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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 5, 2019



MOTHER LILY MONTEVERDE has agreed to make a movie based on her life as the producer-matriarch of Regal Films. This will be produced by Reality Entertainment, the company of her son Dondon Monteverde, and to be directed by Erik Matti who posted this story in his social media account:

“Dondon Monteverde and I have been courting Mother Lily about this project for quite a few years now. We’ve gathered so much research about this over the years by just being with Mother at parties, dinners and parties and dinners. But there’s still so much to mine from this story. It is epic and very personal. If this will be the only film I will make about movies, then we’d better bring everything on this one.

"Today is the first day in a series of interviews with Mother Lily and the people who know her and Regal all these years. We will interview directors, designers, actors, managers, staff people and everyone who in one way or the other had been part of the growth of Regal Entertainment as the film studio who produced the most number of films in Philippine history. Written by Moira Lanf and Michicko Yamaguchi, we present #TheMotherLilyStory to the big screen. This. I. Am. So. Excited!”

Mother’s own daughter, Roselle, wrote this in turn: “Finally, we are at the works on doing a milestone movie with Erik Matti and his team. I am more than excited but passionate as well, because it is the story of my mom and the mother of a lot of people in the Philippine entertainment industry. This is the story of “Mother Lily” to everyone who knows her and who has been part of her journey! I will finally announce this officially today.”

Well, this is one film project to look forward to. It’s not easy to cram Mother Lily’s life into a two-hour movie. Her love life alone with Father Remy is already one full length film in itself. Maybe they should just confine the movie on her being a producer and that alone would already be very colorful.

This is really going to be one tough project. First, who would they cast as Mother Lily? Honestly, we cannot think of anyone who can fill in her shoes. She’s so much larger than life. We’ve seen so many biographies about famous people and the secret is really in the casting and in the writing.

In terms of perfect casting, we think of Ben Kingsley as Gandhi, Daniel Day Lewis as Lincoln, Rami Malek as Freddie Mercury and the most recent, Taron Egerton as Elton John. When it comes to the writing, the best for us is Aaron Sorkin’s work in “The Social Network” with Jesse Eisenberg perfect as Mark Zuckerberg and Steven Spielberg’s “The Post” with Meryl Streep so divine as Katharine Graham.

Other notable film bios are “The Pianist”, “Raging Bull”, “A Beautiful Mind”, “The Imitation Game”, and “Le Vie en Rose” about Edith Piaf. We feel that the best way to do a biopic on Mother Lily is to make it all very stylized, unless they want to come up with the usual linear story chronicling chronologically the events in her life, which can surely be quite prosaic, considering how intricate the character of their subject is.

The better way is to tell it from the point of view of various people with opposing views on her: stars, directors, production staff, and members of her own family, including Roselle and Meme Monteverde themselves. This definitely would not be a sanitized version but a more realistic look into the very essence of one of the most significant personalities in the history of the local film industry.