‘SLEEP with Me’ is a queer series on iWant TFC starring Janine Gutierrez and Lovi Poe, written and directed by Samantha Lee, an independent Filipino filmmaker who earlier did two LGBT coming-of-age films.
“Baka Bukas” (2016) is an entry in the Cinema One Filmfest. It stars Jasmine Curtis Smith as Alex, a 23-year old gay woman who has come out of the closet to most people but, ironically, not to her best friend, Jess (Louise de los Reyes), with whom she’s been secretly in love since they were children.
“Emma and Billie” (2018) stars Zar Donato as a city girl who gets exiled in her aunt’s hometown and meets Gabby Padilla as Emma, with whom she falls in love, but it turns out Emma is already pregnant.
Both films bring awareness on the complexities of gender identity, coming out and same sex relationships. Lee continues her mission to bring more queer love stories on screen in “Sleep With Me” but now, it’s not a movie but a six-part mini-series.
It just bagged the Audience Award for Best Episodic in the Outfest LGBTQ Film Festival in Los Angeles. The series is a collaboration between Project 8 Projects, Dreamscape Entertainment and iWantTFC, and produced by the very prolific team of Dan Villegas and Antoinette Jadaone. It will premiere on August 15.
Janine Gutierrez plays Harry, a radio DJ who hosts a graveyard shift program about people with relationship problems. Lovi Poe is Luna, a science writer. She’s given that name (Luna means Moon) as she’s an insomniac who’s awake all night and only sleeps at daybreak.
We saw the first two episodes in its press preview and it’s very involving because both Lovi and Janine give first rate, totally engaging performances. When we first meet Lovi as Luna, she just broke up with her boyfriend who’s trying his best to reconcile with her.
As for Janine, she lives with her younger brother and is wheelchair bound. We don’t know how she lost use of her legs but when someone inquired about it, she jestingly says she was attacked by a shark. She works as a DJ and she’s very good in her job as she easily connects with people. She has just parted ways with her girlfriend.
Just like in heterosexual romcoms, they have a meet-cute scene. Lovi helps a very assertive girl get her prize for a contest she won in Janine’s show so she goes to Janine’s radio station. Later Janine announces on radio that she has a crush on Lovi, so they have a first date eating mami noodles.
The preview ends with the scene where they first kiss each other and the kilig it brings is quite electrifying on screen. You’d really believe that Lovi and Janine genuinely feel something for each other and they don’t have current real life boyfriends. We felt so bitin that we now want to watch all the rest of the future episodes.
This is Samantha Lee’s most commercial work, what with two big name stars and very talented award-winning actresses in the lead roles. Production values are way above average, specially the gorgeous cinematography (specially the night scenes) and the exceptional musical score. Don’t miss “Sleep with Me” when it starts airing on iWant TFC on August 15.