New cut of Liway to go on general release

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A NEW cut of the Martial Law film Liway will be shown for the movie’s nationwide run which starts on Oct. 10.

The movie premiered at the Cinemalaya Film Festival where it emerged as the highest-grossing film of the film fest’s 14-year history.

Based on director Kip Oebanda’s childhood experiences, it stars Glaiza de Castro as Liway/Inday, a young mother raising her child as normal as possible in a makeshift prison camp for dissidents during Martial Law. Using stories and songs, she tries to find joy even in their difficult life. Then she must confront the difficult realization that living outside the prison camp, away from her, may be in the best interest of the child. It is ultimately a story of mother’s great love for her son and the incorruptible light of truth amid dark hopelessness.

The film has garnered excellent reviews and strong word-of-mouth. Aside from being the Cinemalaya 2018 Audience Choice winner, it also won Special Jury Commendation and Special Jury Citation for child actor Kenken Nuyad. At its full-house Cinemalaya gala night, Liway received more than seven minutes of applause.

Succeeding screenings have continue to be SRO events, including the most recent one held at the University of the Philippines Film Center on Sept. 21 to commemorate the 46th anniversary of the declaration of Martial Law.

The film also stars Dominic Roco, Soliman Cruz, Joel Saracho, Nico Antonio, Sue Prado, Paolo O’hara, Upeng Galang-Fernandez, Vance Larena, and Khalil Ramos. Child actor Kenken Nuyad portrays Inday’s son, Dakip.

The screenplay is by Kip Oebanda and Zig Dulay. The movie is produced by VY/AC Productions and Exquisite Aspect Ventures.

The version that will go on wide release includes elements not seen at prior previews. “We wanted to enhance the experience of the moviegoer as we go nationwide,” explained writer-director Mr. Oebanda. “Thus, those who have seen Liway have a reason to watch it again, and those who have not seen our movie yet have more reason to do so,” added producer Alemberg Ang.

In the light of recent discussion about the crucial period in Philippine history, Liway seeks to serve as testimony to the experiences of Martial Law prisoners. Mr. Oebanda said at the UP screening that “The point of the film is to show that we are true, that our stories and narrative are real.”

Liway is an affecting piece celebrating the personal journey of Kip Oebanda that bears much importance at a time when national memories are forgotten…,” wrote writer/director and professor Jose Javier Reyes on Facebook.

Liway is a story that deserved to be retold: the sacrifices endured if we live with compassion. It portrays the cost of genuine freedom as much as we can truly pass on to our children,” tweeted Supreme Court Associate Justice Marvic Leonen after watching Liway during its Cinemalaya run.