‘Dito at Doon’ stars fall in love with film

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    JC SANTOS, JANINE GUTIERREZ and director JP HABAC

    There was jubilation and wonder, some nerves followed by relief among TBA’s “Dito at Doon” cast after watching the JP Habac-directed film.

    The stars of “Dito at Doon,” Janine Gutierrez, Victor Anastacio, Yesh Burce and JC Santos were pleasantly surprised when they watched the movie together for the first time. All of them know how the story will go, but it was with fresh eyes that they were able to view the film, thanks to the unique way that director JP Habac decided to approach the video conversations among the leads. It is this that Janine found especially laudable. Janine, who plays the opinionated Len, said “Dito at Doon” is unlike any other film she has seen.

    “It’s hard to say reaction ko without spoiling the ending. Pero even if I knew what was gonna happen, ‘yung pagka edit ng storya and kung paano ginawa ‘yung pelikula, ang galing. I can say na wala pa akong napanood na pelikulang ganun,” she enthused.

    “And sinabi ko nga kay Direk Gino na ang galing nung vision niya sa film kasi nagawa niyang bago ‘yung kwento na originally Zoom lang mga usapan or through the phone. Na enjoy ko siya.

    “Kinabahan ako, kasi kinakabahan talaga ako pag premiere. Wala palang pagbabago kahit virtual, kinakabahan pa rin ako. Pero I was surpsired, even if I knew the story, na hook ako,” she added.

    JC, who plays Caloy, the Cebuano breadwinner who gets stuck in Manila because of the lockdown, also felt nervous – but it was because he was not entirely sure how the story will flow.

    “Nung napanood ko na, sabi ko ‘Hay, salamat maganda ang pelikula.’ Medyo natakot ako for a moment, pero ayun, ayun pala ang sarap ng feeling pagkatapos…,” he confessed.

    Host-actor Victor was bowled over by the film that he gave it a standing ovation.

    “Napatayo ako sa upuan,” he related, “Grabe maganda, maganda ‘yung pelikula, kasi iyak-tawa sya eh. Syempre last year sobrang grabe ‘di ba?

    “So may mga family moments din kasi. Hindi lang landian, may naisulat din na family moments. Yun pa mismo paminsan ‘yung emotional para sakin. Tapos…basta grabe yun yung reaction ko.”

    For theater actress Yesh, it was an emotional realization. “Nung binabasa namin ‘yung script, iba ‘yung interpretation ko,” she admitted.

    “Doon nga, same din kay Janine. Pero nung pinanood namin kahapon, parang nawala ‘yung judgment ko dun sa mga characters. Na parang, hindi ko dapat silang i-judge kasi valid lahat ng pinagdaanan nila, parang ganun ‘yung dating nila sa akin. Parang, ah okay, pwede.… Parang naramdaman nila lahat ng pinagdaanan nung mga characters, lahat sila valid. Ang hirap mag pinpoint kung may mali ‘tong ginawa kang ginawa, kasi lahat sila valid.”

    With the “Dito at Doon” stars obviously sharing a special chemistry, it is likely that viewers will ask for a part two. Director JP Habac so enjoyed the filming that he will welcome working with the same people.

    “Ang dapat makasagot dyan is ‘yung [producer] TBA. Sila po ang may hawak ng kapalaran ng ‘Dito at Doon’,” he said.

    “Kung ako tatanungin, I really want to do another project with this team, kasi, walang halong biro, sobrang sarap katrabaho ng buong cast. And parang … nakaka-excite lang. Sana sana,” he continued.

    Daphne Chiu, producer, said it will all depend on how the film will be received by the viewers, given that cinemas are not allowed and “Dito at Doon” is streaming exclusively online.

    She explained: “Kung may part 2 man or kung may spin-off, it’s always our with TBA, it’s always galing sa audience.

    “If we hear ‘yung clamor, and maibalik ‘yung unang naipundar – for you know film is essentially a business – if maibalik na ‘yung naipundar, and of course, there is always the possibility of creating another one.

    “It’s always the same, like with ‘Heneral Luna,’ it was really a success, then Goyo came, and now we’re going to do the third one. There are endless possibilities, and JP is a really really great storyteller and we have great writers, and we also have great creative team with TBA studio, so malaki ang posibilidad.

    “Pero right now for us, our own battle also – lalo na wala pang sinehan – is really protecting the film online as well, for now.”

    “Dito at Doon” is currently available for streaming on KTX, Cinema76@Home, Iwant TFC, Upstream, Ticket2me.