“Death March” and “OTJ” are two of the three films that represented the country in the recently held Cannes Film Festival in France.
“Death March” director by Adolf Alix Jr. was in the Un Certain Regard Category and includes Star Magic artists Jason Abalos, Carlo Aquino, Zanjoe Marudo and Sam Milby. Erik Matti’s “On The Job” or “OTJ,” on the other hand, was featured in the Directors Fornight section of Cannes with Star Magic’s Gerald Anderson, Shaina Magdayao, Empress, Rayver Cruz and Piolo Pascual leading the cast of the movie.
Jason and Zanjoe weren’t able to join the rest of the cast and crew in Cannes but both very much wanted to be there. Zanjoe during the festival was busy promoting his first solo starrer “Bromance” and he totally wished his schedule didn’t conflict with the screening in France. Zanjoe also expressed that he wishes to work with Direk Adolf as he was able to express himself more creatively in the making of their indie movie. Jason also wishes he was able to join the “Death March” group in Cannes as it is every actor’s dream to be part of the prestigious festival.
As for Sam Milby, who was able to attend the festival, he is very proud to have worked on Death March, which was shot only in a studio. For Sam, it is a rare experience wherein he got to walk on the red carpet with Hollywood stars and watch his own film with an international audience. Sam said shooting for “Death March” made him learn about the Philippines’ history and made him understand our culture more.
On the other hand, OTJ’s main stars Gerald Anderson, Rayver Cruz and Piolo Pascual were able to walk Cannes’ red carpet. “It was overwhelming, it was a blessing to be invited to represent not just the movie, but with our country the Philippines to be there, like bringing a flag with you and I guess, overall the experience was a success because the screening was packed and after the show has ended they were showing credits, a lot of people stood up to applaud us, so it was good to be there,”Piolo shared. Rayver, who plays the role of an NBI agent, hopes Filipinos will receive the film well as it was received in Cannes. “Hopefully, magustuhan din ng mga kababayan natin ang OTJ tulad ng pagtanggap sa Cannes”. Gerald could still remember the shouts of appreciation from the crowd during their screening.
“Napaka-init ng pagtanggap nila, may mga sumisigaw ng “bravo” at nagstanding ovation sila. It was a great day especially for the Philippine movie industry”, the actor enthusiastically shared.
Although both not present at the festival, Empress and Shaina Magdayao feels very lucky to be part of “OTJ.” Empress plays an aspiring lawyer in the film while Shaina plays Piolo’s wife.
“Super lucky ako to be part of this film kasi sobrang kakaiba ,para siyang international movie.Bihira lang ang nakakapasa sa Cannes so swerte ako and thankful na napasama ako sa OTJ,” Empress related. Meanwhile, Shaina revealed she can’t wait for her next project with Direk Erik Mati. “It is always very challenging working with him kasi alam niya kung ano yung gusto niya, kasi lagging iba yung approach niya sa mga traditional na gagawi. Exciting kasi bagong concept, matapang ang ‘OTJ’‘ compared sa mga commercial films. I’m looking forward to do more projects with him,”