Crossing the film medium with honor

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GEORGE VAIL KABRISTANTE

Not all theater actors with heavy portfolio tucked under their belt have been successful in their precipitous attempts to cross the realm of acting for films.

The last one Caveat remembers was Ruby Ruiz from PETA whose face can be seen everywhere now on TV and films. Then came well-known and respected theater actor RS Francisco joining the list of very few theater actors crossing the cinematic medium successfully.

As Raymond Francisco in the movies, he has lately been cut in the legit marquee of film acting when he won Best Actor in the film that he himself produced and starred in – Bhoy Intsik – at the Sinag Maynila indie filmfest. Also voted most popular, playing opposite is Ronwaldo Martin – known for impressive films like Pamilya Ordinaryo and Ringgo The Dog Shooter.

Directed by Joel Lamangan, the film was inspired by a notorious gay urban legend of old Cavite named Sweet who sported many aliases to elude police arrest.


RS Francisco

Bhoy Intsik, according to the scriptwriter/movie director Ronald Carballo, was one of Sweet’s more popular aliases among the poor sector of the area who looked up to him as the kind-hearted and gay local version of Robin Hood.

Francisco recalls that he has been acting for theater since he was six years old. The atmosphere at home was conducive to his precocious years as his father Rudy Francisco was a popular matinee idol in the ‘50s at Sampaguita Studio who on the side was also the film outfit’s corporate lawyer.

His passion for theater swelled up to his college years. Director Tony Mabesa who was his discoverer cast him as a woman in David Hwang’s classic M. Butterfly.

By twist of fate, while working on his own predicament by mining on his sheer love for the art of acting, director Mel Chionglo saw him in the stage play and cast him as Michelle in the movie Midnight Dancer.

Soon TV and film assignments came one after another, like Markova, Buwaya and the short film Ang Bantay, as well as teleseryes on ABS-CBN.

Turning his earnings from TV and movies into gold and with supportive associates, he founded a multi-level marketing company called Frontrow that locally distributes high-end health products imported from abroad including concoctions from genuine organic local sources. Same enterprise produced Bhoy Intsik which is his maiden venture in a lead role.

The film is slated to do the rounds of international film festivals abroad. In fact, the award-winning actor shared that already he has in the can three more advocacy indie films that he has co-produced with like-minded friends and associates both from showbiz and his enterprise.

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