Music Box Films Wins North America for Sundance Award Winner ‘Leonor’

Music Box Films has acquired the North American rights to writer-director Martika Ramirez Escobar’s “Leonor Will Never Die,” which won the Special Jury Prize for Innovative Spirit at Sundance this year after its premiere as part of the festival’s World Cinema Dramatic Competition.

The film tells the story of Leonor Reyes, once a major player in the Philippine film industry during its glory days of ragtag action cinema, but now in its golden years and struggling to pay his bills. When she reads an advertisement for a script contest, Leonor begins to cobble together an unfinished script about a young man avenging the murder of his brother at the hands of thugs.

But after a fall from television knocks her out and puts her in a coma, Leonor finds herself in her incomplete film, rewriting and editing on the fly in a fantastic attempt to finish the film while her body is in the limbo.

Variety‘s Amy Nicholson described Escobar’s “playful” debut as “creative and clever”, noting: “Leonor’s adventures in film within film – ‘Ang Pagbabalik ng Kwago’ or ‘The Return of Kwango’ – play like a loving send-off of cornball heroism. The punches stink, the sound effects are clunky, and Alyana Cabral and Pan De Coco’s score is hysterical. But Escobar is looking for something deeper than parody. She wants the audiences wonder how fictional strongmen have been idealized as saviors of the real world.

“‘Leonor Will Never Die’ is a delightfully imaginative film,” said Brian Andreotti of Music Box Films. “Arthouse audiences and genre fans alike will applaud the spunky Leonor as she weaves her way through a wholly original combination of pulpy action, playful meta-cinema and drama. touching family.”

“Since the premiere of ‘Leonor, the reviews and feedback we have received have been outstanding. Following its Sundance award, we are thrilled to have the film find a North American home with Music Box Films and to see its journey continue. and further delight American audiences,” added Sébastien Chesneau of Cercamon.

“The dream is to screen ‘Leonor Will Never Die’ in a cinema and it seems that dream is coming true,” Escobar said. “Thank you, Music Box Films, for providing us with screens big and small. You make us feel that cinemas are awake and smiling.

The sale of the film was brokered by Brian Andreotti of Music Box Films and Sébastien Chesneau of Cercamon. Music Box Films will release the film theatrically later this year with a home entertainment plan to follow.

Recent releases from Music Box Films include the Oscar-nominated documentary “Writing with Fire” by Sushmit Ghosh and Rintu Thomas, Pablo Larrain’s “Ema” and François Ozon’s “Summer of ’85.” Upcoming releases include Kentucker Audley and Albert Birney’s 2021 Sundance fantasy “Strawberry Mansion”, Xavier Giannoli’s Venice-selected period drama “Lost Illusions”, Cannes Directors’ Fortnight title by Anita Rocha da Silveira “Medusa” and “The Story of Film” by Mark Cousins. : A new generation.

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