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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.

Dec 9, 2021



DIRECTOR BRILLANTE MENDOZA has always been an independent filmmaker, winning the best director award at the Cannes Filmfest in 2009 for the dark thriller about violent and corrupt cops, “Kinatay”. In 2016, Jaclyn Jose won the Cannes best actress award for her title role portrayal in Dante’s “Ma Rosa”. 

Now, Dante has signed up with Vivamax to do three films for them. The first one is now being shown, “Palitan”, a sapphic love affair involving two couples who exchange partners, Jela Cuenca and Rash Flores, Cara Gonzales and Luis Hontiveros. 

Following this is a Boys’ Love movie, “Sisid”, filmed in Mindoro. Paolo Gumabao (“Lockdown”) plays a marine biologist who is married to Kylie Versoza. 

He later has an affair with his assistant, Vince Rillon (“Amo”), who has a girlfriend who’s already pregnant, Christine Bermas. 

Dante's third movie is “Bahay na Pula”, a love triangle story with Julia Barretto torn between Xian Lim and Marco Gumabao. 

“Boss Vic has long been offering me to do films for Viva,” says Dante. “I just keep on saying ‘Malapit na’. Then finally, he called me again and said ‘Mag-pitch ka naman ng project sa amin.’ And so I did, at nagustuhan naman nila.” 

He gave them his conditions, like wanting to have a Director’s Cut that he can send to film festivals abroad, and having total freedom in what he does. 

“Medyo mabilis yung proceso,” he adds. “Nung nag-okay na kami pareho, I developed the projects, the stories with my writer. 

"What’s nice is that Viva really trusted me. Never silang nakialam. They said, ‘Mas expert ka diyan. Alam mo yung ginagawa so we don’t need to go through it all. The important thing is you have a good end product.’” 

He was really pleased with that kind of setup. 

“I really appreciated it. It showed they really respect me so masaya ako sa Viva. Kasi before, ayoko mag-work sa mainstream dahil ayoko nung pinapakialaman ang trabaho ko. 

"Sila, talaga, hindi nakikialam sa script, di nagre-review ng rushes. Basta sabi nila, bahala ka. They really gave me creative freedom.”