Two sisters serves life for kidnapping. After 18 years, a parole is offered only if the boy’s mother forgives them.
Licad is a toy vendor in Manila. In her 40s, she finds a two-year-old boy lost in the crowd. She decides to keep him for a while thinking someone would pick him up. No one showed up for months. After one year, Licad goes home to Mindanao, south of the Philippines for Ramadan. She tries to leave the boy to authorities, but wild stories on how abandoned kids are sent to youth detention centers alarmed her.
The boy has grown close to Licad over time until one day, Licad’s sister Raga saw a newspaper ad about a missing boy. Licad immediately calls the number and the mother - Teresa Basario asks if they can meet in Manila to pick up her son. Licad cannot afford to go back to Manila. Teresa says that she will just pick up the boy in Mindanao. As soon as the mother gets hold of her son, the two sisters are arrested for child kidnapping. Licad and Raga are sentenced to lifetime imprisonment.
The sisters have been inside for 18 years now. This Christmas, their papers are being reviewed for a possible parole on two conditions: that the Philippine president grants executive parole or if Teresa agrees to meet and forgive them.
Baby Ruth Villarama has been involved in international documentary for more than 10 years as a producer and director. She started creating documentary contents for ABS-CBN before she was commissioned by National Geographic, Bloomberg, and other international organizations as a country Producer for the Philippines. She eventually co-produce independent films with filmmakers and other producers from the region, which some have been championed in key international festivals. She earned her Master’s Degree for Film Marketing and Distribution at the Birmingham City University in the UK as a Chevening Scholar. She won the British Council’s Global Alumni Social Impact Award for 2018 because her films are generating national conversations and raising international awareness of modern day issues such as human trafficking and slavery. Her latest film, Sunday Beauty Queen (2016) screened in Busan, HotDocs and other major festivals around the globe. She’s part of a team that puts up Voyage Studios, a startup that push Filipino stories reach a more global audience.
Chuck Gutierrez is a multi-awarded filmmaker and producer. His works have championed Filipino cinema in major film festivals around the globe including Cannes, Venice, Berlin, Pusan, London, Tokyo and New York for the past 10 years.
He is also a foreign correspondent for international news agencies such as CNN and Bloomberg. He is the co-founder of Voyage Studios which produce new breed of Philippine independent cinema with respected directors, writers and cinematographers in the Philippines today.
-Gary Byung-seok KAM
Gary Byung-Seok KAM produced award-winning documentaries in Korea and worldwide. After 10 years of career as a director and producer for MBC in Korea, Gary has been an independent filmmaker since 2006. His filmography includes PLANET OF SNAIL, Best Feature Doc, IDFA 2011, and BREATHIGN UNDERWATER, Special Jury’s Award, the Jeonju Int’l Film Fest. He is currently producing 4 documentaries including the official Olympic film for the IOC and directing his first feature documentary ON HIGH ICE. He also lectures at various documentary forums including Docedge Koltaka, India and Docs Port Incheon, Korea.
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