Lovi Poe in sad, radiant 'Sana Dati'

CINEMA AS HEARTBREAKER. Lovi as the film's light. Image from 'Sana Dati's' Facebook

CINEMA AS HEARTBREAKER. Lovi as the film's light.

Image from 'Sana Dati's' Facebook

MANILA, Philippines - Lovi Poe still basks in the continuing limelight of Jerrold Tarog's "Sana Dati," some two months after the conclusion of the 2013 Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival.

"Sana Dati," which opens in Philippine cinemas in September, is a multifaceted romantic sleeper starring Poe and Paulo Avelino. It won Best Film and the Best Director prize for Tarog, along with several other prizes in the 9th festival's Directors' Showcase category.

Lovi is excited about how the film will impact moviegoers. She is more than happy about the success of "Sana Dati" at Cinemalaya's awards night on August 4, wherein Star For All Seasons Vilma Santos bagged the Best Actress prize for her performance in Jeffrey Jeturian’s "Ekstra/The Bit Player."

“I had no illusions that I would beat Ms. Vilma Santos," Lovi said. "I saw 'Ekstra,' and she was really, really good in that movie. I knew my chances were slim because I was up against the Star for All Seasons."

But Lovi herself - at 24, already a multiawarded actress - was widely commended for her role in "Sana Dati" as a fiancée confronted by a crucial transition on the eve of her wedding.

One remembers 2010 as Lovi Poe's year, when she won the Best Actress awards in two institutions, the Cinemalaya and Famas.

"When they called my name as the winner that night, 3 years ago, gulat na gulat ako [I was really surprised]," Lovi said, recalling that night at Cinemalaya when she won for her performance in "Mayohan." 

"I did not prepare an acceptance speech kasi wala naman akong inaasahan talaga [because I wasn't really expecting anything].

“That’s a feeling I haven’t had in a long time. Yun ang gusto kong maramdaman ulit [That's what I want to experience again]. Something that would surprise me and make me feel good afterwards.”

Unlikely field

The daughter of Fernando Poe Jr. still blazes her trail in the unlikely field of independent cinema. She counts among today's most glamorous celebrities, yet she also continues to challenge herself in mainstream projects.

It is Lovi's "dream to work with her [Vilma] someday," she said.

Vilma and FPJ had worked together before, igniting a genuine chemistry in their third and last film together, the 1996 variety rom-com "Ikaw ang Mahal Ko."

"Nakagawa na ako ng [I've made a] movie with Ate Guy [Nora Aunor], 'Thy Womb,' and we even attended the Venice International Film Festival together with our director Brillante Mendoza."

“Sana when I do a movie with Ate Vi, pang-international din para siya naman ang makasama ko sa isang film festival abroad.”

(I would wish that when I do a movie with Ate Vi, it would also be for international release so we could be together in a film festival abroad.) 

"Sana Dati" will take part in the Hawaii International Filmfest in October. Lovi has sought permission from GMA-7 to attend this festival.

“I really want to attend this event and let people know how proud we are of this film.

“I am willing to do advance tapings for my series 'Sa Akin Pa Rin ang Bukas,' para lang walang maging problema [so there won't be any problem].” - Rappler.com

Here's the trailer of 'Sana Dati' from Jerrold Tarog's YouTube: