Last week, the staff of Panoramanila Pictures Co.distributed invites to members of the press showing a photo of the Oscar trophyand the words "Ploning Foundation" decorated with two lychees.
The golden trophy in the invite refers to the Oscar bid of Ploning as theBest Foreign Film representative of the Philippines to the 81st Academy Awards.Unfortunately, it was not able to enter the Top 9 entries chosen worldwide.
On the hand, the lychees are significant to the plot of the film because thecanned fruit is considered special food in Cuyo, Palawan—the place where thefilm was shot entirely.
Last night, February 22, Judy Ann Santos made a big announcement regarding thePloning Foundation, contrary to what others thought would be a big announcementregarding her upcoming wedding to Ryan Agoncillo.
"Yung Ploning Foundation, it's a big announcement because this is gonna be abig foundation because it concerns the whole industry," explains Juday. "That's why we invited themedia, we invited writers and directors and celebrities. Gusto namin unitedtayo sa parteng itong para sa entertainment industry. To inspire filmmakers nagumawa pa ng mas magandang pelikula para mas mapansin yung Pilipinas."
Ploning director Dante Nico "Ga" Garcia then added: "We just want tomake it legit para yung mga donations, nabibilang ng tama at nagagamit satamang paraan. Para it will be easier for people to help. We told the FilmAcademy of the Philippines about the plans and ang problem sa Ploning,dumating ako sa U.S. ng October 9, Thanksgiving na. Ang problem, yung mgawriters, they worked for the Oscars during the summer pero pag Thanksgiving andNew Year, wala na sila. Ang daming oras na nasayang na hindi ako makapagmeeting."
They also wish that the FAP will choose the Philippine representative at a muchearlier time. "Sana mas maaga pipiliin, yun yung pinakiusap namin sa FAP thenmiddle of the year, nagsisimula nang mag-plan at maka-book na ng theaters.
"Ang problema kasi 66 countries ang kalaban mo at ilan lang ang theaters nanag-i-screen ng independent films sa Los Angeles. So kailangan talaga maymagba-back up and honestly, we just want to help and share the experience,"says Ga.
JUDAY CRIED OVER PLONING'S LOSS. Did Judy Annfeel hurt or disappointed that Ploning did not enter the Top 9?
"Hindi naman na-hurt, hindi rin ako na-disappoint kasi alamnaman naming suntok sa buwan. Nalungkot, oo, nalungkot, given ‘yon," saysJuday. "Kasi napakaipokrita ko naman kung sasabihin kong ‘ay no, hindi ko syaininda at all.' Sa hinaba-haba ng journey namin sa fund-raising, siguro yunglungkot lang na, ‘happy-sad.' Happy because finally it's over, sad becausefinally it's over.
"Nakatapos na tayo sa mahabang journey, napakaraming tumulong, mas dun sathankful ka na madaming nakaintindi sa ginagawa mo, at saka ang damingsumuporta...Naiyak ako sa pagiging masaya at pagiging malungkot, kasi angtagal-tagal ko na sa industriya pero hindi ko akalain na ang dami-dami kopalang kaibigan na more than willing tumulong sa akin."
The ABS-CBN star pointed out that through their efforts,they were able to introduce Philippine cinema to a lot of foreigners that theymet during their Oscar campaign.
"Nakakatuwa and napakasarap isipin na kahit papaano maynarating naman yung Ploning kasi nakilala naman s'ya ng mga banyaga.Actually naghihintay na rin sila ng next representative ng Pilipinas to go totheir festival because na-introduce namin na Filipinos are very talented. Isasa masasabi naming achievement kasi nagbukas kami ng pintuan. Sana yungpintuang binukas naming hindi isipin ng mga tao na ginamit naming sila, ornanggamit kami, hindi po. We wanted to inspire people and we wanted this doorto be open at all times."
Judy Ann also mentioned that if their film Ploning made it to the Top 9, theywould have created another fundraising that would ask people: "Ano ang susuotinni Ploning sa Oscars?"
BYE PLONING, HELLO DARLING. Speaking of looks, the actress arrived atthe event with a new hairstyle that is wavy instead of her usual straightblack. Why is she sporting curly hair now? Is it in preparation of upcomingwedding to fiancé Ryan Agoncillo?
"Hindi, gusto ko lang maiba yung itsura ko kasi parang timena rin to move on from Ploning di ba? I've been doing Ploning forthe past year, eto na ‘to, goodbye to and farewell to Ploning and helloto the Ploning Foundation! And hello to Darling!"
(Click HERE to read more about the wedding plans of Judy and Ryan.)
According to Direk Dante, Darling will be the name of her character in hisupcoming comedy film to be produced by Regal Entertainment. The film isconceptualized by Asia's Songbird Regine Velasquez and it will be topbilled byno less than her boyfriend, Ogie Alcasid.
"Gusto ko kung gaano ka-kime si Juday sa Ploning, ganun siya ka kahinhinsa Ploning, gusto kong i-reverse," says Direk Dante. "Gusto kong kulotsiya kaya siya kulot ngayon. Sana magawa this year [the comedy film] bago kogawin yung serious film ng Panoramanila, based on a documentary of HowieSeverino.
"Alam ko mas mahirap magpatawa kaysa magpaiyak kaya gusto ko lang i-try. It's astory by Regine Velasquez and it will star Ogie Alcasid and Juday. Sa story,nag-collaborate kaming apat: si Ogie, si Regine, si Juday at ako."
Ga, a long-time friend and the stylist of Juday for the past 16 years, saysthat he wants this comedy film to show how fun it is when friends collaborateon a movie together.
PEP spotted GMA-7 documentarist and I-Witness host Howie Severino thatnight at Dolce Bar and he mentioned that this upcoming drama-comedy film, to be produced by Panoramanila, isbased on war veterans residing in Powell Street in San Francisco, U.S.A.