Korean director all praises for Sunshine Familyâs Pinoy cast
The Fil-Korean production Sunshine Family stars real-life husband and wife Nonie Buencamino and Shamaine Centenera in their first film together as lead stars. They are joined by Sue Ramirez and Marco Masa who play their children in the movie.

Korean director all praises for Sunshine Family’s Pinoy cast

Nathalie Tomada (The Philippine Star) - June 5, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — To celebrate its 10th year as a film outfit, Spring Films is spreading its wings and combining forces with South Korea’s Film Line Productions to release the family dramedy Sunshine Family. The film opens in theaters nationwide today.

Based on the award-winning 1992 Japanese film The Hit-And-Run Family, Sunshine Family stars real-life husband and wife Nonie Buencamino and Shamaine Centenera in their first film together as lead stars. They are joined by Sue Ramirez and Marco Masa who play their children in the movie.

“This is very unique since this movie was directed by a Korean director, directing our Filipino talents,” said director and Spring Films co-founder Joyce Bernal.

The South Korean director is Kim Tai-sik (Driving With My Wife’s Lover, Tokyo Taxi, Red Vacance and Heartbreak Hotel) who’s also CEO of Film Line, a production house for feature films, TV programs and commercials since 2000.

According to direk Joyce, Film Line was first to approach Spring Films and the latter agreed to collaborate with a film production company based in the global entertainment powerhouse that is South Korea because “we want to know their system and work discipline.”

“They are all easy to work with, very open, good collaboration, very disciplined, serious but warm. They are very supportive of us,” she further said of their counterparts.

South Korean director is Kim Tai-sik (wearing all black) sharing a light moment with Nonie on the movie set

Asked if this is the direction Spring Films is increasingly taking in the near future, Joyce said, “We are so open to collaborating with foreign film productions since we want to have an exchange of ideas with Asian filmmakers. We’re also targeting Thailand, China and India, and we’re open to collaborate with them in the future. Coming from producing Kita Kita (which was filmed in Japan), we experienced working with other Asian countries and the goal of Spring Films is to get the Asian market.”

Director Kim, on the other hand, has been looking to and exploring Southeast Asia for collaborations. “I have worked on co-production with Japan many times before. Since the industry of small film market between Korean and Japan is going blurry, that is when I thought of working with Southeast Asia. I have noticed that the film industry in each country around Asia is growing. I think that it is time to gather strengths to diversify projects,” he told The STAR.

Kim is not a stranger to Philippine cinema having worked with Spring Films back in 2012 through Kimmy Dora and the Temple of Kiyeme, directed by Joyce, topbilled by Eugene Domingo and partly shot in South Korea.

He recalled: “It was an interesting experience to work with them because I got the impression that Spring Films wants to make creative and unique films as well as commercial ones. Also, Korean and Philippines have different sentiments and emotions in certain things and this film is mainly for the Philippine audience so I tried to accommodate the opinions of director Joyce Bernal, as an executive producer in this film, as much as possible while we did post-production such as editing, sound, music, etc. So, I made two different versions, a Korean one and a Philippine one. I hope this co-production will be a good model for future projects between two countries.”

Sunshine Family tells the story of a close-knit Filipino family living in South Korea for five years. The family peace is threatened when the father (Nonie) gets involved in a hit-and-run accident. As the family of four struggles to deal with the dilemma of possible jail time and feeling the full force of the law in a foreign country, their situation doesn’t get any better with their daughter (Sue) having a policeman for a boyfriend (K-pop idol Shinwoo of Blanc 7).

“When I watched the original Japanese film, I saw how good the actors in the film were. Hindi sila nag-papatawa but something happened and yung ginawang solusyon sa naging problema was very ridiculous which made the movie comedy,” said direk Joyce on why they adapted the film.

“It was refreshing to see (in Sunshine Family) our good Filipino actors and it so happened that the two major characters, the husband and wife, are played by a real couple. We believe in Nonie and Shamaine and we want to see them together onscreen.”

Another scene from the dramedy, which opens in cinemas today

Kim was similarly impressed by the original story. “The members of the family were busy living their lives but when something happened to their family — the father caused a crime of hit and run — they become united.” At first, he wanted the film to be more about the mom’s side of the story. However, seeing how well Nonie and Shamaine complement each other as actors changed all that. “Nonie and Shamaine showed well-balanced acting so I wanted to take advantage of that. My original intention had to change a bit but I was very happy with their performance and the results.”

He was all praises for the “children” in the film. “(Sue) was a very impressive actress and has a humorous personality. She was quick at catching how she should act despite the language barrier. The son, Macro, showed his tender-hearted personality and the crew loved him. During editing, I noticed every actor was devoted to their roles. They did not miss any details that I wanted in the scenes and I was very pleased.”

Kim also described having Filipinos on set. “We were more serious and intense but Filipinos were warm and cheerful, and it was great working with them,” he said.

In an earlier interview, the cast praised Kim for being very patient on set and claimed it was a smooth-sailing shoot despite cultural differences and language barriers.

“I am thankful that actors and actresses thought of us that way. One of the responsibilities as a director was to respect the actors and give them as much freedom as they want on set. Although there were language barriers and culture differences, I tried to understand them through their feelings and emotions,” he said. 

Director Kim took note of how the Pinoy actors were able to master their Korean dialogue with only a month to prepare. On top of that, he commended them for enduring the three-week shoot in South Korea late last year under a “cold weather and harsh environment.” “I am extremely thankful to work with them and hope that everyone has good memorable experience with me as well,” he said.

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