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#BETYOUDIDNTKNOW: Skylight Films cuts across genres

The film subsidiary of Star Cinema is not one to stick to the safe side, pushing the limits of storytelling in cinema.

Star Cinema Admin
Star Cinema Admin

7/30/2014 in News
#BETYOUDIDNTKNOW: Skylight Films cuts across genres

Like a child seeing the world for the first time, Skylight Films has been on a great adventure for three years now, exploring the different aspects of storytelling in various genres of cinema.
There are still many stories to tell than what are usually tackled in the mainstream, and that’s where Skylight fills the gap.
We recently sat down with Skylight Films head Enrico Santos to discuss how their films have pushed the envelope to offer audiences a unique Philippine cinema experience.
“My Cactus Heart” (2012)
Lead stars: Maja Salvador, Matteo Guidicelli, Xian Lim
Story: A certified “bastedera” gets torn between her persistent suitor-friend and a new co-worker. Who will she open her heart to?
What makes it edgy?
“’My Cactus Heart’ is an attempt to see whether we can make a rom-com with a small budget with a non-blockbuster couple and with indie sensibilities.
“It tries to use… parang a 'Star Cinema light approach' into what should be a deeper family story for each of our characters,” relates Enrico.

“Corazon: Ang Unang Aswang” (2012)
Lead stars: Erich Gonzales, Derek Ramsay
Storyline: A couple desperate to conceive a child seeks the intercession of saints. Their prayers are eventually answered but the child is soon taken away from them, leading to dire consequences.
What makes it edgy?
It’s a psychological horror in which “horror is in your perception rather than in the actual story,” he says. The question of who is the real villain – Corazon (Erich) or the town that branded her as “aswang” – is one that is left for the audience to ponder on.
Enrico is happy to add that even with a small budget, “Corazon” became a successful hybrid of romance and horror set in post-World War II period.
“Bromance: My Brother’s Romance” (2012)
Lead stars: Zanjoe Marudo, Cristine Reyes
Story: A straight guy disguises as his estranged gay twin brother to protect the latter’s three million-peso commission from a major business project.
What makes it edgy?
“Bromance,” Skylight’s pioneering venture into comedy, is a departure from the signature “wacky, slightly gay” kind more prominent in local cinema, Enrico says.
“Although the core is family, it deals with a very accepted but misunderstood topic which is the gay gender.
“’Bromance’ was able to show that ang pagiging bading hindi kailangang punch line lang but that men should try to get into their feminine side and be badings to see how it feels to be on that side of the fence,” he explains at length.
“Tuhog” (2013)
Lead stars: Eugene Domingo, Enchong Dee, Empress Schuck, Jake Cuenca, Leo Martinez
Story: The lives of three ill-fated individuals get entangled during a road accident.
What makes it edgy?
“It’s Skylight’s first attempt at ensemble drama where the bida is the incident and not the actors,” Enrico says.
With the way it breaks time frames, utilizes subtle characterization, and talks about existential topics (life and death), it’s closer to European cinema than to Hollywood, he adds. “It’s highly sophisticated but wrapped in very Filipino devices of family, friends, relationships, laughter and tears.”
“Call Center Girl” (2013)
Lead stars: Pokwang, Jessy Mendiola, Enchong Dee
Storyline: As part of her efforts to keep her family together amid setbacks, a mother, fresh from a 13-year cruise ship stint, tries to win back the affection of her youngest daughter by being co-workers with her at a call center company.
What makes it edgy?
“Call Center Girl” takes off from the formula created through “Bromance,” notes Enrico. “It tackles a certain segment of society that is accepted but misunderstood – the aged, the old, the senior citizen na call center agent. Matanda ka na, nagko-call center ka pa. What’s the life like?”

“My Illegal Wife” (2014)

Lead stars: Pokwang, Zanjoe Marudo, Ellen Adarna
Story: A mother seeking a husband and father for her children unexpectedly finds it in a guy with amnesia whom she crosses paths with in an island after a plane accident.
What makes it edgy?
Enrico says “My Illegal Wife” revolves around “the life of a person who lived through media, through the fantasies of cinema and television – a woman whose life is created and shaped by entertainment more than reality.”
“In a way, these segments are tackled in a unique way and also introduce actors whom you will not immediately associate with blockbuster comedy but they have shown that they are versatile enough to bring in the money and the audience and the fan base,” he adds.
After comedy, rom-com, horror, and ensemble drama, Skylight will tackle big drama in “Once a Princess,” adapted from Angel Bautista’s “Precious Hearts Romances” book of the same title.
Helmed by celebrated director Laurice Guillen, the film stars Erich Gonzales, JC de Vera, and Enchong Dee.
A co-production between Skylight Films and Regal Films, “Once a Princess” will open in theaters August 6.
Check out the trailer here:

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