RITZ Azul feels so fortunate to have not just one but two entries in the coming Metro Manila Filmfest: “The Missing” and “Mang Kepweng: Lihim ng Bandanang Itim”.
“It was not planned,” she says. “‘The Missing’ was meant for the Metro Summer Filmfest last April na hindi natuloy due to the pandemic. And now, pareho silang entries sa December filmfest ng isa ko pang movie.”
She plays the lead role of Iris in “The Missing”, produced by Regal Entertainment and written and directed by Easy Ferrer of the successful BL series, “Jim X Ben”. Her co-stars are Joseph Marco (who also has two entries as he’s also in movie, “Isa Pang Bahaghari”) and Miles Ocampo. So who is her character Iris and what is her story?
“She’s a young architect who is grieving after her younger sister was kidnapped and killed by some bad people,” says Ritz. “It was very traumatic for her and to help her forget the tragedy, she agreed to do the restoration project of an old ancestral home in Japan. Nagkataong kasama ko roon si Joseph Marco as Job, another architect who happens to be my ex-boyfriend.”
The film was shot on location in Karatsu, Saga Prefecture in Japan. “Ang ganda nung place,” adds Ritz. “It was fall season when we shot the movie there at ang ganda ng mga dahon na various hues of yellow, red and gold. The house we are supposed to restore is 100 years old. Wala kaming kaalam-alam na it is haunted pala. Soon, we are experiencing a lot of strange things.”
How did she prepare for her role? “My character is experiencing anxiety disorder at hindi na ako lumayo pa as my peg was my own mother, who’s been having anxiety disorder for many years now. Yung character ko, si Iris, has to consult a psychiatrist to help her cope with stress. Her condition is aggravated by the fact that her mom is blaming her for what happened to her sister. In the film, talagang I was required to always look stressed out kasi I’m experiencing hallucinations and visions. Playing the role of Iris helped me understand the situation of my mother better.”
She says the house they used as the film’s main setting is actually 150 years old. “Pagpasok pa lang namin, it really felt so creepy na. Nangilabot agad ako, lalo na when the caretaker said there are areas in the house and the compound na hindi kami puwede, off limits, due to one reason or another. Before we started shooting, we had to do some purification ritual muna to make sure we will all be safe while shooting there.”
She says the film is really scary, with lots of jump scares. “So don’t watch it alone kasi matatakot talaga kayo,” says Ritz. “Be sure may kasama kayong manood nito. Our writer-director, Easy Ferrer, said he patterned this after Japanese horror flicks that were a hit worldwide, like ‘The Ring’ and ‘The Grudge’, which even had successful remakes in Hollywood. If you enjoy watching horror movies and being terrified, don’t miss ‘The Missing’ as we’re sure you’ll enjoy and it will give you a good scare.”
You can watch “The Missing” and all the other entries in the Metro Manila Filmfest by accessing Upstream.ph for only P150 and your whole family can watch with you.
Tuloy Pa Rin ang Pasko Movement aims to help poor people celebrate Christmas
THE passing year is marked by the pandemic and book ended by natural calamities like the Taal eruption and typhoon Ulysses. Cignal TV, TV5 and the entire MVP Group of Companies now come together for the TULOY PA RIN ANG PASKO MOVEMENT to spread positivity and holiday cheer to fellow Filipinos from all walks of life this Christmas.
The essence of the Yuletide Season is family tradition and celebration. Though the holidays may feel different this year, now is the time to foster the spirit of togetherness and make it most felt by everyone. Through Tuloy Pa Rin ang Pasko, noche buena treats will be distributed to poor beneficiaries.
The movement invites everyone to show compassion. It is an open call for Kapatids to brighten up someone else’s Christmas especially those in need. This season, we are urged to open our hearts and be positive enablers to make somebody’s Christmas truly merry and bright.
To further the spread of the movement’s message, the TULOY PA RIN ANG PASKO theme song was created. Written by Louie Ocampo and lyrics by Noel Ferrer, the song is about what this initiative represents— that each one of us, through big or small acts of kindness, can make Christmas more meaningful. A heartwarming music video was also released featuring various stars and personalities; all of whom believe, support, and adhere to what the movement imparts.
For those interested to be part of the TULOY PA RIN ANG PASKO MOVEMENT, you may donate through the Alagang Kapatid Foundation, Inc. through online bank transfer. For more information on how you can extend help, visit TV5’s Facebook Page. Don’t forget to watch the movement’s music video “Tuloy Pa Rin Ang Pasko”, which is available online and will continue airing on TV5, One Sports and Cignal TV organic channels (One PH, One News, Colours, Sari Sari, One Screen, One Sports Plus and PBA Rush) throughout the holidays.