‘Leonor Will Never Die’ Trailer: Surreal TIFF and Sundance Hit Dives Into World of ’80s Filipino Action Movies

Martika Ramirez Escobar's movie follows a retired filmmaker who enters a coma and wakes up to find herself as a character in her own unfinished script.
"Leonor Will Never Die"
"Leonor Will Never Die"
Music Box Films

Films about filmmakers, both real and fictional, are all the rage right now. From Alejandro González Iñárritu’s “Bardo” to Steven Spielberg’s “The Fabelmans,” the fall movie season features some of Hollywood’s biggest directors releasing movies about the journeys that their profession has taken them on. The films cover a wide range of genres, from stark realism to the very weird, but few are as unique as “Leonor Will Never Die.”

Martika Ramirez Escobar’s feature directorial debut, which won the World Cinema Dramatic Special Jury Award: Innovative Spirit at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival before screening at the Toronto International Film Festival and Fantastic Fest, blurs the lines between fiction and reality while honoring the rich history of Filipino action cinema. The movie tells the story of a retired filmmaker who ends up as a character in her own unfinished screenplay after a falling television hits her on the head and sends her into a coma.

Per the official synopsis, Leonor Reyes was once a groundbreaking figure in the Filipino film industry during its ragtag action cinema glory days, but now she struggles with old age, mounting bills, and the untimely death of her son. While revisiting an unfinished script about a fearless protagonist trying to avenge his brother’s murder, Leonor is struck on the head by a falling television set and knocked into a coma. As she lays unconscious in the hospital, fantasy and reality begin to blur when Leonor finds herself awake inside her script, becoming the hero of her own story. An innovative blend of pulpy action homages, playful comedy, and touching family drama, “Leonor Will Never Die” is a wonderfully imaginative tribute to the art of filmmaking.

“Leonor Will Never Die” is written and directed by Martika Ramirez Escobar. The film stars Sheila Francisco, Bong Cabrera, Rocky Salumbides, Anthony Falcon, Rea Molina, Allan Bautista, Tami Monsod, Dido de la Paz, Ryan Eigenmann, Don Melvin Boongaling, Raion Sandoval, and Opaline Santos. 

Music Box Films will release “Leonor Will Never Die” at Metrograph in NYC on November 25 and Laemmle Royal/Glendale in Los Angeles on December 2. Watch the trailer below.

Leonor Will Never Die
“Leonor Will Never Die”Courtesy Music Box Films
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