The director and cast members of the crime thriller Tenement 66 talked about the challenges and takeaways they encountered and learned while filming the official entry of the Philippines at the 25th Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival (BIFAN) in South Korea, under the Bucheon Choice category, which was held from July 8 to 18.
Helmed by critically-acclaimed filmmaker Rae Red, Tenement 66 follows the story of three teenagers (Francis Magundayao, Noel Comia Jr., and Francine Diaz), who are held hostage after trying to rob an old man’s apartment.
Lea (Francine) conspires with her neighbors Teban (Francis) and Ron-Ron (Noel) to burglarize Nando’s (Lou Veloso) suspicious unit after she witnessed the latter steal a huge amount of money. The three have found themselves in a horrible situation as they force their way in.
Kadenang Ginto star Francine, who plays the sweet and kind-hearted Cassie in the teleserye, shared during the virtual media conference that she made some preparations to internalize her character in Tenement 66. “Nasanay ako kay Cassie na talagang mahiyain siya, tahimik lang. Tapos ‘yung character ko dito na si Lea, maangas siya eh, may pagka-siga. Nanood ako ng mga movies kung saan ako makakakuha ng ugali ng isang character na pwede kong magawa kay Lea.”
“Isa po ‘yung challenge sa’kin pero kakatuwa po na mabigyan ako ng ganitong character kasi na explore ko yung sarili ko, and of course, sa pag-acting ko,” said the actress. This is her first horror movie to date and she believed that she did her best and dedicated herself to give justice to the character.
Aside from this, the 17-year-old had to work out every day to prepare for the action scenes. “Parati kaming tumatakbo, parating gumagalaw. Hindi kami ‘yung chill lang… Nag-wo-work out ako every day,” adding that she read her script in between workout breaks. “Sabi nga nila Francis and Noel, kahit mahirap siya naging madali kasi gina-guide kami ni direk. ‘Yun yung nagpakapagpadali sa amin. Naging smooth ang bawat eksena namin.”
Direk Rae admitted that the preparation for the film was really challenging because of the pandemic restrictions. They had to do all the workshops over Zoom. “Imagine nag-meet na silang tatlo sa set na. Prior to that, hindi sila nakapagkita, parang it’s up to them talaga to do their homework. Sobrang na-appreciate ko yung hard work na ginawa nilang tatlo. Kasi nag-pay off talaga. I’m very happy with the work that they’ve put in.”
Critically-acclaimed filmmaker Rae Red said the Tenement 66 is a mash between her and co-writer Kenneth Dagatan’s favorite horror series and films (such as Stranger Things and Don’t Breathe) and the political situation in the actual location of the set, a tenement building in Pasay City.
When asked about the moral lessons of the story, Francis pointed out that the movie is “also a social commentary about how the Philippines is working at the moment.”
“It’s a power struggle lesson that you see when you watch the film. You would realize that these things could actually happen even to kids because of how the Philippines is working at the moment,” added the 22-year-old actor. “We’re all not living in an equal kind of situation kumbaga. This could have been prevented if may mas social equality dito sa Philippines.”
Francine, on her part, underscored kindness and people should not judge those who commit wrongdoings. “Hindi porke’t ang isang tao ay nakagawa ng isang masamang bagay, masamang tao na siya,” further relating the context of her character, “like ‘yung sa’kin kasi, gusto niyang makaalis ‘dun sa tinitirhan nila. Kasi inaabuso siya at sinasaktan ng tatay niya. The only way out ng character ko (Lea) ‘dun ay yung gumawa ng masama. Wala na siyang ibang option kundi ‘yun na lang yung gawin niya. Pero hindi naman talaga siya ‘yung masamang tao kaya wag tayo agad mang-judge.”
“You’ll never know kung ano ‘yung pinagdadaanan nila. Kung bakit nila nagawa ang isang bagay,” she said. “’Wag kang mag-judge agad at mas maging kind ka sa mga unkind people kasi mas kailangan nila ‘yun.’”
Noel agreed with Francis and Francine by saying that “people do bad things for a reason.”
“Minsan talaga they can’t help but do it para lang makaahon sila (in) whatever they’re going through. For me, what I learned from working on this film is that may consequence talaga ang bawat action na gagawin mo. It’s a cliché but it’s what is happening in the film and in real life. Kapag may ginawa kang masama, something bad will happen,” said the 17-year-old young actor.
The film also stars Jess Mendoza, Topper Fabregas, Raffy Tejada, Martha Comia, and Ross Pesigan.
(Tenement 66 is set to stream worldwide beginning July 23 on iWantTFC, KTX.ph, and TFC IPTV.)
Credit belongs to : www.philstar.com