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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 1, 2017

Jake Cuenca Finds New Fulfillment Producing A Movie For The First Time, The Cinemalaya Entry, 'Requited', Where He Also Plays The Lead Role

JAKE CUENCA adds a new dimension to his showbiz career as producer of the Cinemalaya entry, “Requited”, written and directed by Nerissa Picadizo. What prompts him to produce the film? “I met Direk Nerissa sa Ani ng Dangal Awards where we were both honored for winning in film festivals abroad,” he says. “She gave me the script of ‘Requited’ and I fell in love with it right away. Then it was accepted at Cinemalaya and got a grant of P750,000. I agreed to do it, waived my talent fee and also helped in financing the post production.”

What if he wouldn’t be able to get back his investment? “This is a passion project for me. We have intentions of giving it a wide release later. I think it has a good chance at the box office because it’s so charming, so easy to standard and unlike other indie films na mag-iisip ka pa ng malalim. When I saw the finished film, napaiyak ako sa ganda. It’s very fulfilling for me as a producer and as an actor to be part of this film we all can be proud of.”

What’s the film about? “This is basically a love story between Matt, played by me, and Anna Luna as Sandy. At the start of the story, Sandy has broken up with Matt and he’s masungit. He has Parkinson’s disease and his wish is to ride a bicycle from Manila to Mt. Pinatubo in Zambales, so sinamahan siya ni Sandy. Two characters lang sila but so relatable that you will really root and cheer for them. You’ll hope na magkabalikan sila. The whole film is not only a journey nung bike trip nila, but also it’s a journey of their relationship. The ending is so unpredictable. ‘Requited’ ang title because it’s about unfinished business and blurred lines in a relationship. Enjoy ako sa role ko kasi it’s not so me in real life. Pagdating pa lang sa set, in character na ako as sobrang sungit, but bilib talaga ako kay Anna kasi ilang beses niya akong napatawa. We got her after she auditioned and we felt she’s really the one who’s right for the role. Ang husay niya and we’re all impressed.”

Being a triathlete helped him in the biking scenes. “The Pinatubo terrain is one of the hardest ones for bikers. Challenging talaga and you’ll see it in the film. Nahirapan ako kasi I’m also taping the teleserye ‘Ikaw Lang ang Iibigin’ with Kim Chiu and Gerald Anderson, so mahirap kasi lagari ako sa taping noon at sa shoot ng movie. But when you love what you’re doing, nothing is really difficult.”

Just as “Requited” is about to be shown, he’s also starting a new movie, “Ang Panday”, a Metro Filmfest entry where he’ll play Lizardo to Coco Martin’s Flavio. “I know the role has been played before by Max Alvarado, Christopher de Leon and Phillip Salvador, but iibahin ko talaga ito. I’ll come up with my own interpretation and make it my own.”