Dingdong Dantes on Dance of the Steel Bars going against Man of Steel on June 12: “Maganda ang ating pelikula. Sana dun tayo sa Pinoy!”

Present at the premiere of Dance of the Steel Bars last night, June 10, were (L-R) lead star Dingdong Dantes, directors Marnie Manicad and Cesar Apolinario, with producer Stu Higton.


On June 12, Dance of the Steel Bars will start showing in theatres.

Producer Stu Higton of Portfolio Films International said last night, June 10, at the film’s press conference, “The date was deliberate, and is kind of a freedom liberation movie.”

PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) asked, “Don’t they find Man of Steel a threat?”

Stu answered, “That’s mere coincidence, I mean, the intended play [date]. And I think that timed in very nicely and so, it’s steel versus steel isn’t it?”

Meanwhile, the movie’s lead star Dingdong Dantes smiled and sighed after PEP asked the same question.

Undoubtedly, Hollywood films have a huge following in the country. Remember Avengers and Ironman 3? On the first week of their showing, majority of the cinemas carried those titles.

Though a few local films— including Dingdong’s latest, Tiktik: the Aswang Chronicles— became successful in terms of box-office, some think that going against Henry Cavill’s film is still quite a risky move.

But Dingdong, a fan of Superman himself, said, “Isipin na lang natin, mga Pinoy tayo, di ba… Ang lagay, e, dapat ba nating iurong, e, tayo nga ang may Independence Day!"

He assured that Pinoys can relate more to the issues tackled in his latest project.

“Kung natuwa sila sa video ng Cebu Dancing Inmates dati, makikita nila na may kabuluhan talaga yung effort na yun.”

The prime Kapuso actor then related the prisoners’ reaction after seeing the film.

“… Bihira naman silang panoorin ang mga ganun doon. Mayroon lang sila maliit na TV pag may oras na manood.

“Pero eto, nag-set up sila ng white screen....

“Very touching kasi nakikita mo sila… kasi they don’t get that often or maybe, magmula nung nandoon sila.

“So nakikita nila yung sarili nila, yung istorya nila, so you know they were reacting accordingly. Alam mo yun, tuwang-tuwa sila.”

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Are they ready to go head to head with Man of Steel?

“Hindi… let’s put it this way. Matagal na dapat ipapalabas ‘to so nagkataon lang na they wanted a date na may mas meaning dun sa pelikula at sa ating lahat because it’s Independence Day."

He also underscored, “Maganda ang ating pelikula. Sana dun tayo sa Pinoy!”


DIRECTORS ASK PINOYS’ SUPPORT. One of the film’s director, Cesar Apolinario, admitted to feeling nervous.

Though it’s already his fourth project (after Estasyon, Puntod, and Banal), “Siyempre, hindi naman mawawala yun, yung kaba,” the GMA-7 reporter said.

When asked, "What will make the Pinoys watch your film?"

Cesar replied, “Para sa akin ang amor ng pelikula kahit ang kalaban niya, e, lumilipad, siguro ang power ng pelikula ay yung puso.

“Yung pagiging Pilipino natin at alam ko pag napanood nila, magiging proud sila dahil this is not poverty porn. Hindi ito tungkol sa kahirapan.

“Kumbaga, pinapakita nito yung pagiging positive nating mga Pilipino, yung pagiging resilient natin, yung pagmamahal natin sa art of dancing or sining, basically.”

Cesar’s co-director Marnie Manicad affirmed that the film is about “hope, love, redemption, and freedom.”

She told PEP, “I feel very strong about this movie not only because I am one of the directors pero maganda kasi talaga yung material.

“Pinili talaga naming Araw ng Kalayaan [ang showing] dahil inspired siya ng dancing inmates na world renowned naman ngayon.

“So ‘eto, parang magandang maipakita rin namin kumbaga yung breaking free ng isang Pilipino o struggle ng isang Pilipino dito sa pelikulang ito.”

Possible hurdles may be looming large on the horizon.

“Mabigat,” Marnie described with a smile.

Thinking positively, Cesar ended, “Sana yakapin din nila [Pinoys] gaya ng pag-embrace— gaya ng pagyakap ng mga preso, lagi nilang kayakap ang mga rehas, di ba?

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“Pero niyakap nila ang sining ng pagsasayaw. Sana ganun din ang mga Pinoy.

“Panoorin nila at yakapin nila itong pelikula dahil tungkol ito sa atin. It promotes our… it actually promotes the Philippines in a positive way so sana panoorin nila.”

GALLERY: Red-carpet screening for Dance of the Steel Bars


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