journey to being a writer. Leonor took eight years to fully realize. The film had its world premiere at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival where it won the World Cinema Dramatic Special Jury Award for Innovative Spirit. 


2014 – Pusong Bato (short)
2015 – The Anatomy of Love (episode “Tisoy”)
2020 – Living Things
2022 – Leonor Will Never Die

Don Jaucian
Film director: Martika Ramirez ESCOBAR
Year: 2022
Running time: 99'
Country: The Philippines
26/04 - 5:00 PM
Teatro Nuovo Giovanni da Udine
26-04-2022 17:00 26-04-2022 18:39Europe/Rome Leonor Will Never Die Far East Film Festival Teatro Nuovo Giovanni da UdineCEC Udine cec@cecudine.org
ONLINE in Italy on Tuesday, April 26, 2022 from 8:00 pm to 11:59 pm (cest)