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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.

Sep 6, 2019


ANITA LINDA in 'CIRCA' with children ELizabeth Oropesa, Laurice Guillen, Gina Alajar and Ricky Davao, with Jaclyn as Meding, her caregiver.

the cast with director ADOLF BORINAGA ALIX JR. at the movie's presscon

DIRECTOR ADOLF ALIX JR. says “Circa” is the last film in a trilogy that he made for veteran actress, Anita Linda. “First was ‘Adela’ where she played a retired radio actress, followed by ‘Presa’ where she was a movie star na nabilanggo and now, ‘Circa’, where she plays a movie producer who’s celebrating her 100th birthday and her wish is to see the stars who used to work in her company before, Sunrise Productions.”

At 94, Anita Linda is now the oldest working actor in our film industry, but Adolf says her memory is still very sharp. “She’d say kapag sinasabi ko ang lines that she’s supposed to deliver na baka hindi niya ma-memorize kasi mahaba, but during the take, you can expect na masasabi niya lahat yun at magagawa niya lahat ng gusto mong ipagawa sa kanya sa eksena,” Adolf adds.

“Ayaw lang niyang masyadong pinagagalaw siya kasi may vertigo siya. Inaalagaan din namin siya nang husto at hatid-sundo siya sa bahay nila sa Alabang. We also make sure na by 6 PM, tapos na lahat ng eksenang kukunan sa kanya so she can go home, except one time na night scene ang kukunan at inabot siya ng 8 PM, na okay rin lang naman sa kanya.”

In the story, Anita plays Donya Atang (a character inspired by Donya Sisang of LVN Pictures in the 50s and Mommy Azucena Vera Perez of Sampaguita Pictures). She has four kids: Laurice Guillen is the eldest who becomes a nun, then Elizabeth Oropesa who is an artist based in Baguio, Gina Alajar who migrated to the USA, and Ricky Davao as the prodigal son who made sure he got all his inheritance in advance.

No one would like to inherit their mom’s movie business and the negatives of their old films are now rotting in their basement. But Gina’s son, Enchong Dee, is a budding filmmaker in the States who returns home and expresses his interest in his lola’s filmmaking business. He represents today's young filmmaker while his Lola Atang represents the old era of the big studio system in local films.

Also in the cast are Jaclyn Jose as Meding, Donya Atang’s trusted mayordoma and caretaker, plus Perla Bautista, Liza Lorena, Rustica Carpio and the late Eddie Garcia as the stars who did movies before with Donya Atang.

“When Tito Eddie shot his last scene with us, noong paalis na siya, sabi sa kanya ni Tita Anita, O, mag-ingat ka, baka madapa ka,” says Adolf. “Now, in hindsight, when we saw that scene in the movie, we realized naging prophetic ang line yun. Kasama rin pala sa movie sina Rosanna Roces, Alessandra de Rossi, Menggie Cobarubbias, Oliver Aquino, Josel Saracho, Joel Palencia and Kim Last.”

“Circa” is a nostalgic look at local filmmaking and it’s very opportune that it’s being shown as part of Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino’s Sandaan, which celebrates the centennial or 100th anniversary of local films. It is produced by Noble Wolf ABAJ Films and RSVP with support from the Hongkong-Asia Film Financing Forum, distributed by Solar FIlms.

Adolf has another movie in the can, “Misteryo de la Noche”, a horror drama with Solenn Heussaff and Benjamin Alves that got so much acclaim when shown at the Montreal International Filmfest. “It will be shown later this year,” he says. He also directs the currently showing “Throwback Pag-ibig” in GMA-7’s morning drama, “Wagas”.