Piolo Pascual, Janella Salvador, JC Santos delighted to interact with fans in ‘Mallari’ kickoff event
MANILA, Philippines—The 2023 Metro Manila Film Festival entry “Mallari” has been holding several media conferences to drum up interest for the semi-biographical take on the first recorded Filipino serial killer. And it has even pushed the promotion up a notch by holding a “FanCon” as a kickoff event in the lead-up to the screening on Christmas Day.
“A fancon is a way to connect to the audience, not just to promote the film, but to interact with them,” lead actor Piolo Pascual, who is playing three characters in the film, responded when INQUIRER.net asked him what it means for him as an actor for his movie to hold such an event during a media conference held at the Cinema 5 of SM Mall of Asia in Pasay City on Dec. 1. The fan event was held at the Music Hall of the same mall in the same day.
Singer-actress Janella Salvador, for her part, said, “The [question-and-answer] part, I think, that’s a first for me. We don’t usually do that. I think it’s a great opportunity to be able to talk to our supporters, our audiences.” She plays the role of Agnes, the partner of one of Pascual’s three characters in the film.
JC Santos, who essays the role of Bro. Lucas in the film, confessed that he has never participated in a FanCon before. “For me, this is gonna be celebrating with them, that you have this movie for Metro Manila Film Festival. I’m fortunate to always have an entry in the Metro Manila Film Festival, with ‘Meant to Be’ before, ‘Miracle in Cell No. 7,’ ‘Family Matters’ last year, and now. So I’m speechless, I’m ‘kilig.’ I take it as a celebration, maybe I’d bring out booze later to cheers with the audience,” he said.
Salvador said what excited her was the chance to sing again in front of a crowd. “I have not done this in a long time, mall shows, ever since the start of the pandemic, and then I had a child. It just shows that this production is really big in giving everything they can. So I’m really just grateful to be a part of it,” she shared.
Santos said he found the event to also celebrate Mentorque, which produced the film. “I want to tell people, the standard that they gave us as artists when we were filming, they gave us everything, they made us so comfortable. It’s not just me, even all the staff, all comfortable. And I think they have set the standard. I was treated so well. And I know that they’re gonna be doing a lot of amazing great materials, incredible materials in the future,” he declared.
For Pascual, holding a FanCon is also a way for the cast to express gratitude. “It’s a good way to not just promote, also have them, listen to them, have them around you so that they will know more about what you’re trying to sell them. But also a way of thanksgiving as well. They are the ones that we need. It’s also good because you give them that importance,” he explained.
“People now want to be able to interact, not just through the camera, but also in person. So it’s a good way to promote the film,” continued Pascual, who plays the titular role of Fr. Severino Mallari, the first Filipino priest to be executed under the Spanish occupation of the Philippines. He also portrays the roles of the fictitious characters John Rey and Jonathan, members of the Mallari clan from different time periods.
“Mallari” is the first mainstream Filipino movie to be distributed by Warner Brothers Pictures. Mentorque Productions President John Bryan Diamante also teased during the media conference that the partnership with the global media giant may see the film being screened in other countries as well.
“Mallari” is one of the 10 official entries to the 49th Metro Manila Film Festival. The entire slate will open on Christmas Day, Dec. 25.