Currently, Ded na si Lolo (international title: Grandfather is Dead) is being viewed at key cinemas in Los Angeles. This drama-comedy film directed by Soxie Topacio offers a delicate balance of high-strung madcap scenes as well as dramatic moments. The film aims to show Filipinos’ oddball manner of dealing with the death of a loved one.
Grandfather is Dead is the Philippines’ bet in the annual race for the foreign-language film category of the 82nd Annual Academy Awards that gives out the coveted Oscar trophies.
Produced by APT Entertainment and the Directors Guild of the Philippines, Grandfather is Dead tells the story of Bobet (BJ Forbes), a young boy who observes the many superstitious rituals followed by his family in the six days following the death of his grandfather.
Other stars in the film are Roderick Paulate, Elizabeth Oropesa, Gina Alajar, Manilyn Reynes, Dick Israel, Ranier Castillo and Richard Quan.
"Direk Soxie is the main reason why I accepted the project," says Richard Quan. In the film, he plays Kiko, father of Bobet, and husband to Charing (Reynes).
"He has been a friend ever since. He was very supportive when I was just starting in my career, and accepting this is my way of thanking him for all his previous help. So, when he approached me to do this role, he was apprehensive at first. Right there and then, I gave him my commitment and being part of this film is something that I don’t regret."
"I’ve been in the movie industry for the past fifteen years and let me say that the working atmosphere in Ded na si Lolo was the happiest," declares Richard. "The shoot was more play than work. All we did was laugh, even during the breaks. There was never a dull moment. You don’t even feel the hours of shooting pass.
"You never worry about anything, especially the food since every day was like a fiesta. Most of the cast members bring food, thus it was like a family reunion all the time. The good vibes, pleasant conversations, and wonderful memories, just kept on pouring relentlessly. The filming atmosphere overflowed with so much love. We were all devoted and dedicated to the project. We all knew that we were doing something good. "
Richard beams, "I think people loved it so much because of the story. One can easily identify with all the many characters and the circumstances they were in. When you view it inside the movie house, the good vibe immediately grows in you, and you are not aware that together with the rest of the audiences, you laugh, and then you cry, only to laugh again, you come out of the movie house feeling recharged and thankful of the many eccentricities of the Filipino family."
How do you feel now that the film is Oscar bound?
"Heaven!" he exclaims. "We did not expect that it will go this far. When somebody told me about it, I thought it was, you know, a joke, then I got a confirmation that it is for real and that it was deemed meritorious by members of the Film Academy.
"When we were shooting it, we just wanted to share to the people the wonderful growing-up story of Direk Soxie and his quaint observations of his family’s practices during the wake of his grand dad. That was all he wants, so this recognition is really big for all of us.
"I hope the Oscar people give us a shot. I know the foreign film category is a very competitive field," Richard prays. "However, I am very optimistic that members of the Academy will find our small film appealing and full of heart."
The indie actor calls out, "To all the Filipinos who will get to read this, let’s storm all the communication channels and let us generate more buzz for Ded na si Lolo. I’m optimistic that we will have a red carpet moment, we deserve the love, we deserve the respect, and we are very proud of this film, this is a long-awaited victory that we Filipinos, richly deserve. "
Ded na si Lolo/Grandfather is Dead will be shown once more in theaters starting December 2.