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Two Filipino Films Win First Awards at Sundance Film Festival

Historic FIRSTS for the Philippines!

Don Josephus Raphael Eblahan (left), director of ‘The Headhunter’s Daughter,” and Martika Ramirez Escobar, director of “Leonor Will Never Die.”

Historic wins for the Philippines this year from an A-list film festival in the United States. “Leonor Will Never Die” by Martika Ramirez Escobar and “The Headhunter’s Daughter,” by Don Josephus Raphael Eblahan both bagged first awards at the Sundance Film Festival. 

The two films broke down boundaries for the Philippine cinema industry at the renowned festival, which included films on its internet platform and multiple satellite screens around the United States.

Martika Ramirez Escobar who directed the “Leonor Will Never Die,” is the first Filipina feature film director to win the Special Jury Award for Innovative Spirit at the festival, which was held online.

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Don Josephus Raphael Eblahan, meanwhile, who directed “The Headhunter’s Daughter,”  earned the first-ever short film to bag the Short Film Grand Jury Prize at Sundance Film Festival. 

FDCP Chairperson as well as CEO Liza Diño congratulate the filmmakers and their entire team saying, “The year has just started and our young Filipino filmmakers are bringing home awards from one of the world’s largest and most influential independent film festivals. This is a historic and huge win for Philippine Cinema.” 

The Sundance Institute is the United States’ largest independent film festival. It has brought artists and also viewers from all around the world together to encourage independent storytelling by highlighting tales that spark new ideas and elevate creative voices.


Written by Proudly Filipino

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