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Filipino crime noir “Dagsin” wins at The World’s International Film Festival


Alex Diaz as Junior, Janine Gutierrez as young Corazon, and Benjamin Alves as young Justino

SAN FRANCISCO – The Filipino crime/suspense film “Dagsin” by Atom Magadia will be awarded Best Narrative Feature Film this September 22, 2017 at the New People Cinema in San Francisco by The World’s Independent Film Festival (TWIFF).


The movie, which was also among quality entries of the prestigious Cinemalaya Film Festival 2016 tackles the story of Justino, played by Tommy Abuel and Benjamin Alves.

After surviving World War II, the Death March and several attempts on his life, Justino had become an atheist. But after his wife’s demise, a part of him now yearns to believe in life beyond death just to be united with her again. Searching for parts of his wife he can still hold on to, Justino goes through her personal things. Mercy, their adopted daughter, finds a box full of Corazon’s diaries, and he devours them for information into their past.

A patriot and brilliant Judge during the Martial Law era, Justino’s quest for justice was firm even after he was ambushed by hired assassins, turning him into a paraplegic for life. But when they abducted Corazon, the idealistic and fiery human rights advocate finally bowed down to the “System” in exchange for her safety.

When Justino meets Severino, he is shocked by the information the former political prisoner shares– Corazon was incarcerated in the same holding facility he was held. Severino recounts her ordeal and the abuses she suffered that he never knew… Justino again dies inside. Plagued with regret and guilt for what happened to her, he resolves to join his wife for good… But the story has not ended there.


ATOM MAGADIA (Renato I. Magadia, Jr.) is an alumnus of the Art Center College of Design in California for Film Production. He received further training from the USC School of Cinematic Arts, UCLA School of Theater Film & Television, Actor’s Studio West, the American Society of Cinematographers and the Society of Motion Picture Still Photographers. An award-winning Commercial & Fine-Art Photographer, he was also an active member of the Royal Photographic Society of England and the Advertising Photographers of America for several years. 

Tommy Abuel who played lead character and director Atom Magadia

After graduating from the University of Southern California Marshall Business School with a degree in Finance/Business Management in 1990, Atom worked for more than fifteen years in the U.S. and the Philippines in the Finance/Banking and Real Estate sector, before finally deciding to concentrate on Filmmaking, Photography, writing and visual-art.

An artist who hones his skills in both the Commercial and Fine Art fields, Atom believes in art that both entertains and amuses, as well as elevates and engages our minds and souls. He combines his unique assortment of skills and talents (across various disciplines: Visual Arts, Literature and Drama) to create compelling and unique works that aim to compel people to pause and think about their lives, actions, humanity and the world they live in. 

“Unlike other romantic plots that concentrate on how the couple met, fell in love and lived happily ever after, our story concentrates on its aftermath; beyond the “ever after.” Gravity can also be an alternate title as it refers to the heaviness we feel when we are suddenly burdened by life. Like the time when a mourning widow is faced with the tragic reality of death, loss and is quietly forced to breathe in years of unresolved guilt,” Atom said.

“On the surface, the story’s plot may seem simple: An old man’s love story that has now ended with the passing of his wife. Yet, we have richly layered the movie with subplots (World-War II and Martial Law), characters, symbolisms and metaphors that can be deciphered by those who crack the surface,” he added.



This will be the seventh run of The World’s International Film Festival, which initially started as “Third World Film Festival”, aiming to provide an avenue from filmmakers of developing countries, to rasie awareness to global and local issues, to expose the realities of systemic corruption, and to celebrate the quality of independent filmmaking. The event will be held in the chic New People Cinema in the bustling Japantown region of San Francisco.

The red carpet will be held on Friday, September 22 from 7:00-10:00pm, Pacific. The complete TWIFF 2017 Screening Schedule can be found at www.twiff.org/current-twiff and the red carpet and screening tickets are available at www.twiff.org/shop. 

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