Tessie Tomas is ‘Old Skool’

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Tessie Tomas plays a 69-year-old widow who returns to Grade 6

Tessie Tomas plays a 69-year-old widow who returns to Grade 6

The quest for happiness is a universal journey and Old Skool is all set to present a road map to get there.

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The debut feature film of director Cia Hermosa-Jorge and latest release from Till I’m 90 Films follows the story of 69-year old Lola Fely, played by Tessie Tomas, who finds herself lost following the death of her husband.

Having spent five decades playing a role to fulfill the happiness of others—as a wife and mother, she is now faced with the question of her own happiness. She seeks the answers in fulfilling a lifelong dream to receive her elementary diploma.

With newfound determination Lola Fely goes back to school to finish Grade 6, only to discover the ruthless world of pre-teen campus life. The movie sees the senior citizen navigating lunchroom politics, bullying, making friends and dealing with the pressures of school.

First time director Cia Hermosa-Jorge, just like her heroine, pursued her dream of going to film school belatedly in life

First time director Cia Hermosa-Jorge, just like her heroine, pursued her dream of going to film school belatedly in life

Through graceful storytelling, Old Skool tugs at the heartstrings with great subtlety. Generous on the comedy and punctuated with genuine heartfelt moments, it is a movie with a bold message: In your journey to happiness, your dream is your north star.

This theme resonated strongly with Cia, who felt her own foray to filmmaking paralleled Lola Fely’s journey. The mother of three first peered through the lens of a movie camera only in 2010, under the direction of the late veteran director Marilou Diaz-Abaya.

“Before studying film, I held a really good corporate job for over six years. At that time, my eldest son was starting to develop into his own person and that’s when I knew I had to set a good example for him and follow my passion. I wanted him to see his mother put in 100-percent to pursue her dream because that’s how he’ll learn how to soar,” says

With cast mates Angel Aquino and Buboy Villar

With cast mates Angel Aquino and Buboy Villar

the newbie director. “On the first day of film school, I was so nervous because I was 30 and everything was uncertain. But I was so hungry to learn. Direk Marilou taught me that being a filmmaker is a vocation, a calling. You touch people’s hearts, you inspire action, and you make people realize things through film. It is a huge responsibility. Only five years later, and of course through blood, sweat and tears, we have Old Skool. There really is no end date for following your dream and reinventing yourself.”

Old Skool, which also stars Angel Aquino and Buboy Villar (Kid Kulafu), premieres on November 4 and will show exclu-sively in SM Cinema nationwide.

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