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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.

Apr 29, 2015

Nora Aunor Excited To Have An Entry Again In Cannes International Filmfest, 'Taklub', After 36 Long Years

IN 1980, Nora Aunor’s “Bona” was shown in the Cannes Filmfest. “Hindi kami napasama sa main competition kasi hindi umabot yung finished movie,” she says. “Pinadala namin doon ng late Lino Brocka ang kopyang ni walang subtitles. So it was just shown in exhibition. I remember noong lumakad kami sa red carpet, nagtatatakbo ako habang nakasaya kasi kundi maiiwanan ako ni Lino at ni Phillip Salvador. Now, after 36 years, I’m excited dahil may pelikula uli ako sa Cannes, ang ‘Taklub’ namin ni Direk Brillante Mendoza.”

This time, the movie is competing in the Un Certain Regard section and Direk Dante says it’s eligible to compete for awards, including best actress for Ate Guy. “This section is for films with a different point of view or perspective,” he explains. “My past films that competed there were very edgy, ‘Serbis’ and ‘Kinatay’. This one is an advocacy film aiming to foster awareness about climate change, environmental protection and the need for disaster preparedness. It’s produced in collaboration with Sen. Loren Legarda, the UN Champion for Disaster Risk Reduction, and the Dept. of Environment and Natural Resources and Philippine Information Agency.”

“Taklub”, shot totally on location in Tacloban, is set in the aftermath of the killer typhoon that was Yolanda. Ate Guy plays a mother looking for her three missing children. She is separated from her husband, Soliman Cruz. Also in the cast are Julio Diaz as a father looking for his wife, Lou Veloso as a Yolanda survivor who later loses everything in a fire, John Rendez as a public official, Ruby Ruiz as a barangay kagawad who warns people to evacuate their homes, Shine Santos as Ate Guy’s surviving daughter and Aaron Rivera as a young man looking for his parents.

Ate Guy says she shed real tears in that scene where she finds her children in a mass grave. “Doon sa eksenang yun ko talaga naramdaman ang bigat ng role ko. We shot at 4:30 AM habang sumisikat ang araw with 1,000 other people from Tacloban who really lost their families because of Yolanda. Ang mga iyakan nila, totoong-totoo yun. They showed real emotions kasi biktima talaga sila ni Yolanda.”

Sen. Loren says she has seen the movie three times. “It’s so heartrending and thanks to Guy she agreed to do this movie. She’s really the one who’s most capable to play the role of a mom searching for her lost loved ones. We didn’t make this movie with the plan of entering it sa Cannes. We just want to push our advocacy so people will be more aware about disaster risk reduction and realize we need to do things like mangrove reforestation to prevent storm surges, things like that. We never thought it’d make it to Cannes. In fairness kasi to Direk Dante, hindi hardsell ang pagkakapasok niya sa messages na gusto naming iparating sa tao. I hope with this film, other producers and filmmakers with also invest in advocacy films like this not only entertains but also help educate our people.”

So what are their plans after Cannes? Will they give it a theatrical release? “We still have to talk about. Definitely, I want all people to see it, preferably for free, in coordination with the DENR and other government agencies. There are definitely a lot of lessons to be learned from Yolanda.”