Sunday, 11 March 2018

Citizen Jake Unveiled At Invitational Screening

Citizen Jake, the newest film by director Mike de Leon, was unveiled on March 10, at an invitational screening held at the Cine Adarna of the University of the Philippines Film Institute (UPFI) in Diliman, Quezon City. The event was collaboration of the Probe Media Foundation, the University of the Philippines Film Institute, U.P. Cinema as Art Movement (UP CAM), and U.P. Cineastes' Studio.

Members of the production team and cast, industry professionals, media, cinema, enthusiasts and other special guests filled the 700 plus seater venue to watch the movie , which is the director's follow-up to Bayaning 3rd World.

The cast is composed of a stellar ensemble that includes Cherie Gil, Dina Bonnevie, Luis Alandy, Gabby Eigenmann, Max Collins, Teroy Guzman, Lou Veloso, Richard Quan, with Victor Neri, Allan Paule, Anna Luna, Elora Espano, Cholo Baretto, Raquel Villavicencio, Nanding Josef, Ruby Ruiz and featuring Atom Araullo as Jake Herrera.

Citizen Jake is a family drama set amid current political and social events. It is about Jake Herrera, journalist and estranged son of a powerful Philippine Senator. Driven by disdain for his father, Jake moves to Baguio City where he attempts to build a new life as a blogger and college teacher. But circumstances force him to try to solve the brutal killing of a young, female student in the university where he teaches in. Jake conducts an investigation - a move that brings him face to face with corruption and his personal demons. The screenplay is written by Mike De Leon, Atom Araullo, and Noel Pascual.

In video interviews posted on Citizen Jake Facebook page, the cast members highlight the movie's relevance, saying that its themes are close to home and hard-hitting. "Nakaka-excite", describes Luis Alandy who plays Jonie, a "pony boy" who is Jake's closest friend.

Max Collins, who plays university professor Mandy, points out, "You don't come across scripts like this everyday. It's very raw and controversial. It exposes a lot of what happens in our country."

For Gabby Eigenmann, who plays Congressman Roxie Herrera, the situations are very familiar. "They're what we see. We (the actors) are just interpreting them in this movie."

Theater actor Teroy Guzman, who plays Senator Jacobo Herrera, explains that although the story is about a rich political family, it is relatable to people from all walks of life. "It cuts through (social) classess." Moreover, Teroy reveals, "It shows-in a way-how Martial Law has affected so many people."

The invitational screening caps almost two years of work that began in late 2016 when Mike De Leon announced that he was embarking on Citizen Jake and had chosen TV reporter Atom Araullo to play the journalist character. "It's an absolute privilege being part of this project," Atom recently posted on his Facebook page.

The next showing of Citizen Jake will be on March 13, Tuesday at UP Cine Adarna; gates open at 6 pm, screening is at 7 pm. A Q&A with some members of the cast will follow after this screening. Tickets (priced at Php 150 each) are available at the UP Film Institute Media Center located beside Plaridel Hall.


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