The tragic life of international car racer Enzo Pastor, who was ambushed and killed en route to a race in Pampanga in 2014, is now the subject of a film by award winning director Enzo Williams (Bonifacio, Ang Unang Pangulo, 2014; The Escort, 2016).
Chosen to star in the biopic is top dramatic actor Derek Ramsay, whose talent and popularity Williams believes will help shed light not necessarily on the case surrounding Pastor’s shocking death, but the admirable life he led.
Pastor was regarded a hero in the local racing scene, who, following an impressive debut at the 1999 Toyoto Corolla Cup went on to become a NASCAR Hall of Fame Awardee. He was the first Asian to be given the honor and had a promising future in the international racing circuit until his untimely and unjust demise.
Pastor died in June 2014 from gunshot wounds from motorcycle-riding men who ambushed his truck on his way to the final leg of the that year’s Asian V8 Championship Series.
A teaser of the biopic was shown at an exclusive viewing hosted by Pastor’s family on January 24 at Privé Luxury Club in BGC on the occasion of his birthday. In attendance were members of the local racing community and select members of media. Pastor would have been 35 years old.
“Derek has been very supportive of this project from the beginning. Just like us, he believes what our son stood for, not only in the local racing community but also the world stage. We hope the movie will inspire every Filipino to achieve world renown through hard work and passion as our son had been in his chosen field,” Tom Pastor, the racer’s proud father said.
Likewise, the subject’s namesake, Director Enzo Williams is very passionate in filming Enzo: The Life of Enzo Pastor, a story which he believes will encourage viewers to believe they can be whoever they want to be.
“I was recommended by [actress]Vivian Velez to Enzo’s family [to direct the movie], and so when she texted me, I did research on Enzo’s life right away. I didn’t know him at the time but I heard about the tragedy,” recalled Williams.
“I saw that he reached the top level of racing internationally, and knowing he’s a Filipino really inspired me. So, I know that if his story inspires me, it’s sure to inspire others too,” the US-schooled director told The Manila Times.
Williams further related when he met the family, he said he would do the movie not for the purpose of bringing Pastor’s killers to justice, but to show people they should strive to be the best they can like the passionate racer and dedicated family man.
“There’s no other purpose but to show his inspiring life. I’m going to finish the film moments before he passes away, and have nothing to do with the tragedy. I’m also not doing this to discredit whoever is involved [in his murder], I am not going to pin down anybody or influence the case,” he clarified.
“The automotive community has been very supportive in helping us put the movie together. They’re excited because to show their world will be to the public, because, somehow this is a secret world. Not a lot of people know racings as a sport since it’s [admittedly]something costly to get into,” Williams continued.
“But then again this is not going to impose that this is so different you’re your life—it’s going to be a fun film that even if you’re not a fan of racing, you’re bound to enjoy it.”
First of its kind
As far as Williams knows, the Enzo Pastor movie will be the first movie on car racing in the Philippines. As such, the Pastors, who supported Enzo throughout his successful albeit short racing career look forward to share the “struggles, pain and the beauty of what it takes to be a racer.”
Moreover, they would like their son remembered through the film as a sportsman who proudly carried the Philippine flag.
“When Enzo died, it created a lot of confusion who he was, but I think it’s just fair for the Philippines to know how Enzo had been racing for the Philippines internationally for some time. We felt the way to tap into the general public is to make an inspirational film about Enzo’s life and passion,” younger brother Don Pastor further shared with The Manila Times.
“Honestly, it took us about a year to really decide if we wanted to do this because it’s also going to bring us a lot of pain that he’s gone. Even just to see the play by play when they start shooting the film, that’s going to be hard. But on the whole it’s going to help the public learn about this small community of Filipino racers and hopefully support it too,” he added.
According to Don, the choice of Ramsay to portray his brother is perfect.
“We felt very shocked and humbled Derek accepted the role. He kind of looks like Enzo before. Derek’s shaved head was just like Enzo’s when he started racing in 2002. We’ll just maybe let Derek’s hair grow as the shooting goes on.”
Asked who is producing the movie, Don related they have investors already but are still in talks with other interested parties because they are adamant on coming up with a quality film. Their aim, just like their beloved Enzo, is to bring the movie to the international level.
Shooting is scheduled to go full throttle in March with June 12 as the intended playdate.