Regal to produce the ultimate Bonifacio movie
The producer-director tandem of Dondon Monteverde (left) and Erik Matti promises to reveal new details on the colorful life of the hero
STAR/ File

Regal to produce the ultimate Bonifacio movie

FUNFARE - Ricky Lo (The Philippine Star) - January 15, 2021 - 12:00am

Is there anything more about the life of Andres Bonifacio that’s not revealed in history books and documentaries?

The producer-director tandem of Dondon Monteverde and Erik Matti promises to do just that in a big-budgeted “legacy film” to be produced by Regal Entertainment, Inc.

According to Dondon, the movie’s executive producer, filming is set to begin in the first quarter of 2021.

“The movie contains new details about Bonifacio’s life,” said Erik who’s directing the epic production that reportedly has a multi-million budget.

“We know that Bonifacio’s life was one of the most written about and filmed stories of all time, but we promise that in this new movie, the public will learn astounding revelations,” Dondon said.

Photos courtesy of Presidential Museum & Library

For Erik, doing his first period piece is a daunting task but he’s ready to face the challenge.

“Dondon and I got excited when we heard the details in Bonifacio’s life, details we were hearing for the first time,” noted Erik. “We are excited to tell the story and share it with everybody. We want to tell it not just to be different or to debunk other historical facts we heard about the Katipunan but to also present another side to a story that may not be worthy to change our history in the books we read growing up but to tell a story that will make for a really great movie, whether or not it will be debated upon. After all, good movies spark great conversation.”

When the idea about the movie was broached to them, Dondon and Erik asked themselves several questions: Are we ready to do it, to recreate the events of the 1890s? Is there anything left to be told that hasn’t been told in schools and in movies about Bonifacio? Is another Bonifacio movie worth-telling? Is it still relevant to the year 2021?

“I am excited to go forward and make my first period movie. I am excited to start imagining the world that was and recreate the lives lived at that time,” Erik was determined. “I had several opportunities to make a period piece but I always found reasons not to do it. In a historical piece, especially about a famous personality that’s heavily documented, it is not just about telling the story right. It’s a movie, so different from a book.”

He added, “And the main challenge is really recreating the time and the setting in order to engage the audience with whatever story you want to present as a filmmaker. The amount of skill and talent required from the filmmakers on a historical piece is equal or even more than that of doing science fiction.”

That was what scared Erik about doing a period film.

“I have to be ready to create a world beyond just imagining it but a world that will ground all historical facts. Period films are not just about telling a story; it is about transporting the audience to a world that would make them discoveries of how it was then.”

Dondon and Erik are yet to announce who will play Bonifacio and other members of the all-star cast. For sure, the film will have huge action scenes involving dozens, if not hundreds of players.

And as in the case of films of this magnitude touching on sensitive chapters of Philippine history, this Bonifacio “legacy film” will inevitably stir controversy.

Dondon and Erik should be ready for that, too.

(E-mail reactions at rickylophilstar@gmail.com. For more updates, photos and videos, visit www.philstar.com/funfare or follow me on Instagram @therealrickylo.)

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