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Leo Burnett Manila Revisits Boy Who Studied by McDonald’s Light

New film from Filmex Production shines spotlight on the inspiring story of Daniel Cabrera

Leo Burnett Manila Revisits Boy Who Studied by McDonald’s Light

Over a year ago, Daniel Cabrera, a homeless 9-year old boy, was photographed doing his homework by the light of a McDonald’s store in the Philippines. Joyce Torrefranca, a Medical Technology student, took that photo when she was taking a break from a night of studying. Incredibly touched and inspired by the boy’s dedication to his studies despite his circumstances, she uploaded the photo on her Facebook page. Before long, her post went viral online. Financial aid and other donations from all over the world poured in for the boy, helping his life take a turn for the better.

The new film by Leo Burnett Manila and Filmex Production recollects that fateful night through Joyce. It also retells the dire straits Daniel’s family was in and his perseverance to finish school so he can become a policeman, as told by his mother. A poignant reunion between Daniel and Joyce ensues over a simple meal.

In a Catholic country which has one of the longest Christmas seasons in the world with a deluge of Christmas advertisements during the period, the film resonates loudly, even without the Yuletide trappings, for its timely message of love and compassion. Inspired parents, teachers and students have also responded positively for its affirmation of the value of education. The film is rapidly gaining views on McDonald’s Philippines Facebook and YouTube pages. 48 hours following its launch, the film has over 1.8 million views, 94K likes, 25K shares and 2.2K comments which are overwhelmingly positive on Facebook. At the same time, it garnered over 1.2 million views on YouTube.

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Creative Agency

Creative Agency: Leo Burnett Manila

Art Director: Sara Sarmiento

Chief Creative Officer: Raoul Panes

Group Account Director: Judy Medina

Senior Art Director: Spiro Barroga

Senior Account Executive: Mary Pahati

Production Company

Production Company: Slingshot Manila

Executive Producer: Concon Limbo-Deray

Director: Paolo Villaluna

Producer: Steve Vesagas, Tria Sordan


Edit Company: Melanie Valero

Post Production / VFX

Post Production Company: Optima


Composer: Teddy Katigbak

Audio Post Production: Hit Productions

Category: Fast food , Retail and restaurants

Genre: Documentary