Lotlot De Leon, who is the female lead of the award-winning indie film 1st Sem, revealed a lot more to Caveat about her personal struggles as a mother in real life and mom surrogate to her three younger siblings who almost grew up with her—Ian, Matet and Kiko.
In contrast, it was not as difficult breathing life into the character in said film as a struggling single parent to three siblings in the throes of adulthood played by newcomers Darwin Yu, Miguel Bagtas and child actor Sebastian Vargas.
The actress qualified that about half of her role in the film was true-to-life. She was in particular referring to the difficulty she encountered in dealing with her siblings playing the role of a mother sans Nora Aunor when in fact she was but an eldest sister to the three of them.
There were moments when she had to ask herself if she was doing the right thing making the younger siblings understand that she had to take it upon herself the role of an inexperienced mother to keep them all together as one family.
At this point she was on the verge of breaking down but the actress in her prevailed though her voice seemed to crack as she held in check her emotions with a lump in the throat.
She was ever cautious not to drag farther the name of her adoptive into the issue despite being bitchily prodded by controversial-minded reporters. The French has a phrase for this attitude of Lotlot: noblesse oblige.
In hindsight, the travails with her siblings are behind her now, adding that the hand of God was with her in those most difficult times.
Matet is doing well with her acting career and so is Ian who has a business when not facing the camera. Kiko has become a highly independent person as well.
However, Lotlot thinks that her role is almost opposite to her real-life character as a mother. In the film she is some sort of a control freak, overbearing mom for comfort.
In reality, she never nags her children, instead she talks them out of their problematic situations. The character required of her in the film thus posed quiet a challenge to her being a cool and laidback mom by nature.
Her efforts at playing the role of fixated big-mouth mom with Allan Paule as her brother playing the sympathetic and sort of sounding board paid off handsomely, though. She was bestowed a Special Jury Award for her performance at the India International Film Festival while directors/scriptwriters Allan Michael Ibañez and Dexter Paglinawan Hemedez bagged the Debut Director Category for Best Feature Film.
In another festival Neil Daza got a recognition for excellence in cinematography at the Cinema Worldfest Awards.
The same film is in the official selection for this year’s coming 50th Annual Worldfest Houston International Film Festival and in the 5th Seoul Guro South Korea International Film Festival respectively.
Incidentally, the film will have its theatrical run starting April 26 nationwide. The downside of said playdate, according to Lotlot herself, is that it competes with a big-budgeted titanic action caper from Hollywood.
Hope springs eternal for an indie film like this one to do a proverbial David act against a Goliath. Let’s see to that.