A Will to Dream

Directed by Patrick Alcedo

Q&A with the filmmaker after the screening

Moderator: Trixi Agiao and Edrian Pangilinan


A former ballet star in the Philippines, Luther Perez surrendered his US Green Card to teach dance to underprivileged children and youth in urban poor districts in Quezon City. He wanted to continue the heroic work started by his close friend, Eddie Elejar, and late domestic partner, Tony Fabella, of empowering the marginalized through ballet. Filmed over five years, A WILL TO DREAM touches on issues of teenage pregnancy, illegal drugs, precarity of labour, and inconsistent governmental support in poverty alleviation. It movingly illustrates how dance when partnered with altruistic teaching has the power to possibly overcome these socio-economic inequities and political challenges.


Patrick Alcedo is a dance ethnographer, a specialist on Philippine traditional dances and a documentary filmmaker. He is the Chair of the Department of Dance at York University, the 3rd largest university in Canada. He received his PhD in Dance History and Theory from the University of California, Riverside under the auspices of the Asian Cultural Council. In 2019, he received York University’s highest teaching award – the President’s University-Wide Teaching Award. His documentary films DANCING MANILENYOS and A PIECE OF PARADISE have been screened and recognized at various film festivals including the Diversity in Cannes Short Film Showcase (2019), the Hollywood International Independent Documentary Film Awards, and the Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival (2017 and 2018). His latest film THEY CALL ME DAX, a short documentary on a 15-year old student trying to survive as a ballet dancer, will world premiere at the 2021 Cannes International Independent Film Festival.

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