A lowly community in Cavite serves as the setting of Sitio Camcam, an indie film that aims to depict the power struggles in a corrupt neighborhood.
Allen Dizon is cast as a local kingpin who lords over a slum area. He beds three women (played by Jean Garcia, Sunshine Dizon and Jackie Rice) who end up fighting each other for his affections.
PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) was able to interview Direk Joel during a set visit held in Cavite.
Written by Jerry Gracio and directed by Joel Lamangan, this drama film is produced by Heaven's Best Entertainment.
A narrow path leads to the row of houses surrounded by water filled with green moss. There is a wooden bridge linking several houses together.
When we arrive, we see Jean Garcia massaging the feet of Allen as he relaxes inside their house while drinking beer.
Jean plays the first wife while Sunshine Dizon is cast as the second wife of Allen's character. Out of jealousy, the two women plot against the third wife played by Jackie Rice.
Allen Dizon with Jean Garcia, Sunshine Dizon, and Jackie Rice
Why is the film titled Sitio Camcam?
Direk Joel explained, "Kasi sa Tagalog, ang kamkam ibig sabihin masama, hindi ba? Parang kinamkam mo lahat...kinamkam mo lahat ng kayamanan, kinamkam mo lahat ng kapangyarihan.
"May mga pwersa sa loob ng sitio na yun na kinakamkam na ang lahat.
"May sindikato sa ilaw, kuryente, tubig."
Is this based on a true story?
He explained, "Composite ito. It's not based on just one true story. It's a composite of so many other stories.
"It shows that power, even among the poor, may hierarchy sila ng power. Mayroong maton na nambu-bully, may kapitan na ganun din.
"There is corruption up to the level of the barangay."
Allen Dizon is cast as Johnny in Sitio Camcam.
"Siya yung tigasin ng baranggay. Siya yung nangungulekta ng pera [mula sa illegal activities]. May shabu, may video karera, may pasugal, yung illegal connection ng tubig saka ilaw. Nagbabayad sa kanya ang mga tao para hindi mahuli."
FROM CHAREE TO JACKIE. Last February, Charee Pineda joined the story conference of Sitio Camcam wherein it was announced that she would portray the third wife of Allen's character. The Valenzuela councilor explained why she decided to accept a sexy role in this Joel Lamangan film.
(Read: Charee Pineda dares to do sexy role in Joel Lamangan movie)
However, a few days later, it was reported via PEP Alerts that Charee had backed out from the project because she was concerned that it would affect her as a councilor.
As a result, Jackie Rice (StarStruck Season 3 Ultimate Female Survivor) was chosen to replace Charee.
How did Direk Joel react to this change?
"Mas okay sa akin kasi Jackie is very cooperative and she's a very sensible and sensitive actress."
Did he get mad at Charee when she backed out from the project?
"Medyo nagalit kasi ayaw pala niya, sumama pa siya sa press con, sumama pa siya sa ganito...
"Nag-usap na kami then pumayag siya tapos yun pala ayaw niya dahil sa pwersa ng politika ng kanilang bayan. Kasi konsehala siya at hindi pwedeng makipag kissing scene at hindi pwedeng love scene sabi niya."
How many love scenes will Jackie Rice be doing for this movie?
"Dalawa pero yung isa kay Kerbie Zamora. Siya ang talagang boyfriend [ng character ni Jackie]. Inagaw lang siya ni Allen."
NORA AUNOR IN HUSTISYA. Last February, it was announced that Joel Lamangan is one of the filmmakers competing in the Directors Showcase category of the 10th Cinemalaya. This film fest is scheduled to run from August 1-10.
(Read: Carlos Siguion-Reyna, Joel Lamangan, and others chosen as Cinemalaya 2014 finalists)
According to the veteran director, they are now in the planning stage for this Cinemalaya entry.
"Nora is still doing another movie. Pagbalik niya, sa May, that will be the time when she will do Hustisya," he disclosed.
This movie, featuring a script from Ricky Lee, was supposed to have been directed by Ishmael Bernal before he passed away.
"Matagal na yun pero hindi na siya bagay [sa panahon ngayon]. Ni-revise siya ni Ricky Lee.
"Dark character yung kay Nora. Siya yung nagbu-bulag-bulagan sa nangyayari sa kanya at sa paligid niya. Ultimately, kinain siya ng sistema na nagpapahirap sa tao."
In the story, Nora's character is an assistant to a woman who is involved in corruption. Eventually, the assistant becomes entangled in corrupt ways as well.
"Ang ipapakita namin ay corruption sa local government, hindi national," revealed Direk Joel.
"[Ang babaeng boss ni Nora] hindi siya politiko pero instrumento siya ng mga politiko."
Nora Aunor slated to shoot Cinemalaya entry Hustisya this May
by Jocelyn Dimaculangan posted on March 27, 2014