“Sana po magustuhan n’yo ang munting pelikula namin na malaki ang hangarin,” was how handsome award-winning actor Dennis Trillo introduced his first film for 2016, Lakbay2Love, with the alluring Solenn Heusaff.
Produced by Erasto Films, Lakabay2Love (L2L) is love story and advocacy film rolled into one, with its plot unravelling against the beauty of nature, effectively bringing to light the need to take care of Mother Earth.
L2L casts Dennis as a forester and biker named Jay-R, while Solenn portrays the role of videographer Lianne who is making a feature about climate change, while going through a personal ordeal. A special friendship develops between them as Jay-R challenges Lianne to experience nature on a bike, and slowly, Lianne is able to recover from her heartbreak. But just as Lianne is starting to move on, her ex-boyfriend Macky (played by Kit Thomson) reappears and turns her world upside-down.
To do the movie, the lean and mean cast immersed themselves in the world of bikers, cycling through scenic biking spots such as La Mesa Dam, Timberland Heights, and Benguet, to bring to life the film’s environmental-themed message.
“Ang maganda dito, it’s a love story but ang naging inspiration nito ay biking and the environment,” explained director-producer Ellen Marfil. “I was inspired to do this when I saw La Mesa Dam for the first time with my son and his class on a biking trip, and naiyak ako nung sinabi nung guide namin that in so many years’ time, mawawala yung lahat ng kagandahan ng kapaligirang iyon dahil sa climate change. So I thought, let’s do something different. Imbis na takutin ang tao para kumilos against climate change, let’s inspire them by showing them the beauty of nature to get them to act.”
In response, Dennis said, “Kaya nga po sobrang saya ako na makasama sa pelikulang ito dahil gusting-gusto ko yung tema ng pelikula. Plus I’m really a biker, and I always go on my bike during my free time.”
Dennis has been into the sport since he was about eight years old. In fact, the actor had long wanted to portray a biker and his wish came true when Marfil offered him the role in L2L.
Dennis further revealed, “Kahit marami akong work at meron kasabay na ginagawang movie, I make time to go biking. Ito ang rest ko.”
The TV and movie star took to the role easily because, like Jay-R, he is fond of nature and concerned about the environment.
For his director, no other actor could have played Jay-R, describing him as “perfect” because besides his professionalism, “Dennis is 100 percent alpha male. He exudes mystery—he’s a guy you cannot have so you are hooked forever.”
Meanwhile, fans of the sultry Solenn are also in for a treat because her beauty radiates through the entire film. They will also discover that behind her beautiful face and curves lies a real trouper who is willing to endure long travels and challenging weather conditions.
“I actually stopped being into biking so many years ago kasi di’ba naging luma na siya before with roller skates and all that,” Solenn related. “This movie reintroduced me to biking and I fell in love with it that I actually opened a bike studio!”
She also fell in love with the scenic spots where the movie was shot, surprised to realize that there were such beautiful places within the city she never knew about.
“I think this movie is very timely because of its message about climate change, about fitness, which many people are getting into nowadays, and of course, about finding yourself and opening up your spirit,” she added.
Meanwhile, Marfil said of the movie’s leading lady, “Solenn is softly in control and can put on the sexiest act. But if you meet her, she is almost child-like, an Audrey Hepburn—she of classic innocence!”
Beyond the actress’ sophisticated goddess image, the director is eager for the public to see a vulnerable Solenn in L2L.
Lakbay2Love is the third released movie of Marfil who won the Docker’s First Feature Award at the San Francisco Frameline Film Festival for her debut film Pusang Gala. Her second, Boses, has also toured the international film fest circuit, winning several awards in the process, as it continues to be screened abroad since its release in 2008.
Excited about her latest venture, Marfil is grateful for the support L2L has received from the biking community of La Mesa Ecopark, Timberland Heights, Firefly Brigade and the Cordillera Conservation Trust.
“There is so much enthusiasm for this film from bikers and environmental advocates, and I hope that the same will come from the public when it opens in cinemas on February 3,” she ended.