Paco’s Story featured on BBC WORLD this weekend
For the first time, millions of people in the Philippines will have a chance to watch Innocent on Death Row, directed by highly acclaimed filmmaking team, director Michael Collins and producer, Marty Syjuco, when it premieres on Philippine television on BBC World News on Saturday March 14, 2015. “We hope this film will prompt outrage, action, a response…” says Syjuco. Innocent on Death Row, based on the award-winning full-length documentary film Give Up Tomorrow, tells the powerful story of Paco Larranaga, a teen who was wrongfully accused of the rape and murders of sisters Marijoy and Jacqueline Chiong one stormy night in 1997 on the island of Cebu. With archival footage and breathtaking testimonies, the film masterfully chronicles the chilling homicide details and media hysteria surrounding the court case of the heinous crime, once dubbed “The Trial of the Century”. But at its center, the film exposes the corrupt, utterly flawed investigation and subsequent conviction of an innocent man, condemned to death row for a crime he couldn’t possibly have committed. While the film stands as a persuasive indictment against this injustice, it also serves as a tender portrait of a courageous young man and his loving family who are forced to endure a harrowing Kafkaesque nightmare – one that reveals schisms of race, class and political power at the core of the Philippines’ democracy. Despite the fact that the feature documentary on the Cebu case was instrumental in helping the Philippines abolish the death penalty, Larranaga remains behind bars, where he’s grown from a boy to a man over the past 17 years. Called “jaw-dropping” by The New York Times, and “a must-see” by the Huffington Post, the story of Paco Larranaga has resonated with global audiences, winning more than 18 international film awards, including two top honors at Robert DeNiro’s Tribeca Film Festival where it made its American debut. The story has attracted the attention of numerous American and European celebrities including notably Martin Gore, of the UK band Depeche Mode, who is the current face of the Free Paco Now campaign, directed at raising awareness of the Larranaga case. Innocent on Death Row will air on March 14 on BBC World News as part of “Storyville Global” an international documentary strand, featuring 20 outstanding works by filmmakers around the globe. BBC World News reaches 300 million homes worldwide.