Albert Martinez has high hopes for indie films and for his wife Liezl’s health

AlbertMartinez (in photo) attended the premiere night of Culde Sac, a murder-mystery starring Sam Milby, which will be screened in SM cinemasstarting December 3.



The premiere night of Sam Milby's indie film doubled as animpromptu autograph signing since fans asked the matinee idol to sign the ticketsof his film Cul de Sac. The eventtook place last night, November 29, at Cinema 9 of SM Manila with the leadstars in attendance.

Being the executive director of Cinemabuhay of the PLDT-Smart Foundation,Albert Martinez was present during the premiere of the second indie filmthat they funded, Cul de Sac (Dead End). This is the second film thatthe group produced after Numbalikdiwa(2006), which was directed by Bobby Bonifacio and starred Maricel Soriano.



"Nanalo siya [Maricel] as Best Actress in Cinemanila that year," Albert says proudly."Numbalikdiwa was premiered in other countriessuch as Guam, and now it's under Cinema One."



With these achievements, he has high expectations for Cul de Sac, which is the directorial debut of Juan Miguel Sevillaand stars Sam Milby, Jodi Santamaria-Lacson, and Chin Chin Gutierrez.

"Everyfilm na gawin namin, we have very high expectations, I want to push thefilmmakers sa maximum talaga para mailabas talaga nila yung obra nila."



Cul de Sac is a French term thatliterally means "bottom of the bag," but in the context of the film, it means "Dead End."In the film, Sam plays a call center agent who has a messianic complex andwants to save the people around him. Rated R13 by the MTRCB, this film will bescreened in SM cinemas nationwide starting December 3.



"Ang ginawa namin dito, kung ano ang Sam Milby na nakita before, ito yung totalopposite. Ito yung Sam Milby na hindi mo makikitang nag-i-smile, malalim,kumbaga an experimental Sam Milby," says Albert.



In fact, Sam will be seen doing action sequences and he has no love teampartner in this suspense-thriller.



Albert explains the rationale behind Cinemabuhay and its P1 million grant givento filmmakers. "Ang idea ko, gusto naming makatulong sa filmmakers na puwedengmag-cross ng mainstream. We're looking for materials na may mainstream appeal.Sa first year namin, we got 42 entries. Then this year, we got 39. Out of the39, we got ten and out of the ten, pumili kami ng five na naglaban-laban at angnanalo, yung Cul de Sac.

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"Kailangan namin tumulong sa mga filmmakers na magagamit namin sa mainstream. Yunang purpose ng Cinemabuhay. Gusto kong makatulong sa filmmakers at bigyan silang tamang break."



Albert was part of the committee that trimmed down the entries to be funded byCinemabuhay. He also asked aspiring filmmakers to submit their entries for 2009by sending an email to cinemabuhay1@gmail.com.



PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal) asked about the project that he is workingon, titled Rosario. "Yes, actually wewill be having our first shooting day this December 17. Pero hindi ko pa langma-announce yung final cast, pero we'll be announcing it anytime soon."



It will be recalled that last August, Bea Alonzo already mentioned that shewill be shooting an international movie with Albert Martinez titled Rosario. She said that she will playthe title character, but she refused to to reveal much about the film, which issaid to be directed by Maryo J. delos Reyes for Star Cinema.


ON WIFE LIEZL MARTINEZ. When newsbroke out about the health of his wife Liezl, the Martinez familyopted to keep quiet, choosing to neither confirm or deny the rumors. It wasonly last October that Niño Muhlach confirmed his cousin Liezl had breastcancer. (Click HERE to read related story.)



When asked about his wife's condition, Albert responded: "God isgood. Everything is okay. If God is with you, wala kang dapat isipin. God isgood all the time, everything is up to God."



Albert was last seen in the ABS-CBN teleserye Kahit Isang Saglit, where he was cast as the father of Malaysianactress Carmen Soo. All of the scenes of the teleserye have been shot already soAlbert has a lot of free time on his hands. "Thank God I'm on a break, so I'llbe spending most of my time with my family. We'll be spending Christmas here inManila para mas masaya. Marami kaming balak gawin this Christmas."

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Why is he more open now to talking about his wife? "Easy lang yan, e, when you'rein God, everything is easy. We're happy."


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