MANILA, Philippines – Singer, songwriter, and actor Ogie Alcasid returns to the big screen via the movie Kuya Wes, an entry to the 2018 Cinemalaya Festival.
Ogie Alcasid is a very busy man these days. Aside from his regular hosting duties, he has an upcoming concert celebrating 30 years in the business, and there’s his latest venture — as one of the producers of Kuya Wes.
Kuya Wes is Ogie’s 38th film, his first foray into the indie scene, and his first as a producer. The film is a collaboration with Alcasid’s own A-Team Productions with Awkward Penguin, and Spring Films.
“When I read this one (referring to the Kuya Wes script), di ko mabitawan, tawa ako nang tawa. At the same time, naiiyak ako inside.” ( I could not let go of the script, I was laughing non-stop. At the same time, I was crying inside)
He added that it was the combination of elements – witty dialogue, punchlines – basically, a well written script that managed to tug at his heart strings.
Clearly impressed with the story, he immediately agreed to do the film and met with Director James Robin Mayo (The Chanters, Anatomiya ng Pag-ibig, Kiko Boksingero).
James said that he was shocked that an actor of Ogie’s caliber would say yes so quickly.
As budget constraints were looming in the horizon, Ogie was determined that the movie see the light of day. He approached fellow actor, Piolo Pascual, who is also a movie producer.
“‘PJ,’ sabi ko,’meron akong nabasa kasing script, eh baka gusto mong i-produce.’ At sabi ko ‘ kahit wag mo na akong bayaran, gawin mo lang.’ Sabi niya,’Sige Kuya, kung okay sa iyo, babasahin ko.’ Wala na akong narinig sa kanya until after 3 or 4 months. Nakita ko si Ericson [Raymundo of Spring Films] sa ASAP, tapos sabi nya,’Hey we’ll be doing your film!’ Sabi ko ‘Huh? Talaga? Okay yun ah!’ Tapos kinausap ko si Piolo, sabi ko ,‘O,sabi ni Ericson…’ ‘Oo, pero hati tayo.’”
(I told PJ, I read a script and you might want to produce it. I even told him not to pay me a talent fee for it for as long as he would do it. He said ‘okay kuya, if it’s okay with you, I’ll read it. I did not hear from him until after 3 or 4 months. I saw Ericson (Raymundo of Spring Films) in ASAP and he then told me ‘hey, we’ll be doing your film. I said huh? Really. That’s great. And then I talked to Piolo about it.)
Lucky for us,the project was given the green light and what we have now is Kuya Wes.
Ogie couldn’t help but express his excitement because of the public’s response to the movie and its trailer. He also shared a bit of the learnings as a first time actor-producer, such as giving full trust in the director’s vision. He said he enjoyed the collaboration.
Kuya Wes tells us the story of a money remittance center employee (Alcasid) who goes about his daily routine. Things start to shake up at Western Remittance when he meets Erika (Ina Raymundo), a regular customer of the remittance center whom he begins falling for.
While he gains the attention and appreciation that he has never felt before, how will he deal when he finds out that everything is temporary?
Aside from Ogie and Ina, rounding out the cast are comedienne Moi Bein, Alex Medina, and Karen Gaerlan, whose roles also give the movie depth and color.
The haunting “Waltz of Four Left Feet” by Shirebound and Busking serves as the film’s official soundtrack.
Kuya Wes will formally be shown starting August 4 at the Cultural Center of The Philippines (CCP) with its gala screening on August 6 at the CCP Main Theater. The film will also be shown in select Ayala Cinemas. – Rappler.com
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