Award-winning director Gil Portes wished on his birthday that his new film “Ang Hapis at Himagsik ni Hermano Puli” would be a success.
“My only wish on my birthday is that ‘Hermano Puli’ will be successful,” said Portes, who turned 71 last Sept. 13.
Portes celebrated his birth anniversary with members of the entertainment press with a sumptuous lunch prepared by Limbaga 77 Restaurant on Scout Limbaga Street, Quezon City.
“Ang Hapis at Himagsik ni Hermano Puli is one of the projects in my bucket list. I am happy to have it completed.
What makes me happier now is the positive reaction and enthusiastic interest in the movie,” Portes said.
Clips of the film have been presented at school tours. The Hermano Puli “Bayani Ba ‘To?” school visited Baguio City, Cabanatuan, Baliwag, Malolos, Metro Manila, Laguna, Quezon Batangas, Naga Cebu, IIoilo, Bacolod and Davao.
The trailer posted on the movie’s Facebook page has garnered more than 3.5 million views and received 12,312-plus shares.
With successful movies in tow, Portes has revealed his dream cast for future films.
“I want to work with John Lloyd Cruz. I like him. Maybe Piolo Pascual or Sharon Cuneta. I still want to work again with Nora Aunor or Vilma Santos,” he said.
“With John Lloyd, puro usap-usap pa lang kami. Nothing has been formalized. But I already have a wonderful material for John Lloyd kung matutuloy,” Portes said.
“Ang maganda kay John Lloyd and Piolo very daring na sila ngayon, hindi na pwede ang pa-tweetums.They are not getting any younger. So let’s do more mature roles for them,” he added.
Portes said that he was thrilled that “Puli” has been shortlisted by the Film Academy of the Philippines as one of the possible entries to the Oscar Awards in 2017.
Asked which of the eight other Oscar-bound Filipino films could rival “Puli,” Portes laughed and said: “Wala!”
Portes is one of two Filipino directors who have sent three Filipino entries to the Oscars in the Best Foreign Language Film Category. He tied for the most number by a Filipino director with the late Marilou Diaz-Abaya.
In 1999, Portes sent “Saranggola” as the Philippine entry to the Oscars, followed by “Gatas” in 2001 and “Mga Munting Tinig” in 2002.
So far, the Philippines has yet to win or even score a nomination in the foreign language category.
Portes recalled how members of the Academy would walk out of the movie screening if they really don’t like it.
“I’ve seen members of the Academy who walk out of the screening of movies for the Oscars. I’m not saying which movies pero pag-ayaw talaga nila, lumalabas na lang sila ng room,” he added.
Of his three-Oscar entries, Portes said that the Alessandra de Rossi-starrer “Tinig” was the most successful because it was ranked No. 7. Only the Top 5 films are considered official nominees.
“Ang dapat maintindihan ng viewers, ang judges ng Oscar ay different sa mga judges ng Berlin or Venice film festival.
Sa US, they go for films with so much hope. ‘Munting Tinig’ is very hopeful. ‘Hermano Puli’ is full of hope. Basta ako I leave it to fate. I leave everything to God,” Portes added.
Portes said that “Puli” will compete in film festivals abroad. “It will travel. It’s in the planning stage. We really hope to make it in the Oscars. We are ready na to go full blast in Los Angeles.”
The famed director said that he has finished another film called “Moonlight Over Baler” and hopes that it would be selected as one of the official entries to the 2016 Metro Manila Film Festival. The movie stars Vin Abrenica who plays a dual role and Ellen Adarna.