MANILA—-Borracho Film Production recently made a revamp of almost 100 percent of the production staff for the “Mamasapano: Now It Can Be Told” movie as it resumes its shooting days this month of January.
In an interview with Atty. Ferdinand Topacio, Borracho Films producer in his office at Skyway Twin Towers in Pasig City, he said that the entire production staff were all replaced leaving only the scriptwriter Eric Ramos and closed-in staff.
Sometime in 2020, the amiable lawyer expressed his disgust over the delay in the production of his movie project “Mamasapano: Now It Can Be Told” because the rainy season came and yet the film has not finished according to schedule.
According to Atty. Topacio, they have shot the interiors and the important exterior scenes could have been shot during summer season to replicate the massacre scene where the land was dry and the cornfield was beginning to wither.
They could have finished the shooting by the end of May but the director Law Fajardo prioritized other projects over his film, the lawyer lamented.
He was actually angered by the production staff who neglected his film project and gave way to other projects when he has fulfilled all the requirements to them.
“Wala naman silang hiniling sa akin na hinindian ko. Kaya, walang rason para hindi nila tuparin and kanilang obligasyon na tapusin ang film,” Atty. Topacio explained.
The Borracho Films producer vowed to the families of the SAF members who perished in Mamasapano that he will finish the movie no matter what it may cost, so he decided to replace almost all of the production staff—- from the director down to the truck driver, runner and even the disinfecting personnel.
“I did this to send a message that we are not to be trifled with,” the celebrity lawyer stated.
Now taking the helm is Direk Lester Dimaranan, who also directed the MMFF entry “Nelia” starring Winwyn Marquez. Direk Lester was introduced to Atty. Topacio by lawyer friends who produced the movie “Nelia.”
The assistant director has been replaced, and so are the associate producer, director of photography, location manager, script supervisor, production designer, art director, talent coordinator, stylist /costume designer, fight director, production coordinator for technical, production coordinator for floor, make up artists, property master, associate propsman, set master, set crew, setman 2, setman 3, set dresser, set artist, art department office staff, property custodian, two 2nd camera assistants, head crew, video tape recorder, electrician, dolly operator 1 and 2, lighting grips, genetman, sound recordist, boom man, office production artist, runner and disinfecting staff.
Nevertheless, former director of the movie Law Fajardo has promised to return the excess of his fee for the unfinished shooting days.
The movie “Mamasapano: Now It Can Be Told” is about the SAF 44 soldiers who were massacred in Mamasapano in Maguindanao in 2015. It also resulted in the deaths of 18 members of the MILF, 5 members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedon fighters and five civilians.
In the cast of the movie are: Edu Manzano, Aljur Abrenica, JC De Vera, Gerald Santos, Rey PJ Abellana, Allan Paule, Jojo Abellana, Rez Cortez, Juan Rodrigo, LA Santos, Ritz Azul, Myrtle Sarroza, and Claudine Barretto in a very special role.
Atty. Topacio said that he hopes “Mamasapano: Now It Can Be Told” will finish shooting soonest and will be shown after elections. He showed us some clips of the movie, which we believe carries a strong message to the viewers. Should the schedule and deadline permit, it could be and entry to the next Metro Manila Film Festival(MMFF).
The celebrity lawyer said “Mamasapano” is not a propaganda film. The script is based on two sources: the board of inquiry report of the Philippine National Police(PNP) and the senate investigation report, no other opinion or hearsay.
A movie enthusiast, Atty.Topacio believes in the power of the cinema as a medium to elicit emotional response to certain issues. And he believes every Filipino deserves to know what really happened in the Mamasapano massacre, those who survived and those who tried to get them out.
One thing we noticed during the interview as he related the technicalities of his movie, he could not just be producer but also a director of his future films. By then, he will have three titles to his name—lawyer, movie producer and movie director. (Evelyn C. Diao/MTVN)