Indie Bravo!

A tale of two Pepes



Indie filmmaker Pepe Diokno gets to work with namesake and rock icon Joey “Pepe” Smith in his second movie “Above the Clouds.”

In the movie, Smith plays a cranky old drunkard who finds himself taking care of a grandson (“Protégé” finalist Ruru Madrid), after the boy was orphaned by the “Ondoy” tragedy.

“The kid moves in with his lolo who lives in Baguio,” Diokno related.

Although initially reluctant, “the grandfather eventually tries to get close to his grandson. They embark on an adventure, going up a strange and mystical mountain that the boy’s parents used to climb.”

It’s a voyage of discovery, Diokno explained. “Through the journey they find hope and each other. They realize that they still have family even though they feel as if they’ve lost everything.”

Filming starts today in “Baguio, Sagada, Benguet and Ifugao. All around the Mountain Province,” said Diokno.

RURU Madrid (left) plays the grandson of rock icon Joey “Pepe” Smith.

To prepare, Smith and Madrid had a series of workshops for a month, along with camera tests.

“Pepe is a revelation. He’s so good,” said Diokno. “We did exercises and he talked about his life—growing up in Clark with his violent, ex-military father and about moving to Manila at 12 years old after his parents separated.” Bayani San Diego Jr.

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