‘Heneral Luna’ gives thanks
It was a three-in-one celebration. Not so coincidentally, the thanksgiving party of “Heneral Luna” fell on the same day as the 149th birth anniversary of revolutionary Antonio Luna on Oct. 29.
The big bash was held at the Sampaguita Gardens in Quezon City and the entire cast—led by Heneral Luna himself, John Arcilla—trooped to the venue.
Also spotted at the party were cast members Ronnie Lazaro, Nonie Buencamino, Joem Bascon, Bing Pimentel, Mon Confiado, Archie Alemania, Ketchup Eusebio, Alex Medina, Mylene Dizon and Paulo Avelino, among others.
Producers Fernando Ortigas and EA Rocha and filmmaker Jerrold Tarog beamed all night, mighty proud that the historical epic earned P253 million after eight weeks in cinemas.
The producers also announced at the party that the second part of Tarog’s historical trilogy, “Gregorio del Pilar,” is now “officially in development.”
Avelino is being eyed to reprise the Del Pilar role, which he portrayed in “Heneral Luna” as well.
“I hope ‘Del Pilar’ will match, if not surpass, the success of ‘Luna,’” Avelino said.
The gathering also feted the producers’ five entries in the Circle Competition of the recently concluded QCinema International Film Festival: Lemuel Lorca’s “Water Lemon,” Chuck Gutierrez’s “Iisa,” Mihk Vergara’s “Patintero: Ang Alamat ni Meng Patalo,” Cesar Hernando’s “Gayuma” and Jet Leyco’s “Matangtubig.”
Arcilla, who had just returned from a concert tour in Europe, has run out of words to express his gratitude. “I initially felt the project’s success when the audience took ownership of the film on its second week in cinemas. They started promoting it on social media. As early as then, I had already thanked God and congratulated everyone in the production—especially Tito Nando (Ortigas) for having full confidence in the film.”
Ortigas never imagined that “Heneral Luna” would become not just a box-office sensation, but a social media phenomenon as well.
“I still have another wild dream … that ‘Heneral Luna’ would make it at the Oscars,” Ortigas said.
“Heneral Luna” is the country’s bet in the best foreign language category of the Academy Awards in 2016.
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