DIRECTOR Erik Matti has been chosen by HBO Asia to direct the Philippine episode in their 8-part original drama series, “Food Lore”, which will premiere on November 3, Sunday, 10p.m. at HBO GO and HBO. Each episode is an hour long and inspired by Asian cuisines. Direk Erik’s episode is entitled “Island of Dreams” and is set in his native Negros. It was selected to make its world debut at this year’s Tokyo International Filmfest, one of the leading film festivals in Asia, on October 31.
Angeli Bayani (best known for the Singaporean film, “Iloilo”, and Lav Diaz’ “Norte, End of History” for which she won the Urian best actress award) is the lead actress as Nieves. The story opens with her returning to their island to celebrate its annual fiesta, then her life story is told in flashbacks.
Nieves is the eldest of five children and they live a life of poverty. She is married to Yul Servo and they have kids, but she chooses to go to Manila to work as a housemaid for the family of Joey Marquez and Carla Laforteza, who want to take her with them when they relocate to Hong Kong.
Nieves’ husband resents her working away from their family and her visit to the island later takes an unexpected turn in the story. Also in the cast is Ina Feleo as Angeli’s younger sister who stays with her family in the island.
The beauty of the island where they shot the episode is stunningly captured by the vivid cinematography, filled with splendid local color. Environmental concerns are also projected, how fishermen are finding it more and more difficult to fish in nearby waters. Various dishes like adobo and kare-kare are also featured in the course of the narrative.
The acting is superb, with Angeli Bayani touching as the hardworking wife and mother who realizes that being away has estranged her from her family. Yul, Joey, Ina and Carla all give excellent support, so don’t miss it on HBO.
The other episodes featured in “Food Lore” are “He Serves Fish, She Eats Flowers” from Vietnam, directed by Phan Dang Di; “Maria’s Secret Recipe” from Indonesia directed by Billy Christian; “A Plate of Moon” from India, directed by Don Aravind; “The Caterer” from Thailand, directed by Pen-Ek Ratanaruang; “Tamarind” from Singapore, directed by Eric Khoo; “Life in a Box” from Japan, directed by Takumi Saitoh and “Stray Dogs” from Malaysia, directed by Ho Yuhang. “Food Lore” is produced by Singapore based Bert Pictures and part of a two-year partnership with Infocomm Media Development Authority of Singapore. HBO Asia started producing original productions in 2012 and has produced Asian Original shows including series, movies and documentaries. It has aired 18 Asian original productions so far and more are coming. For more info, contact Karen Lai, VP Communications of HBO Asia.