Film Detail


Chito S. Roño / Philippines / 2010 / 128 min / North American Premiere


"Everyone loves a musical, and Filipinos love to sing!" says director Chito S. Roño. What better way to put that statement to the test than to stage the biggest musical to ever come out of the Philippines? Roño's EMIR chronicles the life of Amelia, an earnest hardworking OFW (Overseas Filipina Worker) hired to be the yaya (nanny) of a royal family in Morocco. Upon arrival, Amelia is greeted with hostility by the other OFW’s, instantly turning her into a Cinderella among mean-spirited stepsisters. And as if that weren't hard enough, Amelia finds herself searching for love in a foreign county on the brink of war, all while helping care for the royal family’s little son Ahmed, whom she introduces to the culture, values and language of the Philippines. Inspired by true events (including the story of a Middle Eastern prince who speaks fluent Tagalog) and filmed on location in Ilocos and Morocco, EMIR guides us through decades of a fractured life in song 22 songs, to be exact, composed and written by Diwa de Leon and Gary Granada, with musical direction by Josefino “Chino” Toledo. Newcomer Francheska Farr shines as the courageous Amelia, while the veteran singer Dulce lends an evil-stepmother air to her portrayal of Ester, the head housekeeper with a face of stone and a heart of glass. Stirring, uplifting and deliciously campy, EMIR aims to please, and it succeeds at proving that Filipino filmmaking can indeed be a world-class industry. H.P. Mendoza


  • Director: Chito S. Roño
  • Producer: Digna Santiago
  • Cinematographer: Neil Daza
  • Writer: Jerry Gracio
  • Editor: Jerrold Tarog


Sun 03.13 300pm

Sat 03.19 830pm

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