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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 18, 2016

Epy Quizon's Late Dad, Dolphy, Will Be Proud Of His Award-Winning Performance In Singaporean Film, 'Unlucky Plaza'

EPY QUIZON gets to play his most challenging role in his career in the internationally acclaimed Singaporean movie, “Unlucky Plaza”, directed by Cambridge-educated filmmaker Ken Kwek. Epy won best actor at the International Filmfest Manhattan for his acting while Kwek won best director at the Tehran International Filmfest. The title is derived from a shopping arcade in Singapore called Lucky Plaza, where Pinoy OFWs congregate during their days off on weekends.

Epy plays Onassis Hernandez, a Pinoy OFW who has his own restaurant inside Lucky Plaza. When his business goes bankrupt and he falls victim to a financial scam, he resorts to hostage-taking. He hostages Sky (Terence Chia), the debt ridden con artist who scams him. Sky’s wife, Michelle (Judee Tan), a schoolteacher, is tired of her marriage to Sky and seduces their pastor (Shane Mardjuki). All the characters are somehow flawed, making them all very human.

When Epy asks the cops to give him a helicopter, Sky tells him: “This is Singapore, not the bloody Philippines. We don’t do negotiation here. We won’t turn a hostage situation into some fucking soap opera.”
The movie became controversial in Singapore as it critically satirizes many cultural transgressions in its own country, but it got lots of acclaim in the international film festivals where it was exhibited.

What can Director Ken Kwek say about working with a Pinoy actor? “I’m very proud of Epy’s work. I work very closely with my actors and I do lots of rehearsals. Epy is hardworking so when he won best actor in Manhattan, I’m very happy for him and I wasn’t surprised at all.”

This is Epy’s second international award. The first was in the Brussels Filmfest where he won for “Markova” along with his late dad, Dolphy, and brother Eric. “Actually, the awards are secondary. Mas fulfilled ako watching the reactions of the viewers habang nanonood sila. When they respond well, that’s the biggest award any actor can get, especially when after the screening, someone approaches me to say ‘you did a good job’. Sobrang nakaka-proud yun. Pero siempre, the awards are also very fulfilling. I’d be a hypocrite if I’d say I’m not happy with them.”

“Unlucky Plaza” is distributed in the Philippines by Viva Entertainment and opens in theatres this Wednesday, April 20. Don’t miss it!