Four years after the couple Perci Intalan and Jun Robles Lana founded their film outfit, IdeaFirst Company, they happily note they now do at least eight films a year.
They’re the only production house working with all the local major film studios – Star Cinema, Viva films, and Regal Films; as well as collaborating with international companies like Disney, Netflix, and Google, to name a few.
In a recent interview, they revealed the things ahead from them as well as from the young directors in their roster.
Prime Cruz will direct a new feature film for Star Cinema. Miko Livelo is working on the Vhong Navarro-starrer “Unli Life” for Regal Films. Ivan Andrew Payawal just recently helmed “Ang Pambansang Third Wheel” for Viva films. Fatrick Tabada whose film “Si Chedeng At Si Apple” is now playing in various international festivals in Europe and the USA. Dominic Lim whose “The Write Moment” opens in cinemas nationwide this June 27 in partnership with Viva Films.
Sigrid Andrea Bernardo of the megahit “Kita Kita” is now working on the comeback film of Claudine Barretto for Viva Films. Dwein Baltazar’s “Gusto Kita With All My Hypothalamus” won praise at the recently concluded Cine Filipino film festival.
The couple believes their company is slowly making it big in the industry because they offer interesting stories.
“We tackle interesting stories not usually offered to audiences. We want to explore that angle and have a different perspective on familiar stories,” said Jun.
He added they always encourage their directors to pursue passion projects.
“Do what you want to do,” said Jun.
Though earning is important to them, they reiterated money is not the only reason they do these kinds of films.
“We love to tell stories,” said Jun. “And even in my workshop days where most of the directors in the company came from, I always tell them I want to see them doing the projects that they want and not just because they were commissioned to do it.”
“’Cause when you’re commissioned to do things that you do not like and it turns into a flop, the director will just be more disappointed.”
Outside the box
Among the examples of unorthodox plot is Jun’s new film “Ang Babaeng Allergic Sa Wifi” inspired from a true event.
“The story is based on an article I read four years ago. It’s about a girl who committed sucicide after she was diagnosed as allergic to WiFi and people didn’t believe her, even the school doesn’t believe it,” he divulged. “So her symptoms are real but it’s not medically recognized as a disease,” said Jun.
He revealed that the moment he read the article, he saw it as a good material for a romantic-comedy story.
“Nowadays, the younger kids are really into technology..But what happens when you’re diagnosed with a disease that suddenly disconnects you from everyone else? What’s going to happen to you, to your circle of friend, to your love life and all?”
Jun said it took a while before he developed that final story. In fact, the director even went to Amsterdam to compose himself.
The movies is about a girl named Norma played by Sue Ramirez. She is like many teenagers now who lives and breathes in a digital life with her many gadgets. Then one day, she is diagnosed with EHS and so she needed to isolate herself. It also means she will be away from her boyfriend. What will she do?
Jun divulged they aim to enter the final product to the upcoming Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino.
Also in cast of “Ang Babaeng Allergic Sa Wifi” are Jameson Blake, Markus Paterson, Boots Anson-Roa, Yayo Aguila, Candy Pangilinan, and Lee O’Brian.
Blessing in disguise
It is also a busy year for Perci who just finished filming his Cinemalaya 2018 entry starring award-winning performers Iza Calzado, Nonie Buencamino, and Therese Malvar.
The film “Distance” is about a family that is picking up the pieces and trying to pull themselves together after five years of being broken because of a decision the mother made that is not easy to forgive.
Perci also shared an update about his other upcoming film. He said they are in post-production on “Born Beautiful,” the series spin-off of “Die Beautiful.”
Although the original lead cast from the movie, Christian Bables, won’t be able to reprise his role, they still see the apparent misfortune as a blessing in disguise. This is because Kapuso actor Martin del Rosario will take on the role.
Perci praised the latter.
“When he needs to cry, he does it quickly. He’s very fast in motivating himself,” he shared.
“Born Beautiful,” made in partnership with Cignal Entertainment, is originally a series of a six one-hour episode. But after Perci saw the first few episodes, he decided to turn it into a movie.
Tags: "Born Beautiful", Cine Filipino film, major film studios, Manila Bulletin, Manila Bulletin Entertainment, mb.com.ph, Regal Films, Sigrid Andrea Bernardo, Star Cinema, Viva Films, What’s up with IdeaFirst?, “Ang Babaeng Allergic Sa Wifi”