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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.

Aug 30, 2015

Heneral Luna' Director Jerrold Tarog Makes His Most Ambitious Film To Date After Winning Awards For Indie Films

JERROLD TAROG is one of our more competent young filmmakers. He was majoring in Music at UP when the film bug bit him and he first made waves in 2007 when his debut film as a writer-director, “Confessional” at Cinema One, won several best film awards here and abroad. He has since done several other acclaimed films, like “Senior Year” and “Sana Dati”, including two well praised episodes in the “Shake, Rattle & Roll” franchise, “Funeraria” and “Ulam”. He now makes his most ambitious film to date, the multi-million historical costume epic, “Heneral Luna”, the biopic of the controversial Antonio Luna. Why him, among many other heroes?

“Kasi wala tayong anti-hero like him,” he says. “Usually, our heroes are portrayed as bayaning-bayani talaga. Luna is portrayed as sobrang bad ass, hindi marunong makisama, so this is the chance to show the real him. We want him to come out as a real human being, warts and all.”

Why did he choose John Arcilla, who’s better known for supporting roles, in the title role? “Actually, si John Lloyd Cruz ang first choice ko. He just told me he’s interested but never daw nakarating yung offer ko sa kanya. But when I saw John Arcilla in ‘Metro-Manila’, I realized he’s perfect as Luna. Pareho silang larger than life. And no regrets. Once you see him in the movie, sobrang galing talaga niya.”

He himself co-wrote the script. “May existing script na sina Ed Rocha, one of the producers, and Henry Francia, in English. I had it translated in Tagalog then I did research on my own and had my own inputs. I admire the producers dahil they’re so brave to produce this and also very generous sa production needs. Aabot sa P80 million ang budget namin, wala pang promo. This is distributed by Atty. Joji Alonso of Quantum Films. We want to thank SM, Ayala and Robinson Cinemas for giving 50% discount to students. They just have to show their valid ID. It just had a world premiere in New York and the feedback is overwhelmingly positive. It’s also scheduled to be shown first in Washington DC, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Dubai before it opens locally on September 9. There’s also a red carpet premiere at SM Megamall on September 6.”

Here is the the schedule of global premiere screenings:
Los Angeles – Monday, August 31st, 6:30pm at the Krikorian Monrovia Cinema, 410 S. Monrovia Avenue, Monrovia 91016. For tickets, 626-782-1690. San Francisco – Monday, August 31st, 7:00pm, at the Marina Theatre, 2149 Chestnut St., San Francisco 94123. For tickets, 415-336-9971. DC/Maryland/VA – Sunday, August 30, 7:00pm, at AMC Rio Cinema, 9811 Washingtonian Avenue, Gaithersburg MD 20878. For tickets, 301-217-0938. Dubai – Sunday, August 30, 7:00pm at the Rizal Hall Theater, Philippine Consulate General, No. 35 Beirut St. Extension No. 2, Villa No. 48, Al Qusais Area 3. For invites, +971-(04)-220-7100.