At the 30th Tokyo International Film Festival (TIFF) which runs from October 25 to November 3, Rachel Alejandro, who headlines “Ang Larawan” said that “We were told that musicals are not popular in Japan, and yet from the festival staff, Japanese press and audiences members who watched our first public screening, we got very positive reactions.”
Celeste Legaspi, one of the film’s producers also said that Japanese audience sat through the whole film until the very last credit was shown.
“Ang Larawan” is the film adaptation of “Larawan, The Musical”, a stage translation of “A Portrait of the Artist as Filipino,” Nick Joaquin’s three-act play in English published in 1952.
It features theater veterans Joanna Ampil and Rachel Alejandro as sisters Candida and Paula respectively, struggling after their father, painter Don Lorenzo Marasigan becomes ill and fails to produce art in years.
“Ang Larawan” had a second screening at TIFF on October 31. It is one of 10 competing films for the Asian Future Film prize. The movie-musical is directed by Loy Arcenas, features music by Ryan Cayabyab and libretto by Rolando Tinio.
“This tale created by National Artist Nick Joaquin, translated by another National Artist Rolando Tinio and set to music by Ryan Cayabyab, will hopefully stir the minds and hearts of young Pinoys, make them consider how our past has led us to where we are, but realize also that we can still (steer) our lives to a future by making wiser choices,” says Alejandro.
She adds that the Filipino people have so many stories to tell, and are capable of creating movies that go beyond the usual themes of corruption and poverty, and it is something to be proud of.
Watch the trailer shared by “Ang Larawan” via YouTube: