Eight months before the 2017 Metro Manila Film Festival, producers are already gearing up for the annual event.
One of these is Regal Films, which is hoping to submit a fantasy themed movie for MMFF 2017.
Janella Salvador will portray a "maarteng mermaid" in My Fairy Tail Love Story produced by Regal Films.
This is a dream come true for Janella, since it has been her long time wish to play a mermaid.
She even recalled watching ABS-CBN's hit fantaserye Marina (2004) where Claudine Barretto played a human turned mermaid because of a curse.
Janella exclaimed, "Actually, favorite ko yun noong bata ako, ginagaya ko yung 'Kailan Kaya.'"
"Kailan Kaya" is the theme song of the teleserye which was performed by Sheryn Regis.
This inspired her to have a mermaid-themed party when she was five years old. The daughter of Jenine Desiderio even wore a fake mermaid tail.
For this film, Janella was required to take swimming and diving lessons, which includes a certain stroke that is the same with the movements of a mermaid.
The 19-year-old actress said, "Kakaiba siya kasi maarteng mermaid. Actually, tao talaga siya tapos naging mermaid. My name is Chantel.
"Naglessons ako. Nagdiving at saka nag-mermaid lessons talaga ako. Takot nga ako sa diving, e."
She also has to wear a mermaid tail made of silicon.
According to Janella, even if the tail is heavy, it helps her with her swimming lessons. "Mas mabilis ka gumalaw."
In TV shows and movies, mermaids are shown to be topless, with their long hair covering their breasts.
The OPM Pop Sweetheart said about her costume, "Since hindi naman ako pwede magsexy-sexy, meron akong something na kabibe. Hindi naman pearls, para siyang part of the tail. I'm a wholesome mermaid."
Janella spoke to PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) and select entertainment reporters during a pocket press conference held earlier today, April 3.
ELMO AS PARTNER. Janella is also happy that she finally gets to work with Elmo in a movie. Her former Born For You leading man is cast as her best friend.
She disclosed, "Masaya naman kami kasi matagal din naming gusto magkawork sa movie. So nabigyan naman ng opportunity.
"Bestfriend ko siya, one of my friends."
Their co-stars include Kiray Celis and a male artist whose name cannot be divulged yet.
Janella will follow a long line of actresses who have portrayed mermaids in the Philippines.
Recent actresses who were cast as a mermaid in their TV shows were Marian Rivera (in Dyesebel, 2008), Ella Cruz (in Aryana, 2012), Anne Curtis (in Dyesebel, 2014), and Louise Delos Reyes (in Kambal Sirena, 2014).
Is she afraid to be compared to these female celebrities?
Janella quipped, "Actually hindi naman kasi like I said, super kakaiba siya.
"Parang wala pa naman akong nakitang malditang, maarteng mermaid na nabahuan sa sarili niyang buntot!"
My Fairy Tail Love Story, directed by Jun Lana, is produced by Idea First Company for Regal Entertainment.
MMFF ENTRY. It was announced during the pocket presscon that Regal Films matriarch Mother Lily Monteverde plans to submit My Fairy Tail Love Story for consideration to the 2017 Metro Manila Film Festival.
Janella did not hesitate to admit that the pressure is heavier because of this development. However, she chooses not to dwell on it.
She admitted, "Pag MMFF naman siguro, given na medyo may pressure.
"Pero super excited ako kasi it's been a long while since nagkaroon ng mermaid movie tapos ako pa yung napili. Super excited!"
She hopes that My Fairy Tail Love Story will make it to the final list of entries, especially since her 2016 movie Mano Po 7: Chinoy failed to make the final cut.
"Actually, naexcite na ako last year sa Mano Po pero hindi ako natuloy.
"Sana this year, matuloy na. Feeling ko mag-e-enjoy sila sa movie na ito. Maganda yung cinematography ni Direk Jun."