Viva Films to Distribute Bea Alonzo’s Multi Award-Winning Movie, “1521”

Viva Films, Philippine’s leading film production and distribution company, proudly announces that it will distribute the groundbreaking film "1521: The Quest for Love and Freedom." 

In collaboration with Inspire Studios, Viva Films is set to bring this cinematic masterpiece to audiences across the Philippines.

The film made its mark across 650 theaters in the United States in October last year. “1521,” a historical drama, tells of a beautiful love story between a native princess and a Spanish translator while highlighting the epic heroism of Datu Lapu-lapu and his courageous warriors against Magellan and his conquistadors in the historic Battle of Mactan in April 1521. 

Hollywood icon Danny Trejo takes on the role of Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan, while award-winning actress and box office queen, Bea Alonzo portrays Diwata, who shares a clandestine romance with Enrique, played by Green Power Ranger, Hector David Jr., adding depth to the narrative with a powerful love story that transcends time and culture.

"1521: The Quest for Love and Freedom" has already garnered four international awards -- the Best Feature Film award at the Athens IMA Film Festival, Best Feature Film and Best Cinematography Feature Film at the Swedish Film Awards and Best Feature Film at the London Independent Film Awards. 

Esther Joy, a FilAm who watched the film in Cincinnati, shares her heartfelt appreciation through the film’s Facebook page:  "Just watched it earlier here in Cincinnati, Ohio and we enjoyed it so much! As a FilAm immigrating to the States at 4 years old, I didn’t learn much about Filipino history in school. I've been doing my own research as an adult, and I truly enjoyed how the Battle of Mactan was portrayed in the film. I found it to be very inspiring and showcased the Filipino warrior spirit. Several scenes even moved me to tears. We truly enjoyed it and thank you so much for making a film representing us as a people and culture, wishing all the best success for the movie."

The Las Vegas premiere, strategically timed in October to coincide with Filipino American History Month, witnessed overwhelming support from Filipino American organizations. Leaders like Jacque de Joya and Gloria T. Caoile emphasized the cultural significance of the film, contributing to the city's commitment to cultural awareness, unity, and intercultural dialogue.

Notable support from the Fil-Am community and business leaders, including Fil-Am billionaire Loida Lewis, further propelled the film's success. Leaders of prominent Fil-Am organizations backed the film by buying out entire theater screenings. Fil-Am officials, such as Hon. Vice Mayor Juslyn Manalo of Daly City, CA, and Hon. State Rep. Rose Martinez of Hawaii held block screenings for their constituents. Honolulu City Mayor even declared October 2, 2023, as "1521 Day" in honor of the film.

“These achievements stand as a testament to the exceptional cast and crew, the history-making production partners, and the inspiring Filipino bayanihan spirit behind the film,” said Francis Lara Ho, CEO of Inspire Studios and the producer of the film.

Looking ahead, a prominent movie distribution company has committed to simultaneously release "1521" in the US and Canada in June 2024. 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

Watch the full trailer for 1521 below

Zach Golez

A lifestyle blogger based in Iloilo City

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