“Give up Tomorrow” gets Tribeca audience award

Michael Collins' film tells the story of Paco Larranaga, arrested for the kidnap, rape, and murder of two sisters in the Philippines, despite much evidence pointing towards his innocence.
May 2, 2011

Michael Collins’ Give Up Tomorrow has won the Tribeca Film Festival’s Heineken Audience Award.

The film, which also received a special jury mention in last week’s awards ceremony for the director, received the honor during the festival’s wrap party on Saturday night.

Give Up Tomorrow tells the story of Paco Larrañaga, a culinary student who, at the age of 17, was arrested for the kidnap, rape, and murder of two sisters in the Philippines, despite much evidence pointing towards his innocence. The ensuing trial was dubbed “the trial of the century” in the Philippines, and led to appeals and interventions from NGOs and foreign governments. Larrañaga remains incarcerated.

“From the first standing ovation of Give Up Tomorrow at its premiere at the festival it was clear that audiences were passionate about the portrayal of Paco Larrañaga’s unjust incarceration. We hope that the film will raise awareness of Paco’s plight and lead to his freedom,” said Nancy Schafer, executive director of the Tribeca Film Festival. “This film is remarkably well crafted and I hope this award brings it the additional visibility it deserves.”

The film was a recipient of the Tribeca Film Institute’s Gucci Tribeca Documentary Fund, and the filmmaker is an alumnus of the Tribeca Film Institute’s Tribeca All Access program. It will be screened during the Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival in Toronto, starting Wednesday, May 4.

About The Author
Senior staff writer Frederick Blichert comes to realscreen with a background as a journalist and freelance film critic. He has previously written for VICE, Paste Magazine, Senses of Cinema, Xtra, Canadian Cinematographer and elsewhere. He holds a Master of Arts in film studies from Carleton University and a Master of Journalism from the University of British Columbia.