Miel Espinoza and Bodjie Pascua star in ‘Pan de Salawal,’ which is set for a wide theatrical release.

“Pan de Salawal,” the heartwarming and hilarious Filipino film about the friendship of a seven-year old girl with healing powers and an ill-stricken baker, hits Philippine cinemas beginning July 24. Los Angeles-based producer CineFocus Productions has partnered with local distributor Solar Pictures for the film’s release.

Starring character actor “Kuya” Bodjie Pascua who rose to prominence through the iconic children’s show “Batibot,” and child sensation Miel Espinoza, Pan de Salawal tells the story of Aguy (Miel) who rejuvenates the ailing community-along-the-tracks where Sal (Bodjie) resides. Aguy literally gives Sal and his neighbors a “shot in the arm” by slapping or punching the sick as her way of way of bringing them back to health.

The wide theatrical release will cater to the movie’s admirers and fans who have been requesting to see the film after its successful run at the 14th Cinemalaya Film Festival, where it won Best Director and Special Jury Prize for first-time director Che Espiritu, Best Original Score for Len Calvo and Special Jury Prize for Acting for Miel Espinoza.

“There has been a huge clamor from audiences for it to re-run. A lot have been asking to watch and rewatch the film. And now, a year after it premiered at Cinemalaya, the commercial release is a treat for indie film lovers and for the rest of Filipino audiences of all ages,” says writer-director Che Espiritu.

Solar Pictures boss Wilson Tieng immediately gave his support after an initial meeting and preview with CineFocus producers Matthew Godbey and Herb Kimble. The veteran film distributor/producer and ardent independent film advocate was said to have found Pan de Salawal to be “charming and wonderful.”

The family motion picture features an all-star ensemble. Aside from Miel and Kuya Bodjie, the movie also stars acclaimed actress Anna Luna, heartthrob Felix Roco, and indie faves Madeleine Nicolas, Soliman Cruz and Ruby Ruiz.

Pan de Salawal is the first of many Filipino film projects that CineFocus has lined up for production. (PressONE.ph)