After a two-year hiatus, Cathy Garcia-Molina has returned to direct Love at First Stream.
She didn't expect her comeback to be this grand as the movie is Star Cinema's entry to this year's Metro Manila Film Festival, her first-ever MMFF film.
The box-office director was exuberant talking to the press during the virtual launch of Love at First Stream last Wednesday, December 14, 2021.
She said, “Noong in-accept ko itong movie na ito, hindi ko alam na MMFF.
“Kaya noong sinabi, nangarag beauty ko as in na-tense ako and maraming salamat natanggap naman, and yehey, MMFF!”
Any expectations about the movie?
“Well, honestly, I don’t know what to expect anymore kasi medyo iba ang set-up ngayon than the other MMFFs na dumaan.
“Pero excited, matagal ko nang hinihiling na sana magkaroon ako ng MMFF movie.
“Gusto ko lang ma-experience yung saya na ang lahat Filipino movies ang pinapanood.
"'Tapos ang mga nanonood sa iyo ay family, di ba ganoon, ang lalaking grupo 'tapos nabibigyan mo ng saya… looking forward to it.”
The young stars of Love at First Stream are Anthony Jennings as Christopher, Daniela Stranner as V, Pinoy Big Brother ex-housemate Kaori Oinuma as Megumi, and Jeremiah Lisbo as Gino.
DIREK CATHY ON LOVE AT FIRST STREAM
The coming-of-age movie follows the colorful lives of four teens—a student-achiever, a breadwinner, a streamer, and a heartthrob—in this time of the pandemic when social media have become even more viral.
For Direk Cathy, the movie was not just any other project, “This is really [a] very personal movie for me."
She explained it came from her wanting to understand the young people and for them to be understood.
“And I hope that when people watch this, they watch this with open hearts and minds and arms that this is not just pambata.
"Hindi ito pambata lang, para i-feed ko lang ang ego ng mga bata nor the parents.
“It’s actually meant na buksan ang mga puso natin to understand each other and have a more peaceful environment sa bahay."
She added, laughing, "Para hindi kami lagi nag-aaway ng anak ko."
But, seriously, “So sana, iyon iyong gusto talaga naming ibahagi sa marami that let us understand each other.
“Let’s not fight. I don’t want parents fighting with their children.
“I’d rather us understand each other and, hopefully, through this movie, mabigay iyon sa mga manonood.”
Recall that in 2018, after finishing the movie My Perfect You with Gerald Anderson and Pia Wurtzbach, Direk Cathy emotionally announced her decision to retire and devote more time with her two children, aged 12 and 11 then.
TAKING A BREAK FROM BIG LOVE TEAMS
Direk Cathy has worked with the likes of Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla, Liza Soberano and Enrique Gil, Bea Alonzo and John Lloyd Cruz, and other established love teams.
Now, Direk Cathy has expressed her desire to work with the new generation of artists.
“Sabi ko, pahinga muna ako sa mga big stars kasi they already had their time with me. I want to [work] with the new generation now.”
About working with new talents she said, “When it was offered to me... isa lang ang goal namin ng Star Cinema, to be able to develop new actors, new love teams.
“Kasi siyempre iyong KathNiels natin and the others are already growing older so they need more mature roles.
“So we need to fill in the shoes to make the younger ones kilig.
“Ako, I readily said yes kasi sobrang gusto kong makatrabaho ang mga bata.
“Nabanggit ko rito ito sa inyo, kapag bata kasi ang katrabaho, parang mga sponge and they’re very raw, and they love the rawness.
“Wala pang default acting kasi iyon iyong pinaka-ayaw ko, e. Ang hirap kasi mag-unlearn."
She also clarified her work was not all about developing love teams.
“Hindi naman ako talaga lagi tumitingin sa love team.
“I never treat love teams as love teams, I always treat them with individual galing and strengths."
Direk Cathy went on to praise Love at First Stream's young stars—Daniella, Anthony, Kaori, and Jeremiah.
She said, beaming with pride, “This is the only… first time I will tell you and I am willing to go public about it that I am very very very happy with the four.
“I must commend their professionalism at a very young age.
“I am so proud of them that even after my film, tumawid sila sa isang project.
"Ang nakarating sa akin, nag-sumbong agad sa akin iyong EP [executive producer], sinabi, ‘Ang babait po nung mga bata.’
“Sabi ko talaga, subukan talaga nilang hindi, talagang... [laughs]
“They performed beyond my expectations and tuwang-tuwa ako sa willingness nila to learn at saka iyong professionalism nila na, as much as siyempre, nasabihan ko na iyan before.
"Pero before pa… sila iyong hindi magkukwentuhan sa harap ko.
“The respect for me and my staff were there all the time and I love them for that.”