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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.

Jun 28, 2022



DIRECTOR JAY ALTAREJOS is the pioneer in the making of local BL stories, with his hit pink films like “Ang Lalaki sa Parola” (2007) and “Ang Lihim ni Antonio” (2008). 

He has since been doing indie films that have won awards, like “Kasal”, “Tale of the Lost Boys”, “Jino To Mari” and “Memories of Forgetting”. 

This year is turning out to be a very busy one for him. 

He has already finished two films, both gay-themed: “Finding Daddy Blake” starring Carlos Dala and Oliver Aquino and “Memories of a Love Story” starring Oliver Aquino and Migs Almendras. 

And now, he’s starting a new one, “Pamilya Sa Dilim”, a crime drama with him also writing the screenplay. 

This very different from the BL films he did and the powerhouse cast is composed of Laurice Guillen, Allen Dizon, Sunshine Cruz, Oliver Aquino, Therese Malvar, Ina Feleo, Marcus Madrigal, Rico Barrera, Carlos Dala, Barbara Miguel, Angelo Carreon, John Henrick Sitjar and Evangeline Torcino.  

The story centers on the murder of a mother and her son on the eve of their town fiesta. 

The killer is a cop, played by Allen Dizon, and the killing is witnessed by his own conflicted and abused daughter, played by Therese Malvar. 

A new cop, played by Oliver Aquino, investigates the case and uncovers crimes and secrets perpetrated by Allen’s family. 

Laurice Guillen plays the strong-willed family matriarch while Sunshine Cruz plays Allen’s traumatized sister. 

The movie is a co-production of ADCC Production and 2076 Kolektib. Isn’t Direk Jay somehow intimidated that he will be directing an accomplished filmmaker herself like Laurice? 

“Well, sabi ko nga, she is my Tita Jo ng aking kabataan,” he says. 

“I used to watch her playing that character in ‘Flor de Luna’ and now, finally katrabaho ko na. When Dennis Evangelista and I were casting the role of the matriarch, she’s our only choice and we’re glad she accepted the part. 

"I welcome working with her kasi I know I will learn a lot from her. We’ve had a series of meetings at marami siyang inputs about the material na nakatulong talaga sa akin in making revisions in the final script.”  

Direk Jay spent a lot of time in the pre-production. 

Even before shooting started, he had several meetings with the entire cast where he discussed with them the full story, their respective roles and also rehearsed their respective scenes and how these will be blocked before the camera.

“Gusto ko alam na nila ang gagawin nila sa actual shoot,” he says. 

“Because of the pandemic, maraming restrictions sa shooting. We have limited time on the set, so para mas madali ang trabaho, mabuti yung na-rehearse na nila ang eksena bago pa man i-shoot.” 

He concedes that the film is hard to do as the material is very dark. 

“This is about a family with so many deep, dark secrets that will be discovered in the course of the film. Some of the secrets are very shocking. Mahirap din ang roles nila, like Allen Dizon and Oliver Aquino both play dual roles. 

"Allen plays the cop who killed yung mag-ina and he also plays his own father. Oliver plays the young cop who investigates the killing of the mother and the son, and he also plays the murdered son. Mysterious yung role niya. 

"I’d like to thank our producers, Arturo de la Cruz and Riz Cruz of Brisbane, Australia for liking my script and agreeing to produce this project which is really about the essence of family and a contemplation about life and death.”