After making waves in international film festivals, Anino Sa Likod Ng Buwan once again makes its way back to the Philippines.
A special screening was held last Monday, January 18, at the Cine Adarna of the University of the Philippines-Diliman Film Institute.
Anino Sa Likod Ng Buwan (international title: Shadow Behind The Moon) is an intellectually stimulating and sexually charged political thriller about a couple and a soldier living in Marag Valley during the 1990s.
Luis Alandy is cast as the soldier named Joel while LJ Reyes and Anthony Falcon portray the couple named Emma and Nardo.
Direk Jun Lana helms this political drama, which had its Philippine premiere at the 2015 QCinema Film Festival last October.
Anino Sa Likod Ng Buwan was also part of Czech Republic's Karlovy Vary International Film Festival in July 2015, Germany's Hamburg Film Festival in October 2015, and Poland's Five Flavours Film Festival.
His masterpiece has been screen on different parts of the world but Jun Lana made sure to keep his promise and hosted a special screening in UP Diliman.
Jun explained to PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) in an interview, "Kasi iba yung audience dito, e, yung mga estudyante. Primarily sila talaga yung audience ko kapag gumagawa ako ng indie films.
"And I really appreciated the support especially of UP students when we screened Barber’s Tales here, mga two years ago yata iyon. Ang pangako ko pa nga sa kanila na kapag nag-premiere ang susunod kong pelikula, ang Anino, dito ko gagawin.
"Hindi ko nagawa. Medyo nagi-guilty rin ako do’n pero inaayos pa rin naman kasi ang Cine Adarna noon kaya sa ibang venue kami nag-premiere. So commitment ko talaga na dalhin dito yung pelikula."
FROM FILM TO STAGE. Anino Sa Likod Ng Buwan earned Direk Jun the Best Director award during the 20th International Film Festival of Kerala held in India last December 2015.
The film also received several recognitions at the 13th Pacific Meridian Film Festival in Russia in September 2015, including the Best Director Award and the Best Actress award for LJ Reyes.
Direk Jun is also pleased to receive a proposal for his film to be adapted into a stage play in Russia.
He is now in the process of developing the script for the stage play and will return to Russia next month to discuss the specifics of the project.
The award-winning director recalled, "Kasi nung nandoon ako, isa sa programmers ng film festival sa Russia, he also happens to be the regional director of a theater group there.
"So when he saw the film, nakita niya yung potential na gawin siyang stage play. And nilapitan niya ako, sinabi niya kung interesado akong gawin siya at ako mismo yung mag-direk, ako mismo mag-adapt.
"Sabi ko, siyempre kasi sayang naman yung pagkakataon, e. Actually, now I’m working on the script and then siguro pupunta ako doon baka February or March to talk to them and see how we can produce the stage play."
Direk Jun admits that it would be challenging for him to manage his time between the Philippines and Russia.
He said, "Yun nga ang kailangan kong ayusin, e. Hindi ko alam kung paano ko ima-manage yun dahil sa mga commitments ko rin dito.
"Pero gusto ko siyang gawin, hindi ko pa alam kung paano pero susubukan ko talaga."
After completing the Anino Sa Likod Ng Buwan adaptation in Russia, Direk Jun also plans to mount a theatrical version in the Philippines with Luis and Anthony reprising their roles.
He told PEP, "Plano ko talaga yun, siguro around last quarter of this year gagawin ko yung stage adaptation. Gusto kong gamitin pa rin yung dalawang lalaki, si Anthony and si Luis, and then, yung role siguro ng babae ipapa-audition ko."
Jun feels LJ has different priorities now for her career in the entertainment business, which is why he will be holding auditions for the female lead.
Jun explained, "Kasi palagay ko, iba na yung priorities niya ngayon bilang isang artista. So mabuting sa ibang artista ko na lang ibigay yung role na hindi mag-dadalawang isip na gawin yung mga gusto kong ipagawa bilang isang director."
In the movie version, LJ bared her breasts and was very daring during her love scenes with Luis Alandy.
(Read: LJ Reyes has double breast exposure during love scene with Luis Alandy for Anino sa Likod ng Buwan)
What are the qualifications that Direk Jun would be looking for in a new lead actress?
He answered, "Una, yung naniniwala sa material. Pangalawa siyempre, bukod sa magaling sa pag-arte kailangan walang inhibitions. Gagawin ang lahat para dun sa proyekto."
BUTT EXPOSURE ON STAGE? Meanwhile, both Anthony and Luis feel flattered that Direk Jun wants them to reprise their roles in the Philippine theatrical version.
Luis told PEP, "Sana matuloy, that’s the plan for this year na magawa siyang stage play kasi mas intimate siya. Mas challenging yun sa amin dahil for many hours namin gagawin yun. Two hours yata yung film so two hours namin gagawin yung stage."
When asked if he's willing to have butt exposure just like in the movie, Luis answered, "Depende kay Direk pero stage is well-known to really... Wala naman kasi siyang MTRCB. Wala siyang censorship, e, so tignan natin kung anong mangyari. Kung just in case, makuha or matuloy yung stage play."
For Anthony Falcon, having a Russian theater production is a good omen for them. The indie film and stage actor says he's looking forward to bringing life to his character Nardo via a different platform.
He said, "I think it’s a good sign because people outside the Philippines appreciate it and think na it’s very relevant to their country. Yun lang, maganda siyang sign."
Anthony added, "Ako, I’m looking forward to be staged it here. I’m a theater actor so looking forward na magawa siya sa stage. So, I’d love to interpret it differently in a different medium."