‘Culion’ to premiere at former leper colony island
STAR CIRCUIT - Ricky Calderon (Agence France-Presse) - December 13, 2019 - 12:00am

Ricky Lee wrote the script of "Culion," the 2019 Metro Manila Film Festival produced by iOptions Ventures Production. It was a  dream project for the couple Peter and Gilie Sing, newbie producers who believe that there ought to be a movie about the island which became the home of people suffering from Hansen’s Disease during the 1940s.

The multi-awarded Ricky Lee started the script of "Culion" from scratch after newbie producers Peter and Gilie Sing met with the maestro after their trip to Culion.

“They (Peter and Gilie) were very passionate about doing a film about the place. Their trip to the museum in Culion, which tells the story of the people afflicted with Hansen’s Disease made them decide it is important to have a film to chronicle an unknown part of our history,” said Ricky, adding that the Sings still get emotional after what they’ve discovered about the island.

“They still have traces of tears in their eyes after taking a tour in Culion and saw the museum that tells the story of what Culion was like in the 1940s when it was a leper colony. They said they wanted to make a movie about Culion to erase the stigma,” he said about his first encounter with the couple behind iOptions Productions.

“That was also the same thing we saw when we visited the museum. Then I started to do research while the Sings started looking for a director and auditioned for cast members.”

Ricky said Team Culion consulted him while casting for the roles of the three lead stars of the movie. Cast were Iza Calzado, Jasmine Curtis-Smith and Meryll Soriano, based on the recommendation done by the writer.

The movie is directed by Alvin Yapan, Gawad Urian best director awardee in 2013 for "Ang Sayaw ng Dalawang Kaliwang Paa."

Ricky and the rest of Team Culion hopes the audience will be ready to embrace "Culion" this coming Metro Manila Film Festival.

“We did this film for Culion so that the people will discover its rich history that many of us Filipinos are not aware of,” he said. The film also aims to erase the stigma associated with the place as it has been declared disease-free many years ago.

As promised to the people of Culion, the movie will have its premiere tomorrow night, December 14. The people of Culion will be the first to see the full-length film about their storied place as the producers have decided the people in Culion should be the first to see the finished film.

* * *

Coco Martin said he wanted to make sure audiences will get their money’s worth when they watch "3Pol Trobol Huli Ka Balbon" on Christmas Day 2019. The movie, written, produced and directed by Coco, also features Ai Ai delas Alas, Jennylyn Mercado and Sam Milby in a contrabida role.

“I don’t feel any pressure at all because I know we have a good film. In fact, I am excited to show our movie to the audience since I guarantee they will enjoy it,” said Coco in Filipino at the press conference of the film yesterday.

Even if they don’t have the backing or support of a major studio, Coco made sure they have a movie that they are proud of.

“I don’t want the moviegoers to be disappointed so we really made sure we are giving them an entertaining movie. I don’t intend to compete but we made sure that our movie has all the elements of an entertaining film,” said Coco.

The actor directed the film using his real name Rodel Nacianceno and he is confident that the public will like their movie.

“I made this movie with the aim to entertain the public so they may forget their problems even for a short time. But I assure the viewers that what they will see in this movie is different from what they see in "Ang Probinsyano."

Coco is presenting a new combination of stars in Ai Ai, Jennylyn and  Sam. Also in the cast are Joey Marquez, Carmi Martin, Tirso Cruz III, and Edu Manzano plus Coco’s co-stars in "Ang Probinsyano" like Mitch Valdes, John Prats, Mark Lapid, Bianca Manalo, and the special participation of Yorme Isko Moreno of Manila.

"3POL Trobol Huli Ka Balbon" is produced by CCM Film Productions and is an official entry to the 45th Metro Manila Film Festival.A

2019 METRO MANILA FILM FESTIVAL
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