MATTEO Guidicelli plays the lead role of a dedicated Muslim soldier who belongs to the Special Action Force (SAF) in the big-budget action-drama “Across the Crescent Moon”, written, produced and directed by Baby Nebrida, who wrote the acclaimed inspirational films “Init o Lamig” and “Flames of Love”. The movie turns Matteo into a full fledged action star.
“I trained hard for my role and I did the stunts and action scenes myself,” he says. “The movie gave me the chance to work with Tito Christopher de Leon for the first time, who I really admire so much as an actor. He plays my Muslim father in the movie and my mom is his real wife, Tita Sandy Andolong.
The story is very timely as it’s about human trafficking and we have to save Filipinas who are kidnapped and sold to syndicates abroad. It’s also a love story as I fall in love with a Christian woman, played by theater actress Alex Godinez, who I’ve known from way back. Playing her parents are Gabby Concepcion and Dina Bonnevie, who are against me because I’m a Muslim. Puro magagaling ang mga kasama naming veteran stars kaya we’re inspired to give our best also.”
Will he ask his inamorata Sarah Geronimo to watch the movie with him? “Of course, I’d like her to see it as I’m very proud of this movie which is not only entertaining as a hard action film but is also meaningful and timely as it tackles valid problems concerning our nation.”
Writer-director Baby Nebrida has nothing but praises for Matteo. “Masarap siyang katrabaho kasi kahit ang dami naming pinagawang mahihirap na eksena sa kanya, including big risky action scenes with explosions, he never complained,” she says.
“Mahusay siyang makisama sa lahat, very nice to all his co-stars and the crew members. And he really delivers as an actor, not only in the action scenes but also in the dramatic scenes na nakipagsabayan siya sa mga more experienced actors na kaeksena niya.”
Why is the film’s title “Across the Crescent Moon”? “The crescent moon is the symbol of the Muslim faith while the cross represents Christianity. The film shows that there is unity in diversity. We can have different religious beliefs but can still co-exist in peace and harmony, as seen in the relationship of Matteo, a Muslim, and Alex, a Christian, who fight to uphold their love and marriage. We shot the movie on location in beautiful Tawi-Tawi and some unknown distant islands there, and I’d like to thank all the people who helped us, both Muslims and Christians, in the making of this movie.”
Also in the film’s big cast are Ivan Carapiet as the main antagonist, Jason Abalos, Joem Bascon, Ku Aquino, Rez Cortez, Leo Martinez, Mariel de Leon, Jerico Estregan, Jackie Aquino, Garrie Concepcion, Gerald Ejercito and Jerene Tan. “Across the Crescent Moon” opens in theaters on January 25.
NO ANIMALS HARMED IN ‘TATLONG BIBE’
DIRECTOR Joven Tan admits they killed an animal in his new movie, “Tatlong Bibe”. The victim is one of the ‘bibes’ or ducks in the title. Oh, so is he ready to be controversial like the “Oro” director?
“Hindi naman namin ipinakitang sinaksak ‘yung bibe o dumanak ng dugo,” he says. “Daya lang ang lahat. Bakit naman ako mananakit ng hayup, e alam kong bawal? Marami kaming ginamit na ibang hayup sa movie like aso, pusa, kalabaw, but they were all handled with care. No animal was harmed in the filming of our movie. Our producer, Regis Films, has a farm at dun galing ang lahat ng animals that we used in our movie.”
“Tatlong Bibe” is inspired by the hit kiddie song that went viral last year. “Ginawa ito with the intention na isali sa Metro filmfest, pero hindi kami pinalad, so mas gusto talaga sigurong ipalabas kami nang walang kasabay o kalaban sa playdate namin on March 1. People think comedy ito dahil dun sa kantang may Quack, Quack, Quack, o kaya fantasy kasi tatlong bata ang bida. But no, it’s a serious inspirational drama about love, faith and forgiveness.”
The story revolves on the boy Noah, played by Marco Masa, whose mom, Angel Aquino, abandoned him and left him under the care of an abusive relative, Rita Avila. Despite his sad life, Noah continues to be an inspiration in the lives of the people in their community, along with his friends Lyca Gairanod and Raikko Mateo.
“Dahil sa kanya, mababago ang buhay ng mga tao sa lugar nila,” adds Joven. “Mag-asawa rito sina Eddie Garcia at Mommy Dionisia Pacquiao. Lasenggo si Eddie at si Mommy D, walang ginawa kundi mag-ballroom dancing. Noah will change them for the better, pati na rin ang mag-asawang Anita Linda at Lou Veloso. Kasama rin sa cast sina Victor Neri and Nikki Valdez as the parents of Lyca, Edgar Allan Guzman and Diane Medina as the parents of Raikko, Perla Bautista as a kind neighbor at anak niya ang doktor na si Luis Alandy, plus Ernie Garcia as another director. May teen love din dito, sina JK Labajo and Sharlene San Pedro. ‘Tatlong Bibe’ will have its premiere night on February 13 at SM Megamall Cinema 9 and opens in theaters nationwide on March 1.”
DAVE MAKES WAVES
DAVE Bornea is one of the newcomers introduced in “Alyas Robin Hood” who is making waves as Julian, the son of Judge Romulo (Toby Alejar) and nephew of Maggie (Cherie Gil) who is sad to learn that it’s his own relatives who plotted against hero Dingdong Dantes as Pepe. Dave is also a member of the GMA boyband called One Up, whose members are not only good singers and dancers, but also all good looking. How was he discovered?
“I’m from Talisay, Cebu at sumali ako sa Starstruck 6,” he says. “Umabot ako hanggang sa 18 finalists kami dito sa Manila. Noong piliin ‘yung Final 14, di ako nakasali. Sobrang sad ako noon kasi dream ko talaga mag-artista. But after six months, nakatanggap ako ng call para mag-join sa One Up at heto, napasama ako sa hit primetime show na ‘Alyas Robin Hood’.”
He can now say he’s even luckier than the guy who won in Starstruck 6, Migo Adecer, who’s hardly noticed in his small role in “Encantadia”. “I guess blessing po talaga kasi noong una, hirap na hirap ako sa Tagalog ko dahil born and raised ako sa Cebu. I have to train hard to speak nang diretso in Tagalog. But don’t get me wrong, proud Visayan ako, pero dahil Tagalog ang salita sa showbiz, kailangang ma-master ko ito.”
Dave is a hotel and restaurant management junior but he has to put his studies on hold to pursue a career in showbiz. “Sayang naman kasi ang career opportunities na dumating sa’kin. I’m the eldest of three kids at gusto kong tumulong sa pag-aaral ng dalawang kapatid ko na nasa Cebu pa.”
He’s currently being linked to his love interest in “Alyas Robin Hood”, Lindsay de Vera, but he says they’re just good friends. “Sobrang bata po siya at 16. 20 na ako. Wala po akong love life. Puro trabaho muna. But Lindsay is a very close friend. Kasama ko siya sa workshops kaya mas kilala na namin ang isa’t isa.”
In “Alyas Robin Hood”, David as Julian is very happy when his dad, Judge Romulo, admitted in public that he was just forced to frame up Dingdong for a crime he didn’t commit. This put David’s life in danger and Dingdong assures the judge he will protect David from their enemies.
Meantime, Megan Young as Sarri is now in love with Sid Lucero as Dean, so Dingdong as Pepe can no longer hope to get her back. Andrea Torres as Venus has become more violent after Pepe broke her heart. Pepe helps David as Julian to be reunited with his dad Judge Romulo but what they don’t know is that they were followed by the villainous thugs Anthony Falcon as Chino, Mike Flores as Llama and Jade Lopez as Chef.