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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.

Oct 8, 2023



                                       LAWYER-FILMMAKER GERARD PIZARRO

FIL-AM WRITER-DIRECTOR Gerard Pizarro is making a TV series titled “Mt. Samat” to be shot in Bataan. 

He started as a lawyer specializing in civil and business litigation in San Francisco, California. He also did research and development for government agencies after 9-11. 

But he also wants to tell his own stories and make movies, so he then turned to filmmaking and took up film at the San Francisco Film School, USC School of Cinematic Arts and American Conservatory Theatre. 

He then directed the movie “Blood on Canvas”, in 2013.  The next year, he did "Emancipatus Emma", 

"Blood on Canvas" is a legal thriller that won awards in the Michigan Film Awards, Honolulu Film Festival, Golden Ace Awards and Las Vegas Festival. 

This is based on a true story he himself experienced as a practicing lawyer. 

“It’s about a young Filipina painter shot in the head but survived the shooting,” he says. “I visited her in the hospital.

"She was with her boyfriend when it happened. 

"He claims she tried to kill herself, but I smelled something fishy going on, so I became her civil lawyer and we filed a case for her to get justice.

"You can now watch it on youtube and Google.”

Gerard will reveal the details of “Mt. Samat”, his latest project, in the forthcoming American Film Market in Santa Monica, California on October 31. 

The TV series is based on the life story of his own father, Tony Pizarro, which came out as a biographical novel titled “The Man Behind the Uniform” in 2021 and is available on Amazon. 

His dad was born in 1940 in Orion, Bataan, then WWII broke out. 

The series will start in 1941 when the Japanese invaded the Philippines and will be a family saga showing his dad’s own experiences in Bataan.

It will later follow his move to America in 1959, trying to fit in and find his own place in the sun as an Asian in America, and raising his own family there. It’s truly an inspirational success story.

Gerard was born in the USA in 1966 and has visited Bataan a lot of times. 

He was impressed by the Mt. Samat Shrine that showcases Philippine heroism in World War II and this will be reflected in the series. 

He finds the huge cross on top of Mt. Samat as iconic and reminds him of his favorite TV series, “Yellow Stone”, that stars Kevin Costner.  

His company has already started negotiations with a big local actor to play his father, but he’d rather not reveal yet the actor’s identity as it’s too premature. 

They’re getting local and American casting directors to help them cast the various other roles in the series.

“For the scenes to be shot in the Philippines, we will get local actors who speak the local language,” adds Gerard. 

“Mt. Samat” is a very ambitious project that will entail great production values. so Gerard is pitching it in the American Film Market to attract collaborations with film buyers. They’re eager to start the pilot episode to get the ball rolling.