Ruben Maria Soriquez is an Italian actor-director who is a familiar face to LizQuen fans.
He was part of Liza Soberano-Enrique Gil’s teleserye, Dolce Amore, as Roberto Marchesa, the father of Serena (played by Liza).
Ruben can be seen as the boss of Sharon Cuneta’s character in Unexpectedly Yours, which is still being shown in cinemas.
How was it like working with big stars such as Sharon and Robin in Unexpectedly Yours? Did he know the popularity of both stars even before he moved to the Philippines?
“I knew how big Sharon and Robin were back in 1990s, the first time I came here in the Philippines, so their names were quite familiar to me since then.
“Working with Sharon was a great and awesome experience for me and I tried to give my best in the scenes with her. Actually, all of my scenes are with the Megastar.
“It was such a great pleasure working with Sharon, and I’m thankful to our director Cathy Garcia-Molina for the opportunity. Sharon was warm and accommodating to everyone on the set.
“Another thing I found out is that it is easy to work with a great actress like her. She sets the mood in seconds so it’s easier for me to be in my character,” recalls Ruben.
How was it like working with Direk Cathy-Garcia Molina?
“She was the director of the pilot episode of Dolce Amore that’s where we met. I like her as a director because she really knows what she wants, she’s so meticulous.
“She is a very good director, because the movie [Unexpectedly Yours] was shot and post produced for short period of time, like two months, so, it’s unbelievable what she did, but still it’s a blockbuster. Some of the people said she is a strict director but I don’t think she is strict, she is just a frank director.
"During our taping of Dolce Amore and here in our movie Unexpectedly Yours, I never heard her shouting."
OTHER MOVIES. Ruben first came in the Philippines during the 1990s, but it was 2014 when he finally moved to the country for good to start producing films with his own company called See Thru Pictures Production.
This outfit produced the 2015 film Of Sinners and Saints that he directed. The drama film earned for him the Best Actor Award in the World Premieres Film Festival organized by the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP). In this film, he portrayed the role of a priest with dark past.
Ruben has also finished four feature films: The Spider’s Man, The Lease, A Perfect Family, and Entrapped: A Day Of Terror.
He’s co-starring with Richard Quan in The Spider’s Man, which Ruben co-wrote with Mark McKeown, produced, and directed.
Ruben described the film by saying, “I’m playful here. This is a story of half-Italian/half-Filipino (played by me) coming to the Philippines to visit his half-brother played by Richard Quan.
“The role is very challenging for him because he is autistic here. The title is Spider’s Man because his best friends are some spiders. His favorite past time is to nurse spiders and to breed spiders in his room. He loves spiders very much. This is a dark comedy. I shot some of the scenes in Italy.”
The other cast members are Lee O’Brien (the American boyfriend of Pokwang), Jeff Tam, Rob Sy, China Roces, and his wife Lanie Gumarang.
In The Lease, Ruben is paired with Garie Concepcion who is cast as his wife and they have two kids. The movie is a paranormal horror-thriller involving a rich family. It is directed by Paolo Bertola, an Italian cinematographer now based in Manila.
A Perfect Family is an experimental silent feature film shot in ten years in six different countries: Austria, Spain, France, Italy, Hong Kong, and the Philippines.
“This one is a thriller in three levels of reality. In the cast are me, my wife Lanie Gumarang, and my son Kim Soriquez,” says Ruben.
Entrapped: A Day Of Terror, a period thriller set in the 1980s, is based on a true event. It is produced by Luca Redavid for Innuendo Films, co-produced by Ruben and directed by another Italian Emanuele Dantonio.
EUROPEAN PHILIPPINES INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL. Ruben is happy to announce that he, together with Maurizio Baldini and Lorenzo Galanti, recently founded the European Philippines International Film Festival (EPIFF).
The EPIFF is endorsed by Italian Chamber of Commerce--wherein Ruben is among the Board of Directors--as well as the Philippine Italian Association and the Film Development Council of the Philippines.
Ruben explains, “The objective of EPIFF is to promote the best of Philippine cinema in Italy and Europe and to find distribution for those films as well.
“We shall announce the call for entries anytime soon. The festival will be a competition among films made by Filipinos or filmmakers abroad with Pinoy blood. We will be looking for films that have international appeal, especially to the European audience.
“For those filmmakers who want to join on this festival, it should have an international appeal to the people who will watch for it. It can be old movies from 2015 or it could be a new movie. They should put Italian subtitles at the bottom for the Italian to understand the film. The selection committee for these films are Italians.”
He added that the new international film festival is tentatively scheduled on March 7-9, 2018 to be held in a historical theater in Florence, Italy.
Films that are are eligible for submission are: feature-length documentaries and feature-length films that are made by Filipinos of any nationality (i.e. those who are of Filipino ancestry whose citizenship is that of another country).
If the film is spoken in a Filipino dialect, Tagalog, or other foreign languages, a dialogue list in Italian must be provided (The festival can provide contacts for the translation of the English dialogue list into Italian). All genres will be considered. The film must have been completed after January 1, 2015.
The final deadline for submission is on January 31, 2018.