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NYIFF to honor the powerful film "LATÚS in a celebration during Canne


"An important, unapologetic and poignant look at the effects of corporal punishment. The film's campaign for safe, positive discipline at all times is very important."

(Nicole Holland, IFQ)

The New York International Film Festival (NYIFF) is proud to announce that it will honor the powerful film "LATÚS at a special celebration during Cannes Film Festival. NYIFF founder/executive producer Stuart Alson will host an invitation-only party on Sunday May 15th at the Penthouse Terrance on the Croisette overlooking the Mediterranean. Lead star Analie Lucion, Elsie Abella (supporting actress), Dr. Fred Medina (Director of International Affairs of the Board of Trustees), Wilma Banaga (Save the Children), and Carla Canarias (Advocacy Officer of Tambayan Center) will be honored. Other invitees include buyers, distributors, members of the press, and A-list personalities as well as fellow NYIFF recipients from around the world.

Produced by the Tambayan Centre with funding from CordAid and Save the Children, LATÚS depicts the life stories of adolescent street girls in gangs from urban coastal communities in Davao City, Philippines. It reveals the pervasive and crippling impact of physical and emotional punishment inflicted in the guise of child disciplining. It unveils the far reaching, intergenerational, and at times tragic results of this form of child abuse.

Lead star Vicknelyn (Analie Lucion) and Jenelza (Nellie Fe Angot) are close friends. Both are typical teenagers who are faced with the daily struggles of coping with schoolwork and being "in" as members of peer groups and gangs. Together, both try to come to terms with the violence they experience in the hands of people they trust in their homes and among their peers.

LATÚS has been gaining recognition at a local and international level including a prestigious award from NYIFF for "Best Short Film" as well as being the only short film from Southern Philippines to qualify for the 5th Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival.

The core script of the story was developed by the affected children themselves based on their life experiences through writeshops.

A spokesperson for the Tambayan Center said, "The message we would like to convey to the nation and to the whole world is that the film serves as an instrument to promote awareness and support among legislators and the public in general for the passage of the law on Positive Discipline that has been initiated in Congress and Senate. Tambayan is leading the Mindanao Action Group for Children's Rights and Protection (MAGCRP), a network of child focus Non-Government Organizations (NGO's) in Mindanao, Philippines who promotes the United Nation Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) and Positive Discipline. Latus (whip or punish in local dialect) has unexpectedly gained recognition and we are delighted."

NYIFF's Stuart Alson commented, " Latus is a very powerful film that really deserves a wide audience. The Tambayan Center and director John Paul Seniel tackled the sensitive subject matter with skill." Alson further states, "I was very impressed with the convincing cast members especially first-timer Analie Lucion as the abused adolescent Vicknelyn. "

To keep up with all activities at the NYIFF, please visit For more information or to request a screener copy of LATÚS, please contact Amalia M. Cabusao via email at


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