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February 23, 2022 | 8:33am

MANILA, Philippines —  Feature film “Leonor Will Never Die” recently won an award at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival. The film was by Anima, headed by Quark Henares, who also served as the movie’s executive producer.

“Leonor Will Never Die” is a homage to ‘80s Pinoy action movies. The film was awarded the “World Cinema Dramatic Special Jury Award for Innovative Spirit” at the prestigious independent film event.

“Switching in-between genres, this film within a film follows an ailing screenwriter who enters her unfinished screenplay of a gangster film to experience and edit her own creation. Constantly shifting in tone, the film is a playful display of the love of cinema. Its innovative and risk-taking spirit is especially commendable,” the Sundance jury said in its citation.

“Leonor Will Never Die” marked the directorial debut of Martika Ramirez Escobar, who also wrote the film. The director said, “Films can speak and films can be heard, and today I’m glad that our film is felt by the jury. Thank you so much Sundance; our spirits are smiling.” 

Veteran stage actress Sheila Francisco stars in the titular role, with Rocky Salumbides as the action star. 

Anima takes pride in “Leonor Will Never Die,” which the New York Times described as a “wonderfully unclassifiable movie” and a “heartfelt, zany tribute to the magic of movies and the power of love.”

Quark Henares shared that they almost did not submit an entry to Sundance, the biggest independent film fest in the US. The odds of a Filipino production making it to the list of 10 films in the World Cinema Dramatic Competition at Sundance is 14,000 to 10, he noted.

“This move is indeed a labor of love from the team and we, at Anima, express our heartfelt congratulations. This is just the start and we aim to produce more socially relatable and genuine films not just for every Pinoy but for all movie lovers around the world,” he added.

Anima is one of the content businesses under Kroma, an entertainment company backed by the digital ecosystem of the Globe group of companies. Kroma aims to reach various audiences and elevate their entertainment experience with its rich suite of services both on traditional and digital media.

The movie was co-produced by Monster Jimenez and his partner Mario Cornejo under the banner of their company Arkeofilms.

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