Vilma Santos begs off to play lead role in Raya Martin’s “Independencia”

Vilma Santos begs off to play lead role in Raya Martin's "Independencia"

Raya Martin directed Now Showing, which was exhibited at the Cannes Film Festival this year. His next film, Independencia, is about the relationship of a mother with his son during the American occupation of the Philippines. The mother role was first offered to Governor Vilma Santos, but the actress-politician turned it down.

Dumating sa presscon ng Cinema One Originals ang young filmmaker na si Raya Martin na ginanap sa 9501 restaurant sa 14th floor ng ELJ Building sa ABS-CBN kahapon, July 24. Si Ryan ang direktor ng pelikulang Now Showing na ipinalabas sa Cannes Film Festival kamakailan.

Nagtapos si Raya ng kursong filmmaking sa University of the Philippines sa Diliman, Quezon City. Right after graduation, nag-residency siya with other filmmakers abroad hanggang sa nagsimula siyang mag-produce ng kanyang first Asian film. Pagkatapos noon ay gawa na siya nang gawa ng mga pelikula.

“Ang Now Showing is all about the coming of age ng babae. Growing up in Manila and surrounded by cinema. Yung lola niya used to be an actress nung ‘50s. And then, lumaki siya nagbebenta siya ng mga pirated DVDs. So, parang she’s been to cinema. Mga theater actors din ang bida doon sa film,” kuwento ni Raya sa PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal).

Ang first Asian film ni Raya ay ang Maicling Pelicula ng Ysang Indio Nacional (O Ang Mahabang Kalungkutan ng Katagalugan) na pinagganapan ng mga theater actors. Sa ngayon ay pinaplano na niya ang karugtong ng Indio Nacional na pinamagatan niyang Independencia.

“Parang equal siya doon sa Indio Nacional. Historical din siya. Kasi yung Indio Nacional, Spanish occupation; ‘tapos eto [Independencia] naman, American period.”

Independencia is a story of a mother and her son during the American occupation in the Philippines. Nauna na raw nilang kinausap ang Star For All Seasons at ang Batangas governor na si Vilma Santos para sa lead role.

Ayon kay Raya, “Parang may concept kasi ako na parang star. Parang it follows yung Hollywood style of filmmaking, parang yung star system nung araw. Parang tina-try ko na i-recreate yung mga movies nung araw. Si Ate Vi parang yung symbol, e, yung icon sa show business besides being a great actress, yun.”

Sad to say, nag-beg off na rin daw sa proyektong ito si Governor Vi.

“Well, yun, kailangan na kasi naming mag-shoot na. Kailangan na naming mag-finalize. So, mukhang hindi siya yung pupuwede.”

Last year pa raw nila inalok ang project kay Governor Vi, pero recently lang daw sumagot ang Star For All Seasons.

“Well, naintindihan ko naman. Kailangan agad namin gawin yung pelikula and I understand, marami rin siyang ginagawa. But she expressed naman na if there’s a next project na puwede sa kanya, sabi niya, ‘Never forget me.’”

Gaano ba kaimportante ang role?

“Unsung role kasi siya, e. Mother and son. Maganda yung role…for me, ha.”

Sa ngayon ay wala pa raw silang final na napagdedsisyunan kung sino ang kapalit ni Governor Vi para sa mother role ng Independencia.

“Ipa-finalize pa namin but, hopefully, next week pa,” sabi ni Raya.
What about yung role ng anak na lalaki? May nakausap na ba sila na gaganap for this role?

“Depende rin kasi doon sa mother kung sino yung gaganap saka hahanapan ng artistang bagay sa anak. Kailangan kasi mga 20’s, ‘tapos ten years later. Actually, mas pina-prioritize naming yung nanay,” saad ni Ryan.

Kaugnay nito, nag-”pass muna” rin si Gov. Vi para maging bahagi ng remake ng Miss X, na pinagbidahan niya noong 1980. Si Katrina Halili ang gaganap sa bagong version nito.

JULIE BONIFACIO
Philippine Entertainment Portal

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