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Heartwarming reception for “Ang Larawan” at Udine Far East Film Festival

“Ang Larawan” received a warm reception from the audience at the 20th Far East Film Festival in Udine, Italy, reported lead actress and producer Rachel Alejandro. “It ended with applause that lasted way into the credits,” the singer-actress said of the screening that was attended by mostly an Italian audience and award-winning Elizabeth Oropesa who was also in the festival to represent her film “Si Chedeng at si Apple.”

Left to right: Film festival programmer Max Tessier, Rachel Alejandro, Far East Film Festival President Sabrina Baracetti, Celeste Legaspi, Girlie Rodis, Alemberg Ang, Loy Arenas

“Ang Larawan,” whose international title is “The Portrait” is a musical film based on the play A Portrait of the Artist as Filipino by National Artist for Literature Nick Joaquin, about two sisters living in pre-WW II Intramuros who refuse to part with their father’s painting.

Rachel Alejandro and Celeste Legaspi in Udine, Italy

Rachel and her manager, “Ang Larawan” producer Girlie Rodis trooped to the screening venue, the Teatro Nuovo Giovani da Udine, straight from the airport. “GR and I made it in the nick of time lang to the 11 am showing,” Rachel related.

Clockwise: Alemberg Ang, Ryan Cayabyab, Rachel Alejandro, Loy Arcenas, Girlie Rodis and Celeste Legaspi enjoying Venice, Italy

Team Ang Larawan was represented by director Loy Arcenas, producer Alemberg Ang, actress-producer Celeste Legaspi, and musical director Ryan Cayabyab.

Celeste was grateful for the chance to connect with fellow artists and cinema enthusiasts. She said, “In our third international film festival, we have made new friends in the film world!”

The veteran performer had not seen her movie (which won Best Picture at the most recent Metro Manila Film Festival) for some time. Rachel shared that watching the film again in Udine was somewhat a sentimental experience for Celeste who was close to co-star Bernardo Bernardo who passed away last March due to a pancreatic tumor.

Rachel said, “Celeste was teary-eyed to see BB (nickname of Bernardo) — because now he is gone. Gone too soon.”

Film Development Council of the Philippines Chair Liza Dino, Alemberg Ang, Rachel Alejandro, Celeste Legaspi, Girlie Rodis, Loy Arcenas

Rachel added that, “Team Larawan was thanked repeatedly by audience members for making the film. Some even asked for autographs as they filed out of the theater.”

The Ang Larawan team with actress Elizabeth Oropesa of "Si Chedeng at si Apple" at the Far East Film Festival

The Filipino contingent in 2018 Udine Far East Film Festival also included representatives of the film “Smaller and Smaller Circles” and Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) Chair Liza Diño who remains committed to championing Filipino films in the international arena. “We are excited about the FDCP Chair’s good news about continuing to make it possible for Filipino films to be showcased all over the world — which will include our film in the foreseeable future,” said Rachel.

Rachel, Celeste and their companions also enjoyed the lovely sights and experiences that Italy had to offer. “We dined in a castle with delicious Italian food!” Celeste enthused. “All the blessings of ‘Larawan!’ The five years of hard work is truly worth it. Thank you, God for Larawan!”

Rachel Alejandro, Elizabeth Oropeza and Celete Legaspi in Udine, Italy

For updates about the film, log on to www.anglarawan.com or like Ang Larawan The Movie on Facebook

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