Piolo, John Lloyd join cast of Lav Diaz’ newest film
It would have been unthinkable five years ago, but ABS-CBN stars Piolo Pascual and John Lloyd Cruz have joined the star-studded cast of Lav Diaz’s latest opus “Hele sa Hiwagang Hapis (working title).”
Making this casting coup possible is executive producer Paul Soriano of Ten17P.
Charo Santos-Concio and Malou Santos of Star Cinema, home studio of Pascual and Cruz, are also credited as executive producers.
Bianca Balbuena of Epicmedia (Philippines) acts as producer.
Cruz and Pascual started shooting their scenes Saturday night near Lake Bulusan in Sorsogon.
The shoot went well and the setting proved magical, Soriano told the Inquirer.
Soriano told the Inquirer that Pascual and Cruz felt strongly about being part of this film, a longtime dream project that Diaz has been working on for years.
Although made famous by glossy romantic comedies, Cruz and Pascual have been making indie films of late.
Still a Lav Diaz film, which can run from four to 10 hours, can be considered a total departure for the two heartthrobs.
Supported by The Hubert Bals Fund of Rotterdam and Asian Project Market of Busan, Diaz’s film is described as “a sorrowful mystery that combines literature, history and folklore.
Pascual and Cruz join other Diaz first-timers Cherie Gil, Bernardo Bernardo and Alessandra de Rossi in the cast, which includes Diaz veterans Sid Lucero, Angel Aquino, Ronnie Lazaro, Hazel Orencio, among others.
Soriano called the film a “special” project that has rightfully received support from many people.
Diaz’s 2013 film “Norte, Hangganan ng Kasaysayan” premiered in the Un Certain Regard section of Cannes, was nominated for best international film at the Independent Spirit Awards in the United States, and was included in the best films of the year list of numerous foreign critics.
Diaz’s followup “Mula sa Kung Ano ang Noon” won the grand prize at the A-list Locarno International Film Festival last year.