Give Up Tomorrow

Director: Michael Collins
 Marty Syjuco



Funders: The Fledgling Fund, Independent Television Services (ITVS), Sundance Institute, Gucci Tribeca Documentary Fund, Bertha Britdoc Connect Fund, Center for Asian American Media, New York State on the Arts, Jerome Foundation, POV’s Diverse Voices Project

Key Funder: The Fledgling Fund

The production team writes:
“We worked in close partnership with The Fledgling Fund, who supported our outreach and audience campaign on three occasions.  The FREE PACO NOW campaign would not have been possible without The Fledgling Fund. Without their generous support and commitment, we would not have been able to achieve what we did.  It was a formidable partnership, filled with brainstorming sessions where great ideas were born.  There were also regular workshops and mentorship, which as emerging filmmakers we really appreciated and enjoyed.  They were such a valuable supporter of our project and it was really wonderful to work with them.  We were able to build our website properly, especially the video section, which was a complex page and required major web development and programming.”


BRITDOC Impact Report:

Read more about the film’s outreach campaign in the full BRITDOC case study, which observes:

Give Up Tomorrow Frontpage“A tropical storm beats down on an island in the Philippines, two sisters leave work and never make it home… Paco Larrañaga, a 19 year old student, is sentenced to death for their rape and murder despite overwhelming evidence of his innocence. Seven years in the making, the film reflects schisms of race, class and political power at the core of the Philippines’ tumultuous democracy that clashing families, institutions, and individuals face over Paco’s freedom.

The filmmakers have very effectively created a political campaign across  borders, channelling public feeling generated by the film towards concrete  political goals. Already the campaign has done much to improve Paco’s quality of life and they have managed this through their own personal energy in partnership with other NGOs, on modest resources.

A long term legacy of the campaign in the form of the Innocence Project Philippines Network will address the systemic roots of injustice in that country for years to come.”

Campaign Update:

In order to spread the film’s message in Southeast Asia, the filmmakers helped to launch the first ever Innocence Project Philippines Network, which holds benefit screenings for awareness, as well as sending law students to interview Philippine prison inmates to find cases fit for exoneration.

The film has been very well-received by the broader Asian anti-death penalty movement. It was the sole selection for the Asian Film Festival Against the Death Penalty, an event involving an alliance of Asian NGOs including Amnesty International Hong Kong, Amnesty International Thailand, TAEDP (Taiwan Alliance to End the Death Penalty), and the Civil Rights Committee of the Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall in Malaysia, which are all members of the Anti-Death Penalty Asia Network (ADPAN).

In Bangkok, Thailand and Galway, Ireland, event screenings of the film were held by Amnesty International as part of the October 10th World Day Against the Death Penalty 2013. These screenings received a significant amount of response and media coverage, particularly in Thailand where the press coverage and anti-death penalty campaign reached millions on television. Campus and cinema screenings have begun in Hong Kong, in partnership with Amnesty International, and in Mainland China, in partnership with CNEX (“China Next”), a Beijing-based NGO. Give Up Tomorrow was also selected as the Opening Night Film at the Many Faces of the Death Penalty Film Festival in Taipei, organized by the Taiwan Alliance to End the Death Penalty.