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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.

Jul 16, 2018

Director Victor Villanueva Of Indie Hit 'Patay Na Si Hesus' Goes Mainstream In Star Cinema's 'Kusina Kings'

DIRECTOR VICTOR VILLANUEVA gained acclaim for his comedy “Patay na si Hesus”, a hit in the Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino last year. His follow up movie, “Kusina Kings”, will now be shown on July 25. A true blue Bisaya, he was born in Davao but finished fine arts and advertising in Cebu.
His first experience in filmmaking was when he co-produced Jerrold Tarog’s first movie, the award-wnning “Confessional”, which was filmed in Cebu in 2010. Then he directed “My Paranormal Romance”, an entry in the Cinema One Originals in 2011 with Visayan actors. He then moved to Manila and trained with Directors Joyce Bernal and Jade Castro.

“Patay na si Hesus” is an indie film where he had complete artistic freedom. How did he make his transition to mainstream filmmaking in “Kusina Kings” which is produced by a big company like Star Cinema? “‘Hesus’ is a personal project so I can do what I want,” he says. “It’s a drama na hindi comedians ang stars, pero nakakatawa ang ridiculous situations. Dito, naiba yung playing field. Iba rin ang process so I have to keep an open mind. I listen to Star Cinema kasi 25 years na sila in making movies, so I want to learn from them. Dito, puro comedians talaga ang kasama ko and I just want to thank the whole cast for their cooperation and I really just played on their strengths.”

“Kusina Kings” is a comedy starring Zanjoe Marudo as Ronnie and Empoy Marquez as Benjie
who’ve been good friends since high school. They are associates in a restaurant called La Luna Sa Hungry, which is losing its customers, so they join a contest, the Kusina King Challenge, to help save it. They have to cook up a special winning recipe to win the contest.

Also in the cast are Natalie Hart as Empoy’s sister and love interest of Zanjoe, beauty queen Maxine Mendoza as Empoy’s leading lady, and comedians, Hyubs Azarcon, Jun Sabayton, Tiny Corpus, Nonong Balinan and Ryan Bang as the villain who wants to get Empoy and Zanjoe’s restaurant.