After successfully producing Cinemalaya movies such as Transit (2013) and Mariquina (2014), director Paul Soriano is now back behind the cameras.
The producer-director is currently in post-production for his movie, Kid Kulafu, which depicts the childhood of Pinoy boxing champ Manny Pacquiao.
It features former child star Buboy Villar (as the young Manny), Cesar Montano, and Alessandra de Rossi. "Kid Kulafu" refers to the name used by Manny while he was competing as a young amateur boxer in General Santos City.
Alessandra is cast as the young Mommy Dionisia while Cesar plays the uncle of Manny.
“It's like a biopic but the film focuses on the first 15 years of Manny Pacquiao and how he became a successful boxer he is today,” revealed Paul in a recent interview with PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) and other members of the media.
He added, “It's like a prequel to his championship life.
“Before the fame, I wanna show you how he grew up, how he fell in love with boxing, how he worked hard.”
Paul is aware that there has been a movie about the boxing champ, which was produced by Star Cinema. The 2006 movie Pacquiao: the Movie featured Jericho Rosales in the title role.
However, Direk Paul points out Kid Kulafu is a different take on the life of the eight-time division champ.
“I know Star Cinema did one some four years ago, but it kinda focused on his boxing.
“This one is really about his mountain life, his moving to Gen San and to Manila.
“It's very, very inspiring. I really hope that people could see how and what it takes to become a champion.”
ON CINEMALAYA CONTROVERSY. Meanwhile, director Paul said he would still continue producing films for the Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival despite the recent controversy.
The Transit producer admitted he got disappointed when Cinemalaya uploaded past entries on YouTube, which made it available to public for free. But Cinemalaya Foundation immediately took the movies down when producers protested their decision.
He stated, “Well, me naman I'm a little upset because all our hard work were given out for free.
“As a producer, we're trying to find ways to make back our investments.
“But I also understand their point, it's kinda marketing strategy.
“But what's great about Cinemalaya is that they respect the filmmakers and they took it down right away.
“They could've easily just left it on.”
For the Thelma director, Cinemalaya has been a very good venue for independent filmmakers to showcase their works.
“It's kind of an unfortunate sight, but I don't want to see Cinemalaya stop.
“Yes, there are issues that need to be resolved but it's also been a great venue or stepping stone to make their mark,” he said.
He also stressed, “I think Cinemalaya is a great film festival.
“It's the reason why Cinemalaya has done this well because it's such a big supporter of, not just Transit, but all independent films for the last 10 years.
“I really hope and pray that we can come to an agreement where both the filmmakers and the Cinemalaya Foundation can all be very happy.
“It's not gonna be easy but I know that through communication or through dialogue we will come up with a resolution that's best for us.”
He reiterated, “I really hope and and pray that Cinemalaya continues as long as possible. I think it's more likely to be a film festival for independent films. It's got that market already.”