"Because what I want to introduce, which others have done before me, but will hopefully push further, is 'maindie.' That is using mainstream actors (in indie films) doing things that they cannot do in commercial movies," he continued, while enumerating examples like Tom Cruise in "Magnolia" and Brad Pitt in "Tree of Life."
Direk Joey's first-ever Cinemalaya film features stars that the festival has not yet seen in its lineup, the likes of Janice de Belen, Agot Isidro, Iza Calzado and Judy Ann Santos. They play friends who are coping with loss while discovering each other.
"This time—I'll be blunt about it—I'll use my influence in mainstream to bring them to Cinemalaya and hopefully, they can bring in their audience and their audience will be exposed to all the other Cinemalaya movies.
"Wouldn't that be great? If they can just go to the CCP, go to Trinoma, or to Greenbelt because they're fans of Judy Ann, of Janice, of Agot of Iza and then they realize, 'wow there are other films here.' And they learn to appreciate that, then we'd have succeeded."
He also revealed that the four main actors of his film believed in him enough ask for nothing in return, working with him just for the love of it.
While introducing "Mga Mumunting Lihim" to the media, Direk Joey said that the film is very personal to him. And later in the interview with Yahoo! Philippines OMG! he shared that the story is inspired by the loss of his two dear friends, Khryss Adalia and Don Escudero.
"Last year, I lost one of my closest friends to cancer. And two years or so before that, another also passed away because of cancer."
He shared that it was the passing of Don Escudero last year that made him think of a lot of things, things about friendship that are captured and addressed in "Mga Mumunting Lihim."
"Losing him made me realize so many things about a. mortality, b. the value of friendship, and c. how volatile friendship is. And I wanted to do a movie to celebrate (these things), and I know I can't do that on mainstream," he explained.
When asked if he will be doing more "maindies" after his indie debut, Direk Joey responded with enthusiasm: "I hope so. I really, really, really hope so. I hope that there would be other producers who would take the risk as what Boss Orly (Ilacad) did in giving me the liberty to do my next indie."
But, he said, "do I shut my doors, as far as commercial films are concerned? No, I don't! I would still want to do mainstream movies but maybe it will be a little more difficult this time because after all these years, I've tasted freedom. And it's hard to go back."