Liwanag (Light)


Luis Liwanag’s images are haunting, with gritty drama that only street scenes can produce. He is one of the most prolific, in-demand, and highly respected photojournalists of our time, having worked for Gamma Liaison, Agence France-Press, Getty Images, the Associated Press, and countless other photo agencies. His life, Liwanag says, is something he owes to photography.

His recognitions are few. In the prime of his career, Liwanag developed glaucoma, which forced him to stop taking pictures for years.

Liwanag went back to photography during the Oakwood mutiny but by then, his skills had become rusty and his self-confidence was at an all-time low. Stubborn and full of grit, he persevered and is now widely recognized as the country’s leading expert in street photography.

“Liwanag” is an intimate, uncomfortable look into the thankless, endless toil of perfecting a craft and overcoming obstacles. As a man and as a photojournalist, Liwanag is difficult to get to know, and the filmmaker tries his best to peel away the layers by looking through the eyes of his colleagues and admirers.


  • Short Sweet Film Festival Manila
    Manila, Philippines
    June 25, 2017
    Audience Choice Award
  • Singkuwento International Film Festival, Manila, Philippines
    Manila, Philippines
    February 18, 2019
    Winner of Jury Prize and Best Directors
  • University of the Philippines, Diliman, Videotheque
    Quezon City, Philippines
    March 11 and 16, 2019
  • Pelikultura: The Calabarzon Film Festival 2019
    Los Baños, Philippines
    March 14, 2019
    Jury Prize
  • Pasalidahay sa Tagaytay
    Tagaytay, Philippines
    May 25, 2019
  • FACINE International Festival 2019
    San Francisco, California, United States
    Winner of Outstanding Film and Outstanding Direction

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