A 1970s script finds new life in the 21st century
BusinessWorld 30 May 2005
‘Pepot Artista’ is not a slapstick comedy, but it certainly has a kick. In his first full-length feature written and directed by Dr. Clodualdo del Mundo, he explores a child’s quest for stardom, which pretty much represents everybody’s pursuit for a shot in the limelight.
Oddly enough, the screenplay for ‘Pepot Artista’ was written in the 1970, but the comedy-musical would not have survived during the ‘bomba’ era.
“Nowadays there are many people interested in star searches. That is where people are focused. Back in the 1970s there were already that kind of show, but it is more prevalent now,” Mr. Del Mundo told BusinessWorld in Filipino after the advance screening of the film at the Cultural Center of the Philippines last week.
The film will be shown at the CCP during the ‘Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival’ on July 12 to 17.
Pepot (Elijah Castillo) is a 10-year old who dreams of becoming an actor. Coming from a poor family, he sells comics to help his parents and at the same time finance hobbies like watching movies and betting at a local fair. A family problem forces him to run away and chase his dream with the help of friends who support his great aspiration to make it to the silver screen.
The story seems all too familiar, what with the proliferation of reality TV programs these days, some of which border on the cruel while ostensibly searching for the most promising star.
‘Pepot Artista’ has a playful approach to depicting serious social and economic issues as it has musical numbers that help lighten up the mood. It even includes clips from old movies, particularly of the love team between Nora Aunor and Tirso Cruz III.
“I just want to do a good comedy film which people can enjoy from beginning to end. It is very light but at the same time, it has something to say. I leave (the interpretation) to the viewers,” Mr. Del Mundo said.
‘Pepot Artista’ was shot in digital video camera. Its stars include Rio Locsin, Jeffrey Quizon, Cris Villanueva, Bituin Escalante, Lou Veloso, Yoyoy Villame, Ces Quesada, Nonie Buencamino and Tado Jimenez. – A.B. L. Lorenzo