Article and Photos By Alex Datu

“Dito sa indie films ako kumukuha ng mga konsepto ng istorya na hindi ko nakukuha sa mga maintream movies and it educate our audience also. It’s about time that we do our effort to do beautiful movies that helped us to be recognized internationally dahil maganda ang nagawa nating produkto.” 

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Indeed, the members of the Solid Friends of Piolo Pascual Club are lucky because they regularly got the chance to meet and greet their idol once a year.  Like what happened recently, the said organization just celebrated another anniversary held at Max’s Chicken along Quezon Avenue in Quezon City and we would like to congratulate the leader of the group, Ms.Weng Villalobos for her undying support to Papa P.

“Siya nga pala, usually fans ang nago-organize ng fans club pero kami, we decided na gamitin ang friends of Piolo dahil sa dami ng taong magkakasama kami sa tapings, shows at premiere nights, magkakaibigan na ang turingan namin sa isa’tisa at hindi na tagahanga na nagustuhan naman ni PJ ang nasabing ideya,” club president Weng shared.

This year’s anniversary celebration undergone changes due to the movie Hele sa hiwagang hapis, it was scheduled earlycFebruary, but Piolo had to join the delegates of the movie to Berlin Film Festival, so the anniversary celebration was moved early March, instead.  And yet that day, Piolo has to rush to Resorts World  to attend another event (PMPC Awards Night where he won Best Actor for Silong, along side with Dennis Trillo who also won for Felix Manalo).

In this interview, Piolo admitted that it was not his first time to produce an indie movie. He produced several indi films before including the Kimidora series, with Eugene Domingo. He is happy doing indie films because it offers a lot of good advancement in movie-making for actors and the movie outfit,too.

Speaking of Hele sa hiwagang hapis, immediately that came to your mind was the eight-hour running time.

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“Actually, ang usapan lang talaga namin ni Direk Lav ay five hours pero nang napanood namin ang original version nito ay lampas ito ng walong oras and even more.  We love the movie at nanghihinayang kami na paiksihin ito kaya, we decided na magbawas na lang sa raw material at nag-stick kami sa walong oras na screening time. It’s just like watching a play in the theater where you will see it in one shot and it talks about culture, about history and ‘yung pagka-Pinoy natin,” he shared.

On the lighter side, we asked Piolo his experience watching a more than a three-hour movie, as compared to an 8-hour movie like Hele ...'”Masakit sa puwet, really (Laughter!) , pero, reminder lang, just prepare yourself watching this movie. Imagine, two hours lang of watching, pagod na tayo.  How much more ang eight hours.

“But this we can assure doon sa manonood, the movie is very beautiful.  Well done ito at dahil sa ganda ng pagkagawa at husay ng pag-arte ng mga aktor, hindi mo maiisip ang oras eh, kapag pinapanood mo ito.  Kasalan mo, kapag hindi mo mapanood,” he stressed.

Piolo admitted that it is a great privilege to be working with Lav Diaz who’s admired of his unique skill in his craft.  “Sino ba naman ang hihindi kayLav Diaz?  An honor but the bottom line is, we believe in the material, we believe in the film.  So, its our own way of contributing to the film industry.

“Hindi pinag-uusapan dito ang talent fee.  We agreed with John Lloyd (Cruz) na dapat hindi pinag-uusapan ang TF sa mga ganitong klaseng pelikula dahil ‘passion film’ nga ang turing nila sa latest epic film ni Direk Lav,” he shared.

Silver Bear winner Hele Sa Hiwagang Hapis during the recently concluded Berlin International Film Festival, it is produced by ten17 Productions and distributed by Star Cinema.  It will be shown on March 26 in selected theaters in Greater Manila.

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