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Unlocking the Secrets behind “Ang Lihim ni Lea”

Do you have a favorite #childrenstorybook​? What’s the story about and what makes it “good”? Share with us in the comments below!🔽

Children’s storybook writer Augie Rivera goes beyond capturing children’s imaginations as he pierces through the heart and soul of his readers. His advocacy on prevention of child abuse challenged him to come up with the book #AngLihimniLea​ (Lea’s Secret) in 2007. Now out of print and no longer in circulation, the #SoBold​ book, awed TV director Rico Gutierrez.

Together, Augie and Direk Rico started their passion project of turning the book into an animated short film. Completed during the pandemic in 2020, Ang Lihim ni Lea entered Film Freeway. And since then it has been getting recognitions from prestigious international film festivals. Among them are Grand Prize Animation from the Cannes International Independent Film Festival (Silk Road Award); Best Short Film Animation from the Buenos Aires International Film Festival; Best Original Story/ Grand Jury Award Best Animation from the New York International Film Awards; Best Original Story/ Best Main Theme from the Oniros Film Festivals ; Best Animated Short from American Golden Picture International Film Festival; Best Children Short from Independent Shorts Awards and Indie Short Fest; Best Creative from Europe Film Festival; Best Director/Honorable Mention at Best Animation from the Top Shorts Film Festival.

The animated film continues to capture more international festival eyes with it’s brave theme and story. But the numerous awards are just icing on the cake as Augie and Direk Rico’s advocacy to raise awareness on child sexual abuse and to empower victimized children to seek help, speak out and tell their stories just as Lea did, remain to be their main goals for the film. After the festival route ends in December 2021, they hope to finally screen the animated short film in the Philippines, where they really intend to spread out their advocacy.

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