According to acclaimed film director Paul Soriano, his movie “Siargao” was not actually made for the MMFF.
“Actually, hindi iyon ang aming intensyon. We shot this movie, April until June early this year. Anj, my writer has been writing the script since last year. It almost took us 6 to 8 months to finish the script.
“When we were shooting the film, narinig nga namin iyong announcement tungkol sa submission sa MMFF, so sabi ko, why not? Libre lang naman ang mag-submit. Pero, hindi kami nakapasok . So, ok lang shoot nang shoot pa rin kami.
“Then, narinig namin iyong final four na finished film naman bago mag-October 31, so ipinasok uli namin. Luckily, nakapasok siya,” he told PSR.
“Actually, it was meant for a summer release but nonetheless, we feel so blessed kasi its my first time that my company has an MMFF entry,” he added.
He admitted though that he’s inspired by the place that he decided to make a story about the country’s top surfing destination.
“I’ve fallen in love in Siargao. As early as 2010, I’ve been frequenting Siargao. I have a property there. I built a resort. I’ve been going back and forth.
“Tapos, in 2015, napag-isipan namin with my partners, gawa tayo ng movie about Siargao, kasi bago siya. Iyong Boracay, Batanes, matagal na iyan. Iyong Siargao, bago siya at nagiging top tourist destination na rin siya, at saka iyong curiosity ng mga tao about the place naroon, so we developed a story about Siargao,” he shared.
He even learned how to surf to allow some bonding moments with his cast and crew.
“I tried to surf. Beginner pa lang ako, mga small waves pa lang compared kay Echo, na advanced na. I had so much fun doing this film. Ang ganda ng Siargao, para siyang bakasyon. Sarap at ang saya lang dahil while doing the film tapos sa beach pa, parang nag-eenjoy ka lang habang ginagawa iyong film,” he said.
Aside from a beautiful story, the movie aims to promote the place as a top tourist destination.
“We’ve been working with the DOT not just to promote the island. What we want is to create awareness not only of the place but at the same time, protect and save Siargao pati na to encourage tourism and also iyong ma-maintain ang proper waste management sa lugar,” her declared.
He also said there’s a lot of surprises in store for patrons of Pinoy cinema here.
“Aside from the place, iyong oozing sexiness tulad nina Erich at Jasmine, nag-two piece sila rito. You know naman, Siargao is really for beach buddies. We want to showcase the beauty of Siargao here. Pati si Echo na shirtless, talagang fit na fit silang lahat,” he said.
Once and for all, he also clarified the ‘fling issue’ between him and Erich.
“Hindi ko rin alam kung saan nanggaling iyon. I guess iyong closeness ng team namin, nabigyan ng ibang kulay. Six weeks kaming nandoon. Lahat kami, in the same resort. I guess iyong mga tao, gustong mag-imagine na dahil close kayo, meron nang something sa inyo,” he asseverated.
“Actually, Erich is a friend. Friend din siya ni Toni. Kasi, at the end of the day, Toni and I both know naman the truth,” he added.
He also said that his wife, Toni never felt jealous about Erich.
“Si Toni, she’s such a strong woman. Ang lakas niya. Actually, wala siyang selos. Ang totoo niyan, mas seloso pa ako sa kanya,” he insisted.
He also has praises for Jasmine who won her first best supporting actress award for “Transit” which he produced for Cinemalaya in 2013.
“I’ve always been a fan of Jasmine since our “Transit” days pero never ko pa siyang naidirek,” he exclaimed.
He’s also positive that Echo will be a tough contender in the best actor race in “Siargao” come MMFF awards night.
“Alam mo, hindi lang siya nag-ye-yes agad. It took me 3 times bago siya na-convince. Binabasa talaga niya ang script. Actually, he’s picky when it comes to roles pero naiintindihan naman natin dahil he’s one of the best actors of his generation,” he elucidated.
“For me, he’s my best actor kasi seamless iyong acting niya rito,” he concluded.