Piolo Pascual and John Lloyd Cruz are Philippine entertainment’s most bankable stars, but they’re taking their craft to the next level by partnering with Lav Diaz for an upcoming film, tentatively titled Hele sa Hiwagang Hapis.
Lav Diaz is a critically-acclaimed director whose films have been recognized in the Venice Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival, and the New York Film Festival. Last year, his film Norte, Hangganan ng Kasaysayan was screened at the Un Certain Regard section of 2013 Cannes Film Festival and was selected as the Philippines’ entry to the Best Foreign Language Film category at the 87th Academy Awards.
Diaz is also known for the length of his works, averaging six to nine hours. His longest was 2004’s Ebolusyon ng Isang Pamilyang Pilipino,which spanned almost 10 hours.
There is no word on what Hele sa Hiwagang Hapis will be about, but report has it that it is a sorrowful mystery that marries literature (including the missing chapters of Jose Rizal’s El Filibusterismo), mythology (tikbalangs or half-man half-horse creatures), and history (Ka Oryang’s 30-day search for the lost body of her husband Andres Bonifacio).
Hele was announced yesterday by Paul Soriano, who is producing the film with Charo Santos-Concio and Malou Santos of Star Cinema. The cast started shooting at Lake Bulusan in Sorsogon last weekend.
According to Soriano, Pascual and Cruz felt strongly about being part of the film, and that it is a longtime dream project that Diaz has been working on for years.
Joining Pascual and Cruz are Alessandra de Rossi, Sid Lucero, Cherie Gil Eigenmann, Angel Aquino, Bernardo Bernardo, Ronnie Lazaro, Nonie Buencamino, Susan Africa, Ely Buendia. Joel Torre is rumored to be part of the cast.
There is no word on the release date of the film.
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