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Leonor Will Never Die

1h 39m Action, Crime, Drama, Fantasy 2021

In this daring and delirious ode to Philippine cinema, fiction clashes with reality and an elderly filmmaker becomes the hero of her own life.

Retired action-film director Leonor has lost her bearings. A tragedy on the set of her last project brought her career to a sudden end, her husband has left her, her favourite son is long dead and her other son is a constant thorn in her side. To make ends meet, she continues to write scripts, fantasising about the scenes she’s pulled from her imagination. But when a freak accident puts her in a coma and she ‘wakes up’ inside one of her screenplays, Leonor has a chance to reclaim control of her story.

Winner of Sundance’s Special Jury Award for Innovative Spirit, this ambitiously meta feature debut is an audacious tribute to 80s Filipino action films and to the restorative power of storytelling. Writer/director Martika Ramirez Escobar refreshingly places an older woman centre stage and – against a backdrop of cheesy dialogue, grainy stock and the corniest of fight scenes – veteran theatre actor Sheila Francisco shines in a performance that balances comedy and compassion. Leonor Will Never Die embraces the chaos of movie-making: it’s frequently hilarious and surprisingly moving, with an oddball finale that will make you believe in a truly happy ending.

“Packed with self-reflexive humor and a deep reverence for the art of filmmaking, Leonor Will Never Die establishes Escobar as an artist with a singular voice and bright future in [the] halls of weird cinema.” –


Monster Jimenez


Mario Cornejo


Carlos Mauricio


Lawrence Ang


Alyana Cabral


Tagalog, English, with English subtitles



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