Making ideas and images come to life is truly a magical thing. It may not be easy being an animator but their craft can truly create a good story, a message or both.
“Lihim Ni Lea” is a Pinoy Animated Film that made Filipinos proud after winning 9 international awards from film festivals. It’s such an amazing feat and with this multi-awarded film tackling a sensitive topic of child abuse.
The story centers on a girl named Lea who thinks she can pass through walls and closed doors to deal with the sexual abuse done by her father.
Filipinos are proud of the animated film and caused a stir in social media. Some felt that the topic is needed especially in these times of lockdown, that the rate of child abuse may increase.
United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) also expressed that the coronavirus pandemic has aggrevated the increase of child abuse in the country.
“Lihim Ni Lea” is based on the book written by Augie Rivera and illustrated by Ghani Madueno in 2007, published by Adarna House and the Soroptimist International of Hope Baguio. The film was directed by Rico Gutierrez who won the best Director Award at Top Shorts Film Festival.
It was narrated by commediene and stage actress Eugene Domingo, with Candy Pangilinan as the mother’s voice and Alessandra de Rossi as Lea’s teacher.
Gutierrez stated that he and Rivera decided to turn the book into an animated film to open awareness and for the message of the story to be accessible to more people. He hopes that the film will urge more children to speak out if they’re going through a similar situation as Lea.
Gutierrez believed that the theme is a strong theme that needs to be talked about and it’s part of the reason it caught the eye of film festivals.
The film won the Silk Road Award from Cannes International Independent Film Festival, Best Short Film Animation from Buenos Aires International Film Festival, Best Creative from Europe Film Festival, Best Original Story from Oniros Film Festivals, Best Animated Short from American Golden Picture International Film Festival, Best Children Short from Independent Shorts Awards, Best Children Short from Indie Short Fest and Best Director from Top Shorts Film Festival.