By JOJO P. PANALIGAN
February 22, 2012, 10:29am
MANILA, Philippines – They have worked in “Sabel” and “Ouija,” and last Feb. 21, cameras started rolling for “Mga Mumunting Lihim” which co-star Judy Ann Santos and Iza Calzado anew in a project that even this early is already anticipated to be unbeatable in the Cinemalaya Festival come July.
Written and directed by the award-winning Jose Javier Reyes, “Mga Mumunting Lihim” is Judy Ann’s first indie film. She told Bulletin Entertainment and other members of media on the set of the first day of shooting that doing the film feels like “a return to real acting” for her.
“Andami ko na din naman kasing ginawang pelikula na nagpatawa ako o nagpakilig pero kadalasan laging may limitation either sa characterization or sa linya na pwedeng bitawan kasi nga mga mainstream movies yon.
“Sa indie films gaya nito, you can do whatever you want; really stick to the character and the story. May freedom ka to do your character –-- yung definition ng character ---na matagal ko ng gustong gawin.”
“Mga Mumunting Lihim” is a story about four friends whose relationship is put to the test by an unforeseen circumstance. Aside from Judy Ann and Iza, who play Mariel and Carla, respectively, the film stars Janice de Belen as Olive and Agot as Sandra.
Though it’s their third time working together, Iza couldn’t help but gush over Judy Ann’s acting prowess.
“Isa siyang respetadong aktres at very professional. Kung may taong babayaran ang pagiyak dahil sa ganda ng pagpatak ng luha, si Judy Ann Santos yon,” Iza said.
Judy Ann returned the compliment. “Si Iza naman ang artista na may passion talaga sa trabaho niya. Hindi kumita ng pera o para mapansin ang habol niya kundi alam mong mahal talaga niya ang trabaho niya.”
The two actresses believe that the story of “Mumunting Lihim” is not just about friendship but relationships in general. Judy Ann pointed out that there are times we try to protect our loved ones by shielding them from harsh realities, hence, the secrets that we sometimes keep even from them. Iza added that the film will remind people that there are no mistakes in love and life because whether good or bad outcome, we learn from our experiences.
Asked if they compromised their usual talent fees in order to work with the tight budget of mga “Mga Mumunting Lihim,” Judy Ann and Iza gave lighthearted answers that seemingly confirm so.
“For the love of everybody,” Judy Ann quipped.
“Parang mas malaki pa ang TF ng mga make-up artists natin,” Iza added, laughing.
Joey said that “Mga Mumunting Lihim” is in memory of his friend, production designer and director Don Escudero, who passed away last year. The film will compete in Cinemalaya’s Director’s Showcase category.