This is AI generated summarization, which may have errors. For context, always refer to the full article.
MANILA, Philippines – The movie Metro Manila had its international premiere in the 2013 Sundance Film Festival last January.
The idea for the film was born when British director Sean Ellis witnessed an argument between two truck drivers while on vacation in Manila.
G Tongi reports.
I’m here at the advanced media screening for the film Metro Manila, directed by British director Sean Ellis. We’re here to talk to the actors about about the casting process and their experience on working on the film.
Metro Manila is a film shot entirely in the Philippines with an all Filipino cast about a man who moves to the big city in search of a better life.
Director Sean Ellis handpicked the Filipino actors.
Indie Actress Althea Vega says the filming was rigorous.
Yung experience ko with Sean, it takes about 15 or mas marami pang yung paulit ulit nyang pinapagawa, nakakadrain ng energy. Gusto nya iba iba yung angle, napakaperfectionist! (My experience with Sean, it takes about 15 or more, He had me do it over and over again until my energy was drained. He wanted different angles. He’s a perfectionist!)
It’s the perfectionist in Ellis that helped the film bag the Audience Award at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival for the World Cinema Dramatic division.
Actor Jake Macapagal, originally hired as a production assistant was surprised when Ellis chose him to play the title role of Oscar.
He says winning at Sundance has become his good luck charm.
It opened doors for me! I don’t know. I’m hoping it will open doors for more actors.
A review on Rappler calls Metro Manila a poverty drama that morphs into a gritty crime thriller.
Because of the images and the way Sean had presented this, this is a little bit different. But at the same time it’s poetic and I can guarantee that after the film, you can count it as one of the better films that you’ve seen.
Angelina Kapati plays “Charlie.”
Originally a male pimp character, Ellis transformed the role into a female “mamasan” after seeing her audition.
Ellis chose to have all the actors translate his English script into Filipino.
I did my own version. I chose the words and that exact scene that I did in front of him became the scene itself in the film.
Kapati says it took a British director to see the film through critical acclaim.
But some fear the film will reinforce a negative image of the Philippines abroad much like Dan Brown calling Manila the “gates of hell.”
Sometimes you just have to hammer at the truth and Sean Ellis did a very brilliant work because he captured our “hawak sa patalim” mentality (the Filipino mentality of “clasping the blade.”) Sort of like, we don’t look beyond tomorrow. An outsider has an objective.
Metro Manila is the official entry of the British Academy of Film & Television Arts to the Oscars for the Best Foreign Language Film category. G Töngi, Rappler, Manila.
Update: Italy’s The Great Beauty has won in the Best Film not in the English Language category, following the 2014 BAFTA awards held February 16, 2014 (February 17 in Manila). Although Metro Manila was not selected as part of the shortlist of films competing in the Oscars, the film was recognized as the Best British Independent Film of the year at the 16th Moet British Independent Film Awards last November 8. – Rappler.com