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2017 Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival

Saving Sally

Directed by Avid Liongoren

International Competition, Programmers' Picks / France, Philippines / 2016 / 90 mins / English, Filipino with English subtitles / Color / 1.85:1, D-Cinema / USA Premiere

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CGV Cinemas 3
May 1, 2017 6:30 pm


Festival Prize Best Musical Score, 2016 Metro Manila Film Festival

Children’s Choice Award, 2016 Metro Manila Film Festival,

Special Jury Prize, 2017 Fantasporto Film Festival of Portugal,

Audience Choice Award, 2017 Fantasporto Film Festival of Portugal,

Honorable Mention in the Orient Express Competition, 2017 Fantasporto Film Festival of Portugal

Avid Liongoren and Screenwriter Charlene Sawit-Esguerra in attendance!

When Marty (Enzo Marcos) meets Sally (Rhian Ramos) after she rescues him from a bully, he finds the perfect companion to share his wondrous world of monsters and everyday comic book imaginary. Both aspiring creative types—he as a comic book artist-writer and she as a gadget inventor—they first need to graduate high school, get into art school, and probably grow up a bit more. These kids dwell in a 2D animated-live action hybrid of a contemporary, bustling Metro Manila rift with creepy crawlies and wild creatures, both a projection of Marty’s ample imagination and the filmic world we see before us. Their adventures transpire in a live action-animated world that spans the wide gamut from video game topography, Japanese anime, to American cartoons with surrealistic sequences reminiscent of Michel Gondry’s THE SCIENCE OF SLEEP and MOOD INDIGO.

    Marty lives with his kooky, inventor father (Bodjie Pascua) and his doting “Tita” of a mother (Carme Sanchez) while Sally’s home life remains rather mysterious other than her parents’ Catholic conservatism and tyrannical rule over her. When Sally takes up with the handsome, older alpha male Nick (TJ Trinidad), Marty’s fury unleashes itself in his art as he unwittingly becomes a Cyrano to Sally’s Roxane. Will Marty finally win the apple of his eye in both reality and his imaginary world? What are those unexplained marks on Sally’s body? Will he find the courage to profess his true feelings and confront some real-life monsters on her behalf?

     From Sally’s steampunk-inspired gadgetry to Marty’s Japanese manga-influenced comic art, SAVING SALLY offers up a fully rendered, internationalist leap forward for both Filipino film and animation. More akin to Disney’s WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT? than their recent BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, director Avid Liongoren, screenwriter Charlene Sawit-Esguerra, and their artistic team at Rocket Sheep Studios worked steadfastly to bring this passion project to fruition over the past decade. Assisted by French production funds and personal sacrifices made by those involved, the film triumphantly debuted at this past year’s Metro Manila Film Festival and has been building a steady, local and international fan base thanks to the social media campaign (#SaveSavingSally), good word-of-mouth, and festival play.    

— Melanie Ramos, with additional contributions by Lindy Leong


Community Partner: FilAm CreativeFilAm ARTS (Association for the Advancement of Filipino American Arts and Culture)

Director's Bio

Mr. Avid has no one to write a fancy bio for him & is rather shy about praising himself. He’d rather you check out his personal art at & his studio’s commercial work at


Producers: Herve Pennequin, Alain De La Mata, Catherine Jaques
Director: Avid Liongoren
Writers: Charlene Sawit-Esguerra, Carlo Ledesna
Production Design & VFX: Rocketsheep Studio
Sound Design & Mix: SHHHtudio!
Original Score: Pablo Pico
Editors: Jether Amar, Juliette Haubois
Cast: Rhian Ramos, Enzo Marcos, TJ Trinidad, Peejo PIllar

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Dates & Times


CGV Cinemas 3
May 1, 2017 6:30 pm