by The Rights Stuff — 29.05.2019
“This is an American movie shot in the Philippines,” said Antonio Diaz, screenplay writer and executive producer of “Way of the Cross” which had a successful first special private screening at the SM Mall of Asia (MOA) Cinema 3 on May 11.
The special private screening was held for the benefit of the Filipino stars who worked in the film. According to Diaz, they are so pleased to have worked with the Pinoy cast who had to hurdle a very extensive audition for the roles they played in the film.
“We want to make sure they fit the role perfectly,” said the producer. The audition was very rigid, as they wanted to make sure that the feelings and portrayal of the stars would match what was needed in the film. “I would say we have a very good cast who are all perfect for their [respective] roles,” he noted.
It is the religious aspect that makes the story interesting, he explained. And it just evolved as the story progressed.
“But we didn’t exploit religion at all. Also, the Philippines is just a backdrop in the story and the dialogues are in English,” Diaz explained, adding that while they plan to release the film internationally, their consideration is to release it locally before showing the movie in the US and elsewhere.
Playing the male lead is Anthony Diaz 5th, who also co-wrote the screenplay with his dad. Set in a religious town in the Philippines, the story follows Rogue Marquez (Anthony), a Las Vegas-based Filipino-American FBI agent, whose estranged father living in the Philippines is diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer.
Rogue travels to Manila to visit his dying father and half-sister. A string of murders occurs during the Holy Week celebration in the nearby town of San Antonio that sends a wave of terror among locals and stuns the NBI and its top agent. Rogue’s curiosity and FBI instincts lure him in a dark cat-and-mouse world of religious abstracts as he attempts to uncover the motivation behind these murders.
The story is based on an original concept by Gorio Vicuna. Way of The Cross is Kaizen Studio’s first foray into bringing an international style of storytelling to the Philippines.
“In all facets of production, we strived for the film to transcend boundaries from the way it was shot, performed and edited while showcasing also the natural beauty that the Philippines has to offer. We were blessed to be working with such great local talent — from the cast, the crew, and we are excited to share the results of our incredible journey with audiences around the world,” the younger Diaz said.
Kaizen Studios is a young and passionate independent production company that writes, produces, directs and edits all films in-house. The people behind the production are dedicated to embracing all aspects of filmmaking to enrich their journey and ultimately to enrich the lives of others through compelling stories that need to be told.
Way of the Cross is a collaboration of Kaizen Studios, GWARD Inc., which has Filipino actor Alvin Anson as producing partner, with Elaine Carriedo as line producer.
It stars Miguel Vasquez, Rafael Rosell, Diaina Meneses, Roxanne Barcelo, Giovanni Respall, Yussef Esteves, Vic Romano, Apollo Abraham, Oz Rivera, and Danielle Chopin.
Impressed with how Pinoy actors work and the ease with which they were able to finish the film, Diaz expressed interest to do more films in the Philippines to be released hopefully worldwide.
By Ricky Calderon.
This article was first published here.
Image courtesy of Kaizen Studios & Way of The Cross website.