MMFF 2017 entry ‘Siargao’ brings together romance, environmental awareness and tourism promotion
The Surfing Capital of the Philippines finally takes front and center in acclaimed director-producer Paul Soriano’s first Metro Manila Film Festival entry Siargao, starring Asia’s Drama Prince Jericho Rosales and celebrated actresses Erich Gonzales and Jasmine Curtis-Smith. Deviating from his previous serious projects, Direk Paul finally dips his hands into the lighter romance-drama genre with his first travel-themed movie focusing on the story of a woman who is finding, recreating and rebuilding herself in the picturesque island of Siargao.
More than showcasing and promoting the beautiful island and its majestic tourist spots, Direk Paul also aims to create an awareness to match the province’s booming tourism. “Now that we have this voice, we have this media attention, we also want to make sure to create an awareness that let’s take care of Siargao. Let’s take care of the beauty of Siargao, the beauty of the beaches. Let’s respect the locals and let’s not saturate it,” he explained saying that they made sure to interlace their advocacy into the film’s script and their ongoing promotional efforts.
Joining him in this cause are Jericho, who plays the role of Diego, the island-lover love interest of the brokenhearted video blogger Laura, played by Erich and the environmental activist and Siargao native, Abby, played by Jasmine. Although Direk Paul’s ¬Ten17P Productions has produced Jasmine’s indie film Transit (2013), Siargao is the first time that he gets to direct her, Erich and Jericho. “I’ve always thought ‘This girl has it!’ She takes her craft seriously and I’ve always wanted to work with her as a director,” he said of Jasmine. “What was nice about Jasmine was even when we were shooting, she was really immersed to the experience.”
Although he’s long been wanting to work with him, Direk Paul shared that he wasn’t able to get Jericho’s approval right from the get go. “When I was starting to think of my actors, of course Jericho was top of mind. Jericho has been a good friend of mine for how many years.I pitched it to Echo it wasn’t a yes agad it was more of ‘Let’s meet usap muna tayo, kape muna tayo.’ Tapos we talked and talked and we talked and talked more,” he described.
Erich caught Direk Paul’s attention as early as her promising Katorse days. True enough, he was able to discover Erich’s passion for acting while filming Siargao.
Erich, for her part, couldn’t be any happier that she’s returning into the big screen after four years and with her first-ever title MMFF entry at that.
Erich’s last film was 2014’s Shake Rattle and Roll. The film also saw a lot of first for Erich including surfing, cliff jumping, going to Siargao, riding the motorbike and working with her co-stars and her director. Finally trying and getting rejected in the Metro Manila Film Festival thrice, Direk Paul finally made it. But, according to him, he’s looking forward to experiencing one particular thing this coming Metro Manila Film Festival season. Catch Ten17P’s latest opus, the Metro Manila Film Festival 2017 entry Siargao by Direk Paul Soriano starring Jericho Rosales, Jasmine Curtis-Smith and Erich Gonzales in cinemas nationwide starting December 25.