Film Details

The Portrait

Film Synopsis

Set in Old Manila before World War II, this musical film tells the plight of Candida and Paula Marasigan, spinster daughters of painter Don Lorenzo the Great whose artistry has afforded his family a life of luxury in the past. Unfortunately, Lorenzo has not produced a painting for a long time so the family is in financial trouble. The unmarried sisters rely on the support of siblings Manolo and Pepang who feel no nostalgia for their ancestral home and the profound memories associated with it. The two would rather sell the house and have the sisters live with them. Lorenzo paints his final masterpiece as a gift to the sisters. The painting becomes the buzz of Manila’s high society attracting the attention of journalists, politicians, and other unscrupulous personalities. Candida and Paula reject all offers to buy the painting. They cannot bear to part with the artwork, but there is one person who may be able to sway the sisters’ minds: the crass but charming vaudeville piano player Tony who has an American buyer willing to purchase the portrait for an unbelievable price. Tired of being poor, the more astute Candida is aware of Tony’s intentions and maneuvers the situation, offering her sister Paula as a sacrificial lamb to the hungry wolf.


The Asia Pacific Screen Academy expresses its respect for and acknowledgement of the South East Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. We pay our respects to the Traditional Owners of country, including the custodial communities on whose land works are created and celebrated by the Asia Pacific Screen Awards. We acknowledge the continuing connection to land, waters and communities. We also pay our respects to Elders, past and emerging. We recognise the integral role Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and First Nations peoples continue to play in storytelling and celebration spaces.

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