We saw our good friend Direk Louie Ignacio at the premiere of the movie Siphayo held at SM Megamall last week. He was in high spirits as he just came from the Eurasia International Film Festival held in Kazakhstan where his latest movie topbilled by Ai Ai delas Alas titled Area won the Special Jury Prize.
Said victory was meaningful as well for executive producer Ms. Baby Go of BG Productions since aside from the trophy there was also cash that came with the prize.
Area competed in several categories, including Best Picture, Best Director, Special Jury Prize, Best Actress for Ai Ai and Best Actor for leading man Allen Dizon. His lead stars may have not won acting honors but it was enough to warm Direk Louie’s heart that the movie was well received by the audience, with Ai Ai being congratulated for her performance after the gala.
Area is set to compete in more festivals in the months ahead, but line producer Dennis Evangelista said they are not yet in the liberty to disclose details about it.
Nevertheless, Direk Louie is ecstatic with the prospect of Area being seen by a wider audience with the specter of Ai Ai winning an acting award in an international festival.
“It is my dream for Ai Ai to win an acting award in an international film festival. I have done it for Barbie Forteza who won a Best Actress award in a festival for Laut which I also directed. We Filipinos know that Ai Ai is not only a box-office star but a competent actress as well. I want people from other parts of the world to know that she is a good actress. Her win in an international film festival will validate her competence as an actress,” said Direk Louie.
He has nothing but praises for her lead actress during the filming of Area. Ai Ai came to the set in character, as Hillary, the aging prostitute.
“She came to the set prepared. What I imagined Hillary to be was what I saw in Ai Ai on our first shooting day. No makeup, looking haggard, really a picture of a has-been prostitute.”
One more thing that Direk Louie liked about Ai Ai was that she agreed to do the demands of her role including a bath scene wearing only her undies without qualms.
“She didn’t act like the big star that she is. She is very cool on the set, no air, never acted primadonna,” added Direk Louie.
Area is the closing film of the QCinema Film Festival on October 22. Both star and director are excited to present to the Pinoy audience their acclaimed film. The movie has also been submitted as possible entry to the 2016 Metro Manila Film Festival.