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Award-winning director does her first erotic film and enjoys it

July 10, 2023 Mario Bautista 691 views

ServiceService1DIRECTOR Ma-An Asuncion-Dagnalan is given by Vivamax the chance to direct her first film for the numero uno local streaming channel, “Home Service”, that starts streaming on July 14.

Last year, she made waves when she won the best director award for her first directorial job, “Blue Room”, which is about innocent young people arrested and tormented by corrupt cops.

Like other directors Brillante Mendoza, Jason Paul Laxamana and Carlo Catu, she is also from Pampanga. She studied cinematography and filmmaking with Mowelfund Film Institute and scriptwriting with Ricky Lee.

In 2010, she co-wrote the script of “Layang Bilanggo” about abandoned oldies in a nursing home for Cinema One Originals with her husband Mike Dagnalan directing it. It won best picture and also the best director award for Mike.

They also won the best screenplay award and best actor for Pen Medina. So how did she get to do a film for Vivamax?

“I worked with producer Len Carillo before, I wrote a script for her, and she suggested that I submit a project for Vivamax,” she says. “It was approved at ang husband ko sana magdidirek, but Viva wants a female director so I directed it. First time ko to direct an erotic film.”

So what is the story all about? “It’s about a nursing student, Hershie de Leon as Happy, who works as a masseuse. Naging customer niya si Angelica Cervantes as Precious, who convinces her to work for her as a model. Little did she know that Precious will use her for cyber sex. Also in the cast are Mon Mendoza as Precious’ boyfriend and Vance Larena as a cop who also exploits Happy.”

It’s her first time to work with the film’s cast. How is it? “I’m glad that all the cast members are very cooperative. First time naming magkatrabaho, but they trusted me, lalo sa bedscenes. I saw the boys protecting their partners. Nandun ‘yung respect nila and they did not take advantage. I made sure I respect them and I always ask them first kung ano ang puede nilang gawin at hindi. It’s a learning process for me and feeling ko, na-devirginized na ako ng Vivamax kasi nakagawa na ako ng sexy movie.”

How is it directing the sexy scenes? “Mahirap for me. Noong una, nangangapa talaga ako. Kasi gusto kong maibigay kung ano ‘yung magugustuhan ng audience. So I asked other people, ano ba hinahanap nila sa mga ganung eksena? From their answers, I tried to balance kung ano ang gusto, ano hanap ng both female and male audiences.”

It’s good her husband Mike wrote the film’s screenplay. “So he is there to help me and also the production team, including the assistant director Abdel Langit and production designer Jay Custodio, kasi they know it’s my first time to direct an erotic film.”

She has no regrets doing a sexy film. “Ang importante, may valid message kang gustong i-share sa audience. So the viewers should not just watch the sexy scenes but also take note of the message that we should not abuse innocent people, especially those who are in need of financial help. Tulungan nyo sila but do not just pull them down. The working students are struggling for them to have a good future, so sana tulungan na lang sila kaysa i-exploit at abusuhin like what happened to Hershie in ‘Home Service’.”

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