Two years after “Ang Babae sa Septic Tank”, the Eugene Domingo-Chris Martinez creative tandem is coming back to shake things up again at Cinemalaya.
When a slot in the New Breed category opened up a week ago after writer-director Richard Soriano Legaspi withdrew his entry, “Primera Bella”, Leo Abaya — the production designer of acclaimed films like “Jose Rizal”, Muro Ami” and “Kubrador” — got the call to take his place.
Abaya will join nine other New Breed finalists in this year’s Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival with “Instant Mommy”, his screenwriting and directorial debut. It is based on a story concept by Martinez, the latter announced on Facebook on Tuesday.
Martinez said the film will star Eugene Domingo, his best friend and frequent collaborator. Domingo starred in “Here Comes The Bride”, the two “Kimmy Dora” movies and “I Do Bidoo Bidoo”, all of which Martinez wrote and directed. They also worked together in “Ang Babae sa Septic Tank”, the 2011 Cinemalaya sensation that Martinez wrote and which went on to become the most commercially successful indie film ever.
“Instant Mommy” is a comedy about a wardrobe mistress in TV commercials who fakes a pregnancy to keep her Japanese fiance. “The story is one summer’s journey with her amidst a highly visualized world where the video screen reigns supreme,” goes the logline.
“Leo’s script is beautifully and thoughtfully written. Very funny,” Martinez enthused.
He was so impressed with the screenplay that he signed on to produce the film along with “Septic Tank” producer Atty. Joji Alonso and — in her first official involvement in an indie film — Kris Aquino.
“Ang bilis ng mga pangyayari!” Martinez said in a Facebook chat with InterAksyon. He said his, Alonso’s and Aquino’s involvement fell quickly into place after Domingo had committed to star in the movie.
Domingo’s participation will add star power in this year’s festival, which already counts Vilma Santos and Gretchen Barretto among its performers.
Last month, Aquino announced that she was considering a starring role in an indie film — Jun Lana’s “Kuwentong Barbero”. The actress-TV host apparently decided not to pursue the project.
Lana conducted auditions last week and announced on Saturday that he had found his lead actress. He did not identify her.
“Ang Babae sa Septic Tank” won five major awards at Cinemalaya in 2011, including Best Picture, Best Director (Marlon Rivera), Best Screenplay, and Best Actress.
Now on its ninth year, Cinemalaya will be staged from July 26 to August 4 at the Cultural Center of the Phiippines, Trinoma, and Greenbelt Cinemas.