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Bela shoots new film in Korea with LT and a Korean actor
BELA Padilla is the writer, director and lead star of Viva’s entry to the Summer Metro Manila Filmfest, “Yung Libro sa Napanood Ko”, which was filmed on location in Seoul, Korea. This is the second film that she wrote, directed and starred in after 366”, which was shown on Vivamax.
In the story, Bela plays Lisa, a book writer fond of Korean drama, then she meets Kim Gun Hoo (played by Korean actor Yoo Min-Gon), in her book signing. He asks her to autograph her book which he bought. And when he finds out about her fascination with everything Korean, he asks her to go with him and visit his country in person.
Bela is reluctant at first, but she eventually accepts the offer and goes with Kim to Korea. Together, they get to visit the scenic places that Lisa only gets to read in Korean books and see in her favorite Korean shows and movies.
Supporting Bela and Kim in the movie are Lorna Tolentino in a very special role as Bela’s long lost mother, Boboy Garrovillo, Boy Abunda, Raul Montessa, Hasna Cabral, and foreign stars Malena Leonard, Goda Choi, Carole Dorothy Bowlby and Jin Mok.
Bela says LT is her personal choice for the role of her mom in the movie. “I know her status as one of the country’s best actresses,” she says.
“Hindi ko lang ipinahahalata sa kanya pero kabadong-kabado ako kapag siya ang kaeksena ko. But she made my job as director so much easier. In one scene, nagkukuwentuhan kami sa set kasi I thought, matagal pa bago mag-take. But tinawag na kami ng cinematographer na okay na ang lahat at eksena na ni Miss LT. So sabi ko, do you want a moment? I will play some music to prepare you. But she said no. Okay lang daw. Kapag action na, she got into the scene so easily, tumulo agad ang luha niya. Lalo akong humanga sa kanyang bilang batikang aktres sa industriya.”
So how is it directing her sophomore work as a director? “Mas mahirap ito, kasi sa ‘366’, kasama ko si Direk Irene Villamor sa set as creative producer, so inalalayan niya ako. But this time, I’m on my own. So I’m really responsible for everyone, for everything. Tapos, we shot about 70 percent of the film in Korea, so nakikisama kami sa mga tagaroon. But although may language barrier, things went really well. Madali silang katrabaho and I’m really thankful to all of them. Everything went on so smoothly.”
Bela says Pinoy fans of Korea will enjoy all the scenes showing the beautiful sights there that were shot in October of last year. The film also touches on significant issues like the life and mental health of overseas Filipino workers.
How is her Korean actor? “Our requirement is we want a Korean actor who speaks fluent English and it turns out na magaling siya hindi lang sa English but even sa acting. Maski si Ms. LT was impressed by him. Sa set, people would give him a big hand each time he does a good take.
His character is very inspirational kasi he remains positive, a good person, despite the trials he had to face in life. He also served as our very good host while we were shooting the movie in his country.”
Don’t miss “Yung Libro sa Napanood Ko”, an official entry in the Summer Metro Filmfest that starts showing on Aril 8, Black Saturday.
Meantime, watch all the stars of the various entries as they ride their respective floats in the Parade of Stars that happens this Sunday on Commonwealth Avenue starting at 4 PM. Let’s all support the local film industry!