Pinoy husband and wife actors lead Filipino-Korean collab film

Nonie Buencamino and Shamaine Buencamino
Nonie Buencamino and Shamaine Buencamino

SHAMAINE and Nonie Buencamino are one of local showbiz’ more durable couples. Both of them started in theatre and they met while doing a Tagalog adaptation of “A Man for All Seasons” for CCP’s Tanghalang Pilipino in the late 80s.

“But it wasn’t there where our romance started, kasi may ibang girlfriend si Nonie noon, but in our next play, ‘Florante at Laura’, and on May 28, 29 years na kami,” says Shamaine at the presscon of the movie they shot on location in Korea, “Sunshine Family”.

We tell them they’re the veritable first couple of Philippine Theater.  They got four kids: Jose Antonio, Gregorio Martin, Delphine (who just finished her advanced theatre studies in the United Kingdom) and the youngest was Julia who passed in 2015. Shamaine was born in Naga City on February 28, 1965 and first appeared in a play when she was in grade school. That’s how she found out she loved acting.

She studied at the Philippine High School for the Arts in Makiling. She has since moved to films and made several movies where she stood out, like “Ang Lihim ni Antonio”, “Lorna” and “Requieme” (our personal favorites) She has won acting awards for “ Niño”, “Princess” and “Paki”. For her work in theatre, she has won awards for plays like “Wonder Twins of Boac”, “Stage Show”, “Ang Kalungkutan ng Reyna”. She’s also visible in teleseryes in both networks, like “Ang Probinsyano” on ABS-CBN and “Hindi Ko Kayang Iwan Ka” on GMA-7.

So how did she and husband Nonie get their lead roles in “Sunshine Family”, where Sue Ramirez and Marco Masa play their two children? “Sue was hired because she’s the Korean ambassador for the Philippines while Marco auditioned for the role,” she says. “Kami ni Nonie, we were chosen by Bb. Joyce Bernal, who’s one of the producers of Spring Films. She wants a couple na mag-asawa talaga kaya bagay raw sa amin ang roles.”

“Sunshine Family” is based on a 1991 Japanese movie, “Hit and Run Family”. Spring Films produced it in partnership with a Korean company, Film Line Pictures and shot entirely in Seoul. A comedy-drama, Shamaine and Nonie play Sonya and Don Mapalad, with Sue as their daughter Shine and Marcos as their son Max. They’re a dysfunctional family living in Korea for five years. They get to face a lot of problems after Nonie gets involved in a hit-and-run accident and they try to cover it up.

“Maganda ang role ko as the mom,” says Shamaine. “At the start, she’s timid, sunud-sunuran lang sa husband niya. But when they start to face a lot of problems, she became strong and puts the family together. Maganda ang message ng movie about sticking together as a family for you to be overcome your struggles.”

The film is directed by Kim Tai Sik, director of the acclaimed Korean festival favorite, “Driving with My Wife’s Lover”. So how is it working with a totally Korean staff and crew? “At first, I thought mahirap,” says Shamaine. “First time ko to shoot a film abroad and first time ko rin sa Korea. We have an interpreter and our director understands English naman, so hindi naging problema ang difference in language and culture. Director Kim really took care to build a relationship with us. He’s very accommodating and is always asking us during important scenes as to how we would react as Filipinos. He has a storyboard, very organized and professional. Inalagaan kami nang husto at ang sarap ng food nila from breakfast to midnight snack. Tahimik sila sa set ng staff niya, nagbubulungan sila, kami nga ang maingay doon. Sobrang lamig lang kasi we shot there in November na winter na sa kanila.”

“Sunshine Family” will open in local theaters on June 5. Shamaine says the version to be shown here is a cut made by Direk Joyce Bernal to suit Filipino viewers. The Korean director has his own cut that he will send to join international film festivals. For updates, follow Spring FIlms on Facebook, instagram and Youtube to watch the films full trailer.