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Joyce Bernal has high hopes for unusual rom-com

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Director Joyce Bernal fell in love with the script of “Kita Kita” right away that’s why it got the greenlight sans hitch.

Joyce Bernal (mb.com.ph)

Joyce Bernal

“Hindi ko siya pinag-isipan ng matagal,” she said. “Wala pong masyadong processing na nangyari, naniwala ako agad sa materyal.”

The director revealed the seeds that eventually became “Kita Kita” were planted by a man named Erwin “Lucky” Blanco, who previously worked on movies like “Kimmy Dora And The Temple Of Kiyeme,” “Kimmy Dora: Ang Kiyemeng Prequel,” and “Relaks, It’s Just Pag-ibig.”

“Naging producer namin siya dati. Sabi niya, ‘Gumawa naman tayo ng romantic comedy ng mga pangit, kasi puro na lang gwapo at maganda ang bida sa ganung klaseng pelikula,’” Direk Joyce related. “Ang idea ni Lucky, kung gagawa nga kami ng ganu’ng project, sa magandang lugar namin dapat kunan.”

The Spring Films team took Lucky’s suggestion and ran with it. They chose to shoot most of the movie in Japan and brought in award-winning filmmaker Sigrid Bernardo – known for the indies “Ang Huling Chacha Ni Anita” and “Lorna” – to direct, and cast Alessandra de Rossi and Empoy Marquez in the lead roles.

“Kita Kita” is about a woman who falls in love with a man she can’t see because of a medical condition that caused her to lose her eyesight. But Joyce clarified that Alessandra’s character isn’t permanently blind – which she says is a plot point that will become a big part of the movie’s story.

She also took the time to commend Alessandra and Empoy on the way they brought their characters to life. She said “Kita Kita” owes its charm to their engaging chemistry and emotionally honest performances.

“Nagkaroon lang siya ng temporary blindness due to stress,” Direk Joyce said. “Napaka-solid at timely talaga ng story nitong ‘Kita Kita.’ Plus lalong itong naging maganda dahil sina Alessandra at Empoy ang bida dito. Nag-wo-work ’yung movie dahil sa kanila. They made it solid.”

Alessandra de Rossi and Empoy Marquez in ‘Kita Kita’ (mb.com.ph)

Alessandra de Rossi and Empoy Marquez in ‘Kita Kita’

Even before the movie opens in theaters nationwide today, netizens have taken to calling Alessandra and Empoy’s tandem “AlEmpoy.” The Spring Films team described them as “Ang love team na ’di mo inakala” and “The Millenial Love Team.”

Direk Joyce is pleased as punch over people’s reaction to the first teaser. She said if people thought the teaser was beautifully made, they need to watch the movie because the rest of it is so much better.

“Look test and cam test lang po namin ’yun, tapos nu’ng nakita naming lahat na maganda siya, nag-decide po kami na gawing teaser. Hindi po siya sa Japan ginawa. Dito lang ’yun sa Pilipinas kinunan. Kaya kung nagandahan na sila sa teaser na ’yun, abangan nila ’yung mga susunod at siyempre pati ’yung mismong pelikula kasi sa Japan na ginawa ’yun.”

Furthermore, Direk Joyce isn’t shy about the fact that she’s proud of the “Kita Kita” and has high hopes for it.

“Eto ’yung result ng hard work ng Spring Films, at sana kung kumita siya, o kung ano man ’yung ma-achieve niya na success, ito ’yung path na gagawin namin para sa industriya.”

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