“Ang Larawan” (The Portrait) provides magnificence and nostalgia

The award-winning musical film directed by Loy Arcenas plays to a global audience and starts screening in the U.S. on Friday, January 12.

First screened at the prestigious Tokyo Film Festival, followed by its opening night showing at the inaugural Cinematografo International Film Festival in San Francisco last November, then running away with six awards at the 2017 Metro Manila Film Festival last December, “Ang Larawan” returns to the U.S. for a nationwide release starting Friday, January 12. Advanced screenings will be held at 6:30 and 8:30 P.M. on Thursday, January 11 at the New People’s Cinema at 1746 Post Street in San Francisco.

Set before World War II in Intramuros, Manila, Philippines, “Ang Larawan” tells the plight of sisters Candida (Joanna Ampil) and Paula (Rachel Alejandro) Marasigan, daughters of high-profile painter Don Lorenzo Marasigan.

Rachel Alejandro is Paula (left) and Joanna Ampil is Candida, two spinster sisters who are having a hard time making ends meet. Their dilemma is whether to sell out and offer their father’s painting to the highest bidder. (Photo courtesy of Culturtain Musicat Productions, Inc.)

Since Don Lorenzo has not produced a single painting for a long time, the family is in financial trouble. The spinster sisters have had to rely on their more successful siblings, Manolo (Nonie Buencamino) and Pepang (Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo), who keep urging Candida and Paula to sell the house.

Snobbish siblings Pepang (Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo) and Manolo (Nonie Buencamino) try to convince their unmarried sisters, Candida and Paula, to sell their old and crumbling ancestral house. (Photo courtesy of Culturtain Musicat Productions, Inc.)

To have a source of income, the sisters take in a boarder, the flippant and flamboyant vaudeville piano player, Tony Javier (Paulo Avelino). Meanwhile, Don Lorenzo becomes a recluse. The painter’s self-portrait fetches a high sum as it attracts the curiosity of many individuals which include pretentious art critics, bona fide journalist and family friend Bitoy Camacho (Sandino Martin), Don Perico (Robert Arevalo) who asks the sisters to donate the portrait to the government, and Tony who tries to convince Candida and Paula to sell it to an American.

(L-R) Candida (Joanna Ampil), journalist Bitoy Camacho (Sandino Martin), and Paula (Rachel Alejandro) stare at the portrait, trying to decipher what is depicted in the image that is causing a stir in the art community. (Photo courtesy of Culturtain Musicat Productions, Inc.)

“Ang Larawan” is an ode to the passing of the world of truth and beauty, and a celebration of the tenacity of the spirit amidst the rise of materialism and consumerism.

The cast of “Ang Larawan” carry out exemplary performances. (L-R) West End star Joanna Ampil is older sister, Candida; Paulo Avelino is the irreverent vaudeville piano player and boarder at the Marasigan residence, Tony Javier; Rachel Alejandro is Paula; and Sandino Martin is the journalist and family friend, Bitoy Camacho. (Photo courtesy of Culturtain Musicat Productions, Inc.)

(L-R) Joanna Ampil as Candida, Robert Arevalo as Senator Perico, Celeste Legaspi as Donya Loleng, and Rachel Alejandro as Paula. (Photo courtesy of Culturtain Musicat Productions, Inc.)

The seduction scene between piano player and tenant Tony Javier (Paulo Avelino) and Paula (Rachel Alejandro). (Photo courtesy of Culturtain Musicat Productions, Inc.)

Fancy fetes and boisterous banquets were a way of life for some before the wartime era. Here we see (L-R) Donya Irene (Nanette Inventor), Don Miguel (Noel Trinidad), Paula (Rachel Alejandro), Don Aristeo (Jaime Fabregas), Donya Upeng (Dulce), and Don Alvaro (Bernardo Bernardo). (Photo courtesy of Culturtain Musicat Productions, Inc.)

The Variety’s Richard Kuipers describes “Ang Larawan” (The Portrait) as “impeccably performed and crisply photographed. Clearly made with the utmost love and care ‘The Portrait’ is beautifully decorated and top-notch in every technical detail.”

The nostalgia of a bygone era is displayed through the exquisite period production design of multi-awarded Gino Gonzales, captured by the sensuous cinematography of Boy Yniguez, also a multi-awarded cinematographer. This is a scene from the La Naval procession scene that required around 700 extras. (Photo courtesy of Culturtain Musicat Productions, Inc.)

Stephanie Mayo of conceptnewscentral.com says it is “an important film to see this year. The music is catchy, the narrative crystal clear, and the words pierce the heart.” And Cinema Bravo’s Paolo Barazon is all praises when he said that “The actors and actresses of “Ang Larawan” deliver solid acting. That by itself is worth the price of the admission ticket.”

“Ang Larawan” is the film adaptation of “Larawan, The Musical” which was based on National Artist Nick Joaquin’s three-act English play “A Portrait of the Artist as Filipino.” The libretto was written by National Artist for Theater Rolando Tinio, with music created by iconic original Pilipino music composer Ryan Cayabyab. The musical film adaptation, screening to a global audience, is directed by multi-awarded Broadway theatrical set designer and director Loy Arcenas.

conceptnewscentral.com’s Stephanie Mayo calls Ang Larawan “a beautiful ode to poetry, romanticism and ideals, and to the undying love for art and culture.” (Left) Candida (Joanna Ampil) does her chores in the kitchen. (Right) Paula (Rachel Alejandro) lights a candle and offers prayers for discernment. (Photo courtesy of Culturtain Musicat Productions, Inc.)

At the Metro Manila Film Festival Awards Night, last December 27, “Ang Larawan” picked up six awards: Best in Production Design, Best Musical Score for Ryan Cayabyab, Gatpuno Antonio J. Villegas Cultural Award, Posthumous Special Jury Prize for Nick Joaquin, Best Actress for Joanna Ampil, and Best Picture.

Audiences across the United States will be able to travel back to pre-war Philippines through the visual richness and musical eloquence of this film.

This time, audiences in the U.S. will get the chance to watch this powerfully articulate movie when it opens this Friday, January 12, in theaters across the country.

There will be advanced screenings will be held on Thursday, January 11, at 6:30 and 8:30 P.M. at the New People’s Cinema, 1746 Post Street in San Francisco.

Catch “Ang Larawan” at the following theaters across the U.S. starting Friday, January 12. Advanced screenings will be held at 6:30 and 8:30 P.M. on Thursday, January 11 at the New People’s Cinema at 1746 Post Street in San Francisco.

Go to www.tfc-usa.com/anglarawan/ for more information and to find a theater near you, or visit TFC US  on Facebook. Connect with fellow global Kapamilyas and follow @KapamilyaTFC and @KapamilyaGlobalPR on Twitter and Instagram.

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Media Contact:

Pia Lopezbanos-Carrion

ABS-CBN International – TFC

2001 Juniperro Serra Blvd, Ste. 200

Daly City, CA 94014

pia_lopezbanos@abs-cbn.com

1-650-241-5607

The award-winning musical film directed by Loy Arcenas plays to a global audience and starts screening in the U.S. on Friday, January 12.

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