Pilar Pilapil’s Int’l Flick To Open South Korean Film Fest
By MAUREEN MARIE BELMONTE
Pilar's Leona Calderon premiered in London last August (Photo by Guido Mencari)
MANILA, Philippines – After her harrowing kidnapping experience last year, things seems to finally be falling into place for seasoned actress Pilar Pilapil as her comeback international indie film “Leona Calderon” was selected to be the opening flick at the 12th Gwangju International Film Festival in Gwangju City, South Korea.
According to an ABS-CBNnews.com report posted on Thursday, the good news was divulged by Gwangju International Film Festival’s programming supervisor, Cho Pock-rey.
“The film has a humanist touch,” Pock-rey, a Korean film studies professor at the University of Beijing in China, was quoted to have said in the report.
For this year, the film festival happening from Nov. 8 to 12 will center on “Hope in Peace.”
Unlike the typical film festivals, while it gives out the prestigious Dae-Jung Nobel Peace Film Award from the Kim Dae-Jung Peace Foundation, Gwangju is not primarily a competition festival, according to Pock-rey.
In fact, the event was mainly organized some 12 years back to pay homage to Korea’s icon of democracy, former president and 2000 Nobel Peace Prize awardee, Kim Dae-Jung.
“Leona Calderon” is reportedly Pilapil’s first foreign independent film project and also her first after unfortunately being stabbed by suspected carjackers April last year.
The film tells the life of Leona Calderon, a fictional character said to be based on a real-life overseas Filipino worker in London, who’s earned a living as a transient cleaning woman for almost four decades.
Her mundane life met a sudden hurdle when she was diagnosed with cancer. Derailed and alone, Calderon was confronted with another dilemma: to return to the Philippines to be with her loved ones or to stay in London to make a living.
Directed and penned by Fil-British filmmaker Jowee Morel, the British indie film is also headlined by BAFTA and Laurence Olivier Best Actress Ms. Virginia McKennas, two former “Miss Saigon” cast members Irene Alano and Imelda de Los Reyes, and former Repertory Philippines actor Junix Inocian.
In a previous Bulletin Entertainment report, associate producer Andy Villalba stated that the film’s main goal is to raise awareness for the health care system for retiring overseas workers.