Whereas Star Cinema’s When Love Begins has Boracay, and That Thing Called Tadhna, Baguio and Sagada, Flotsam, the latest maindie (an independent production that casts actors from mainstream films) seeks to capture La Union’s “magic.”
The movie, named after a quaint artist’s beach hotel in San Juan, La Union, is a love anthology with eight interweaving stories. The story starts when a work-obsessed overachiever named Kai (Solenn Heussaff) arrives in the Elysian Surf Town to run away from a volatile relationship. Kai takes refuge at Flotsam where she meets Tisoy (Rocco Nacino), a very mysterious local bartender who becomes her summer fling.
Rounding up the cast of this romantic flick is Carla Humphries, Marc Abaya, Mara Lopez, Franco Daza, Zack Varkaris, Jun King Austria, Barbara Miguel, Adrian Cabido, Gerard Garcia, Anja Peter, and Julia Quisimbing in an introductory role, along with local actors Jeff Ortega and Lemon Superstar Dines.
Magical and musical
Solenn, who said that the cast and crew shot the entire film in La Union for two straight weeks, described to The Manila Times their “magical” location as “a humble community where everyone lives within the same standards.”
“They had no quirks, no nothing,” she began. “Like while working there, whenever I had free time, I’d go to the coffee shop nearby. I’d walk on the road and walang papansin sa akin. Then I’d go to the bartender and have an hour-long conversation. It was a normal scene and there would be no expectations [like in Manila]. You can just talk to anyone.”
Elaborating, the actress continued, “La Union is less visited. You have to drive four to five hours, but when you get there, kayo lang sa beach and ang laki ng beach. During the shoot, I’d run in the morning along the beach. It’s super, super safe.”
Besides the scenic views of La Union, Flotsam also boasts of its live musical scoring, originally written for the film by Eraserheads guitarist Surfernando Marcus Adoro, and Flotsam Folk Yeah! Family Band’s Mia Sebastian and Kiddo Cosio.
The songs were not only sung live, but also recorded real-time in true jamming sessions to reflect the true musicality of Flotsam.
“They’re beautifully written and we all get emotional when we sing the songs on set,” Solenn added.
Solenn, whose past films include Status: It’s Complicated, Temptation Island (2011), Sosy Problems, to name a few, is clearly very excited for her newest big screen offering for its unique selling points.
Even the title, she related is meaningful as it is unusual.
“The meaning of flotsam is the debris from a shipwreck that float on the ocean and end up somewhere. So it’s like different people, different love stories that end up somewhere. Flotsam also portrays the surfers that are just floating and waiting for a wave to come along—waiting for something new in their life to come.”
Flotsam is produced by Banana Pancake Trail Productions, Inc. and opens in cinemas nationwide on November 4.