‘Watch List’ director all praises for Filipino cast


    Alessandra de Rossi stars in “Watch List,” a film about a mother who will do anything to protect her family.

    Directed by American-Indian filmmaker Ben Rekhi from a screenplay he co-wrote with Rona Lean Sales, “Watch List” features Alessandra as a woman whose husband is killed and must now take on the role of family breadwinner and protector.

    “It’s a very human story. At its most basic, it’s about the lengths to which a mother will go to protect her children,” said Ben.

    The moving movie also stars Jake Macapagal, Art Acuña, Lou Veloso, Jess Mendoza, and Angeli Bayani with Micko Laurente and Timothy Mabalot.

    The Hollywood-based director reveals he cast actors that not only fit their roles but could also carry the depth of emotion. He was very impressed with everyone and singled out Alessandra, Jake, Art and Micko. “I was very fortunate,” he says of his cast. “Alessandra’s talent is something I’ve never seen before. Jake, who is very well known in Hollywood for his work in Metro Manila, brought a level of intensity that is going to surprise people.

    Art Acuña is also a force of nature. One of the breakout performances is Micko Laurente who plays Alessandra’s teenage son. I think he’s just going to absolutely break people’s hearts.”

    Ben’s collaborators in the project include executive producer Anjay Nagpal, who served as co-executive producer of “Joker,” international cinematographer Daniella Nowitz, and award-winning Filipino production designer Ericson Navarro.

    Ben is dedicating “Watch List” to the Filipinos in front and behind-the-scenes who helped him make the film. He says, “As an outsider, I worked very, very hard to tell an authentic and truthful story. It is my deepest hope that this story resonates with the Filipinos who were so gracious to us.”