Give Up Tomorrow

When a teenager in the Philippines is accused of double murder, the country’s judicial system is put to the test after years of alleged corruption.

Film Signature Image
Premiere Date
October 4, 2012
90 minutes
Funding Initiative
Open Call
  • Award laurels-r Created with Sketch.
    2011 Tribeca Film Festival-Audience Award
  • Award laurels-r Created with Sketch.
    2011 Tribeca Film Festival-Special Jury Mention (World Documentary Competition)
  • Nominated laurels-r Created with Sketch.
    2012 News and Documentary Emmy Awards-Outstanding Investigative Journalism - Long Form
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    Michael Collins

    Michael Collins is an Emmy Award-nominated filmmaker whose documentary, Almost Sunrise, premiered at Telluride Mountainfilm and won six major awards. Michael’s first film, Give Up Tomorrow, premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival and won the Audience Award, a Special Jury Prize for Best New Director, and was nominated for an Emmy.

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    Marty Syjuco

    From the Philippines, Marty Syjuco is an Emmy®-Award nominated filmmaker whose first film, Give Up Tomorrow, won the Audience Award and Special Jury Prize at the Tribeca Film Festival. His second feature, Almost Sunrise, won a CINE Golden Eagle Award. His latest film, Call Her Ganda, was nominated for a GLAAD Media Award. 

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    The Film

    When a teenager from a political family in the Philippines is accused of a double murder, the country’s entire judicial system is put to the test after years of alleged corruption.

    On a stormy night in July 1997, two young girls waiting for a ride at a shopping mall disappear without a trace. Simultaneously a murder-mystery and an exposé of endemic corruption in the post-Marcos Philippines, Give Up Tomorrow centers on the trial of Paco Larrañaga, a young mestizo (of Spanish descent) accused of killing two Chinese-Filipino sisters on the island of Cebu. Capturing how a rapacious media circus stoked ethnic and class hatred to prejudice public perception, the film reveals the extraordinary judicial violations that resulted in Paco’s death sentence. Secret filming from Paco’s cell exposes the appalling conditions of Filipino prisons, where thousands like him languish without fair trial.

    This story is intensely personal with far-reaching global implications: Paco’s case was eventually championed by international human rights groups, including Amnesty International and the UN; their efforts eventually led to the abolishment of capital punishment in the Philippines, saving hundreds of inmates whose possible innocence may have been disregarded by flawed judicial and social systems.