‘Sally’ goes to four fests | Inquirer Entertainment

‘Sally’ goes to four fests

Avid Liongoren’s 12-year ‘labor of love’ will be screened in the US, Italy and Brazil
/ 12:20 AM April 29, 2017

“Saving Sally”

“Saving Sally”

Sally is going places.

After winning awards in Portugal and Belgium, Avid Liongoren’s live-action/animated film, “Saving Sally,” will be screened in four festivals: two in the United States, one in Italy, and the fourth one in Brazil.


Its United States premiere will be held on May 1 at the Los Angeles Asia-Pacific Film Festival, ongoing in Southern California until May 4.


The film revolves around the circuitous and almost-unrequited romance of Marty, an aspiring comic-book artist (played by Enzo Marcos), and Sally, a gung-ho gadget inventor (Rhian Ramos)—not-so-ordinary teeners who live in a “bustling” version of Metro Manila overrun by “creepy crawlies and wild creatures.”

The LA fest website says that Sally’s world “spans the wide gamut of video-game topography, Japanese animé to American cartoons with surrealistic sequences reminiscent of Michel Gondry’s ‘The Science of Sleep’ and ‘Mood Indigo.’”

The site remarks: Spiced up by “Sally’s steampunk-inspired gadgetry and Marty’s manga art,” Liongoren’s debut movie “offers … a fully rendered, internationalist leap forward for both Filipino [cinema] and animation,” adding that it’s “akin to Disney’s ‘Who Framed Roger Rabbit?’”

It also relates that Liongoren and screenwriter Charlene Sawit-Esguerra and their team at Rocket Sheep Studios “worked steadfastly on this passion project for over a decade.”

Fueled by French funding and the team’s “personal sacrifices,” the “labor of love” finally made its “triumphant debut” at last year’s Metro Manila Film Festival, where it won the best musical score and children’s choice awards.

The site reports: “It has been building a steady, local and international fan base, thanks to a social media campaign (#SaveSavingSally), good word-of-mouth, and festival play.”


From LA, “Sally” will be shown at the 19th Future Film Festival (or the International Festival of Cinema Animation and New Technologies) in Bologna, Italy, from May 2 to 7.

The Future Fest’s site hails “Sally” as “a little film about love and monsters… [made] by a group of animators who worked on it for nearly 12 years, resulting in a quirky mix of cartoons, painted backgrounds and actors.”

The site notes: “The film’s animation is its soul, as it not only sets the light-heartedness of the story … but also elevates its use of visual comedy à la Edgar Wright or Wes Anderson.”

Liongoren told the Inquirer that “as much as I would love to eat pizza and pasta in the land of their birth, I will be attending the LA fest, with Charlene, instead.”

Still, he’s hoping for the best for the May 4 screening in Italy. “Bologna is a youthful city. It’s a university town. I hope the kids there will like our film. The fest boasts an awesome lineup of cartoon and action films.”

Happening at the same time as the Bologna fest is the Bentonville Film Festival in Arkansas in the United States (May 2 to 7).

According to the Bentonville site, the fest is a “one-of-a-kind event that champions women and diversity in all aspects of entertainment media.”

“I won’t be able to attend the Bentonville fest, but Charlene will,” Liongoren said. One of the Bentonville fest’s cofounders is Oscar-winning actress Geena Davis.

Lastly, “Sally” will be shown at the VII Fantaspoa in Porto Alegre, Brazil, from July 1 to 17.

The fest’s site asserts that “Sally” is “perhaps the most ambitious movie” in the Fantaspoa lineup.

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Billed as the “largest film festival dedicated exclusively to the fantasy genre (fantasy, science fiction, horror, thriller),” Fantaspoa aims to “give producers and the public the chance to view movies that are often underestimated by the traditional festival circuit, as well as major distributors.”

TAGS: Avid Liongoren, Saving Sally

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