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Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

Jul 13, 2014

Young Filmmaker Gino Santos Co-Directs 'Island Dreams' And Has A New Cinemalaya Entry, 'Hashtag Y'

DIRECTOR GINO SANTOS made his debut as a filmmaker in Cinemalaya 2012 with “The Animals”, a dark movie about wayward young people that got positive reviews. He then co-directed “Island Dreams” with Aloy Adlawan, which is set to be shown in theatres on July 23. Then on August 1, his new Cinemalaya entry will also open at the CCP and Ayala Cinemas, “Hashtag Y”.

Born on November 12, 1989, Gino is one of the youngest directors in local showbiz today. He got his degree in digital filmmaking at St. Benilde two years ago. “Sabay kaming nag-graduate ni Bianca King,” he says. “Then sumali agad ako sa Cinemalaya and was lucky nakuha ang entry ko.”

How did he get involved in “Island Dreams”? “Aloy also had an entry in Cinemalaya 2012, ‘Ang Katiwala’, and we became friends. He asked me if I’d be interested to co-direct a movie with him for an American producer. I said yes. Akala ko noong una, nagbibiro lang, but it turned out to be true. It stars Louise de los Reyes, Chanel La Torre and American actor Alex Petitprez.”

So how did they divide their work as co-directors? “We did a lot of pre-production work. Every frame was discussed at naka-storyboard lahat. Aloy wrote the script himself and he took care of the actors. I took care of all the shots. It worked well for us.”

He says “Island Dreams” is based on the true love story of their Chinese-American producer, Kenneth Au, and his Filipina wife. How did they get Louise de los Reyes and Alexis Petitprez in the lead roles? “They auditioned at sila ang bagay. Alex is also partly Chinese. He’s also a model and he’s now busy in Singapore, where he has done two movies before, so he can’t help promote the movie.”

His first movie “The Animals” had a bleak ending with the death of a lead character. Is his new Cinemalaya entry, “Hashtag Y”, similarly dark? “My first film is about high school. This one is about college and Generation Y. It’s more psychological, about fighting depression and teen suicide and the consequences of one’s actions when you do wild things. I get inside the heads of the characters and I’m lucky to have a good cast: Elmo Magalona, Sophie Albert, Coleen Garcia, Slater Young, Kit Thompson and Chynna Ortaleza.”