It was reported in PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal)that Judy Ann Santos and Iza Calzado will be appearing together in a film about a young man who goes back to his roots to find out about aninfluential woman in his life named Ploning.
Last January 3, Judy Ann signed up with the new filmoutfit Panoramanila Pictures Co. to seal the deal for the film Ploning. The contract signing took place at Cafe Ilustrado at Serendra, Fort Bonifacio, Bonifacio Global City.
The film's director Dante Nico Garcia has been a good friendof Judy Ann for the past 16 years. "When I was in first year high school in SanSebastian College, Gladys [Reyes] was my orgmate. Nakiusap siya na magingback-up niya ko sa That's Entertainment. Nagpipre-production na yung MaraClara. Dun ka na-meet si Juday at dun ka nalaman na magkapitbahay pala kamisa Cubao. Nung early days ng Mara Clara, ako yung nagpo-provide ng damitni Juday sa Mara Clara. Hanggang ngayon, ako pa rin nagpo-provide ngdamit niya. Walang nabago after 16 years," he jokes.
Dante also describes himself as the stylist of Juday "forlife." "Perpetual yung contract ko sa kanya. Perpetual stylist yung pakilalaniya sa akin sa mga tao," he tells PEP during an exclusive interview. "Kapatidyung turing ko kay Juday, e. Sila [the Santoses] ang pamilya ko. ‘PagChristmas, New Year, birthdays, nandun ako. ‘Pag nagkasakit ako, sila yungsumusugod sa ospital."
The production designer-turned-director was inspired to dothis movie in time for the 30th birthday of the young superstar,especially since the lead character of the film is also a woman who is about toreach the big 3-0. Dante reveals that he conceptualized this movie seven yearsago. "Sabi ko, kung magma-mature role si Juday, maganda yung concept na angunang mature pelikula niya, isa siyang provincial lass. Isang babaeng binigayang sarili at naghintay. Yun ang basic plot ng Ploning."
Jourdan Sebastian, one of the producers of the film,explains the role of Judy Ann in Ploning. "'Pag sinasabi nating mature,iniisip agad natin bold. Pero dito, matured actress siya."
"Yung transition niya from a teenybopper to an actress, yungyung gusto kong mangyari," says Dante. Incidentally, he is a native of thepicturesque island of Cuyo where the movie will be filmed.
When Dante (fondly called "Ga" by Judy Ann and close friends)showed the test shots of Ploning in Palawan, Judy Ann gushed, "Oh mygosh! Saan mo tinago yang talent mo all these years? Director ka!" Dante tookup directing classes while studying Theater Arts in college. Five years ago, hedirected several plugs of ABS-CBN and helmed segments of the defunct show Teysing Tahanan.
Set in the island of Cuyo, Palawan, during the ‘80s, Ploningtackles the intertwined lives of a young boy named Rodrigo and a womannamed Ploning who is torn between staying in the remote island or moving to thecity of Manila.
Dante opted to keep the project a secret from Judy Ann until all the detailswere finalized. In fact, the young superstar was the last to know about Ploning."Nabuking ako nung [20th anniversary] concert niya sa Araneta, nagkausap silani Uge [Eugene Domingo]. Sabi ni Juday, ‘Sana magkasama uli tayo sa pelikula.'Sabi ni Eugene, ‘Ano ka ba, ilang buwan na lang February na.' Sabi ni Juday,‘Anong meron sa February?' Nahuli niya kong tintingnan ng masama si Uge kaya pinilitniyang sabihin ko kung ano yun. The day before her Araneta show saka lang niyanalaman yung tungkol sa pelikula. Yung cast ko alam na lahat, si Juday na langang hindi nakakaalam.
"Tinanong niya ako, ‘anong pelikula ito?' Sabi ko sa kanya,'yung pelikulang kinukwento ko sa ‘yo seven years ago.'"
Judy Ann asked Dante: "Bakit ako ang huling nakaalam?"
"Gusto ko kasi tanggapin mo yung pelikula dahilmaganda—hindi dahil kaibigan mo ako," Dante stressed.
Here is the brief email from Guia Gonzales, producer of the film, describing the January 3 contractsigning.
"We had our no-frills(long form) contract signing with Judy Ann Santos for her title role in theindie movie Ploning last January 3, 2008 in Ilustrado (Serendra). Juday[was] with me, Jourdan [Sebastian], our young team, and Atty. Ed Chico, legalcounsel for our company. In the same occasion, Juday also got to meet theinvestors in the project.
"Photos courtesy ofRoy Lopez, the Dubai-based investment agent of Panoramanila Pictures Co.
"Juday is scheduled to fly to Cuyo Island, Palawan, on January 25 to February11, 2008."
Ploning is scheduled to be released in April.