Filipino audiences will have a chance to see Bessie Badilla, the first Filipina ever to become a Brazilian Carnival Queen in “Dance of My Life” a documentary to be shown on Friday, July 27 at 9:00pm at the CCP Little Theater during the Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival’s Documentaries section presented with support from the Cultural Center of the Philippines, Film Development Council of the Philipines and Econolink Investments Inc.
Bessie Badilla, who will be remembered as one of the stars of the popular TV sitcom, “Eh Kasi Babae” was one of the Philippines’ top models in the 1980s when she was one of the Hyatt Bighani models under Gary Flores. She then worked in Paris for the House of Balenciaga then disappeared from public view when she assumed the role of wife and mother.
“Dance of My Life” tells Bessie’s story within the framework of Carnival when she is invited to star for 3 Escolas de Samba in the rigorously-contested Carnival competition held every year in Sao Paulo. Performing samba before an audience of 50,000 people in Brazil’s largest city poses one of the biggest challenges of Bessie’s life and she draws on her past experiences and indomitable spirit to prepare for it.
Lyca Benitez-Brown, who wrote and directed “Dance of My Life” worked for 2 years with an international crew in Brazil, the US, France and the Philippines on the documentary. Local talents Eileen Sison and Guarana and Nyko Maca provided the non-carnival music. Director Noel Anonuevo and Producer Mayee Fabregas, who worked with Lyca on “Batibot,” shot key local footage and interviews. Editing was done at Brownsugar Productions with Martin Rey Aviles as editor.
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