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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.

Feb 2, 2018

Piolo Pascual Produces 'Meet Me In St. Gallen' And Stars In Lav Diaz' 'Panahon Ng Halimaw' That's Now An Entry In The Berlin Filmfest

PIOLO PASCUAL has found a new calling. Aside from being a competent actor, he is now a certified producer with his Spring Films that produced hits like “Kimmy Dora” and “Kita Kita”. He was personally present at the presscon of the new movie his company has produced, “Meet Me in St. Gallen”, starring Carlo Aquino and Bela Padilla, written and directed by Irene Villamor. He was the first to talk during the Q&A and he expressed his optimism about the project, saying he liked it right away when it was presented to him and had no difficulty giving it the green light.

But of course, Piolo is not turning his back on acting even if he’s now a successful producer. After “Hele sa Hiwagang Hapis”, he has now just completed a new film with Lav Diaz, “Ang Panahon ng Halimaw” (which has the English title of “Season of the Devil”). And it has been accepted as an official entry in the Berlin Filmfest or Berlinale, where “Hele” was also an official entry in 2016 and where it won the Silver Bear Prize.

The new movie is a different kind of musical, more of a Filipino rock opera with 33 songs written by Diaz himself, but with no musical accompaniment whatsoever. It’s basically a love story set during the Marcos regime. Piolo plays a poet-activist whose wife vanished in their village that’s under the control of the military.

The movie was co-produced by a Malaysian company and was shot on location in Malaysia. Starring with Piolo are Shaina Magdayao, Angel Aquino, Bituin Escalante, Pinky Amador, Bart Guingona and Lav’s signature actress who’s present in all his movies lately, Hazel Orencio.

“Panahon” is shot in black and white and its running time is just about four hours, one half of the running time of the 8-hour “Hele”. The 68th Berlinale will be held from February 15 to 25 and Piolo is sure to be there to attend the affair and walk on the red carpet.