Yesterday, September 30, the teaser trailer and ad campaign launch for the historical drama Culion took place at the Holiday Inn Manila Galleria in Ortigas, Pasig.
Present during the launch were stars of the film Iza Calzado, Jasmine Curtis-Smith, and Lee O’Brian, among others, director Alvin Yapan, producer Shandi Bacolod, and screenwriter Ricky Lee, who wrote the film.
Culion is set in the 1940s and follows three women (Calzado, Curtis-Smith, and Meryll Soriano) who live with Hansen’s disease in the leper colony of Culion in Palawan.
The film has been submitted to the committee of the 2019 Metro Manila Film Festival, where 4 more films have yet to be selected to complete its lineup. Shandi and Calzado both confirmed during the launch that the committee’s deliberation will be known next Tuesday, October 8.
As the cast and crew premiered the teaser trailer in front of the press, everyone was in awe during its ending when actor John Lloyd Cruz made an appearance. This marked John Lloyd’s return to the silver screens for the first time since 2017.
In an interview by pikapika.ph with producer Shandi Bacolod, he was told by Ricky Lee that there was a very important character in the script and, as Shandi discussed it with direk Alvin and his executive producers, all parties came to an agreement that they should get a famous actor for the said role.
“The role calls na talagang sobrang dramatic, sobrang galing na artista, and lahat kami voted for John Lloyd,” Shandi recalled. “I know John Lloyd. Kasi a few years ago, we were producing partners for a short film about martial law. It starred Irma Adlawan and John Lloyd Cruz. In 2008, his very first indie film, I was part of the team.”
Shandi then said that he already has a filmmaking relationship with John Lloyd thanks to those experiences. With the help of Meryll Soriano, one of the stars of Culion, and his assistant director Candy, they actually got to reach out to John Lloyd and was lucky enough to not have a hard time convincing him to join the film.
“He read the script, he researched about Culion, nagustuhan niya, and he said yes,” Shandi said. “It was a very magical moment when he said yes. He stayed in Culion for three days, when he shot his role, grabe. Bumabagyo, di ba? Tas ’yong ginawa ’yong scene niya, tumigil ’yong bagyo tas after mag-pack up, bumagyo ulit! Talagang it was meant to happen.”
Then, the Culion producer then recalled a special moment he had with John Lloyd during shooting wherein the acclaimed actor came up to him and told of his gratitude for being part of the movie.
“He is thankful that he gets to reunite with his good friends in the industry because of Culion,” Shandi recalls John Lloyd saying.
It could be recalled that the actor took a sabbatical from the showbiz industry in October 2017 and has rarely been seen in public. He was last seen in the movie Finally Found Someone with Sarah Geronimo and, more recently, in a television commercial for a shawarma brand.
Watch the teaser trailer of Culion below!
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