Why Bituin Escalante ‘ran away’ from own movie premiere
For singer-actress Bituin Escalante, an artist has to take risks in order to promote his art.
“We can go on and on about supporting our craft and our cinema, but if you’re not part of that animal, you have no right to talk about enriching the art form,” said Bituin, who was last seen in Dustin Celestino’s political drama “Duyan ng Magiting.”
“If we can empower filmmakers by joining [especially films made for festivals], then let’s do it. Let’s use our platforms. For example, the mere fact that I saw Dolly de Leon’s name on the cast list made me agree to do the project. I also said ‘yes’ because of Dustin and his pedigree. I wasn’t going to pass up a chance to work with them,” said Bituin, who plays a disillusioned lawyer in the movie. “More than the opportunity to promote film and filmmaking, it’s a chance to work with the best. Selfishly, I was so happy to do the project.
Since “Duyan ng Magiting” is a collection of stories divided into different acts, Butuin said the only time all the cast members were together in one place was during their script reading.
“This was the first time we all read the script together. What I noticed with the cast was how normal they are when you talk to them about their craft, as well as how self-effacing. I consider them giants in their fields, but they are the warmest and most supportive,” she said. “Dustin was almost shy and apologetic when he was giving us copies of the script—to think he has won a Palanca award and so many writing awards. But he said, ‘I hope you like it.’”
‘A great piece of work’
Bituin then recalled an incident that happened to her after the movie’s premiere screening. “I had to run from the theater to a meeting. In our industry, running away from a premiere is code for not liking your own project. It means you don’t want to see people’s fake congratulations,” she explained. “After the meeting, I said I had to go to the film’s minicast party in Gener (Cafe, in Quezon City) because I had to look Dustin in the eye and tell him I loved the work that he did. When I finally told him, I saw relief in his face. It’s so humbling to see Dustin sit there and witness how people react, but not wholly embrace the idea that, ‘Yes, what I made is a great piece of work.’ The best ones are always the nicest ones.” INQ