According to UNICEF, the incidence of child abuse and exploitation has worsened during the pandemic. Sadly, there are still many people who are unaware of or lacking knowledge on the topic. Child abuse can actually take different forms, and awareness is the key to preventing it from happening in our society. One way to raise awareness is to put the topic to the public discourse, and this is what the film Ang Lihim ni Lea is trying to do.
This award-winning short animated film aims to raise awareness against all forms of child abuse and empower victimized children to tell their stories and seek help from the proper authority.
It follows the story of a girl named Lea, who believes that she possesses superpowers but will later reveal that this power is just a coping mechanism for her to survive the trauma of sexual molestation from her own father.
The highly appraised short film was directed by Rico Gutierrez and is based on the acclaimed children book with the same title written by Gawad Balagtas awardee, Augie Rivera.
The film features some of today’s best actors, such as Alessandra de Rossi, Candy Pangilinan, Stella Cañete Mendoza, Princess Culvinar, and award-winning actress Eugene Domingo, who plays the narrator in the film.
Recently, the animated film put the Philippines in the spotlight of world cinema as it successfully bagged some of the most prestigious awards such as Best Original Story and Grand Jury Award for Animation at the New York International Film Awards 2020, Best Original Story and Best Main Theme at the Oniros Film Festivals New York 2020 among the many.
The film won nine international awards in total and will get to represent the country at the Cannes International Independent Film Festival, Madrid Indie Film Festival, Rome Independent Prisma Awards, Paris Lift-Off Festival, and the ARFF Barcelona International Awards.
The team behind Ang Lihim ni Lea has yet to announce its premiere date in the country.