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Indie Bravo!

PH film scores triple victory abroad

/ 12:04 AM May 15, 2017
Rhian Ramos in “Saving Sally”

Rhian Ramos in “Saving Sally”

When it rains, it pours for Sally.

Avid Liongoren’s “Saving Sally” brought home top honors from two international film festivals, scoring a triple victory in the United States early this month.


The live-action-animated film bagged the special jury prize (in the international narrative competition) and the audience award (in the international narrative feature section) at the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival in California last May 4.

(Ramona Diaz’s “Motherland” also won the special jury-pioneering director award in the international documentary feature category.)

Liongoren, who traveled to the United States for the event, had mixed emotions about the unexpected victory. “It felt great, of course. But I was also slightly disappointed because I was in a meeting on the other side of the city during the awards ceremony.”

To make up for the letdown, he took photos with vehicles used in the series “Breaking Bad” and film “Ghostbusters” that were parked near the place where he had the meeting.

The LA screening “went quite well,” he recounted.

“At first, we weren’t sure if people would watch because we were scheduled on a Monday during rush hour. But viewers came and didn’t throw eggs at us and clapped, instead,” he recalled. “Many folks watched our film randomly, without knowing anything about it, so it’s nice to know how pleasantly surprised they were.”

He was glad to garner another laurel for the film. “Pampalasa ng adobo. (To make my adobo more flavorful.)”

“Sally” also scored the Best Family Film plum at the Bentonville Film Festival in Arkansas last May 7.

Since the director-animator wasn’t able to fly to Arkansas, “Sally” screenwriter Charlene Sawit-Esguerra attended the Bentonville fest on his behalf.


Liongoren is ecstatic about the triple triumph, which is a “good reason to celebrate by wolfing down a giant chili hot dog and getting drunk on rootbeer.”

Seriously now. “We hope that these recognitions will increase our chances in bringing the film to a wider audience. Much work needs to be done, but every citation is an encouragement.”

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