‘1521’ soon in Phl theaters

HECTOR David as Enrique and Bea Alonzo as Diwata in ‘1521: The Quest for Love & Freedom.’ | PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF VIVA FILMS

Historical film 1521: The Quest for Love & Freedom is finally getting a theatrical release.

Bea Alonzo’s internationally acclaimed movie will be distributed by Viva Entertainment and Viva Films in theaters across the Philippines this June.

“Viva Films is eager to bring this remarkable Filipino-American production to its home audience in the Philippines, inviting everyone to immerse themselves in a journey through history and love,” Viva said in a statement.

The distribution company is eyeing to simultaneously release 1521 in Canada and US.

The pre-colonial film reimagines the Battle of Mactan, revolving around the love story of the native princess Diwata (Alonzo) who falls in love with a dashingly handsome Spanish soldier Enrique (Hector David). Portuguese mariner Ferdinand Magellan is played by Danny Trejo.

1521 won multiple accolades at film festivals in Sweden, Athens and London including a Best Cinematography Award and three Best Feature Film Awards. Mayor Rick Blangiarde proclaimed 2 October 2023 as 1521 Day in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Despite the international recognitions, the film was plagued with controversies. An unnamed staff claims that Alonzo had to shoulder her team’s accommodation, including her own costume, while shooting for the movie. The staff also claims that the movie’s talents were not compensated enough. However, 1521’s producer refuted the accusations and countered that it was Alonzo who had “unreasonable demands and expectations not stated in the contract.”

Meanwhile, Alonzo has yet to promote the film.