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Mike de Leon film is an event, a celebration

EVENT, CELEBRATION – Last year, Highspeed wished that Mike de Leon would make a directoral comeback…sooner than later. Wish granted.

Mike had started shooting “Citizen Jake,” with Atom Araullo in the title role. Reports from Baguio indicated everything was, so far, smooth sailing. Atom’s role is close to his heart, a journalist.

The exclusive and temperamental director is said to be all praises for Atom and co-stars Cherie Gil, Max Collins, Luis Alandy, Lou Veloso, Gabby Eigenmann, Nonie Buencamino, Victor Neri, Alan Paule, Raquel Villavicencio, Ruby Ruiz, Nanding Josef, Richard Quan, Anna Luna, Malu de Guzman, and Dina Bonnevie.

Hopefully, it’ll be smooth sailing all throughout the shoot and the post-prod. We are all waiting for the showing of “Citizen Jake.” A Mike de Leon film is always an event, a celebration.

FILMOGRAPHY – Mike’s filmography is, indeed, impressive.

Think of “Itim,” “Sister Stella L,” “Batch ’81,” “Kisapmata,” “Kakabakaba Ka Ba,” “Kung Mangarap Ka’t Magising,” “Hindi Nahahati ang Langit,” and his last film “Bayaning 3rd World” (circa 2000).

Mike also directed an episode of “Southern Winds” (an ASEAN project) and the video flick “Bilanggo sa Dilim.”

The stunning photography of Lino Brocka’s “Maynila: Sa Mga Kuko ng Liwanag” is courtesy of Mike, who studied cinema in Germany.

NATIONAL ARTIST – Mike’s been called “National Artist in waiting,” which he frowns upon. Not interested. A few years back, he was supposed to receive the Natatanging Gawad Urian. He angrily rejected the prestigious award, then saying he was already retired from moviemaking.

Mike’s unpredictable. Perhaps by this time he’s already amenable to be named National Artist and be in the company of Gerry de Leon, Bert Avellana, Eddie Romero, Manuel Conde, Lino Brocka, and Ishmael Bernal.

NOT THE LAST – And, yes, hopefully “Citizen Jake” isn’t his last movie.

Last year, Mike offered Vilma Santos an epic on the Buencamino-De Leon clan, saying it was his swan song. But tight schedule didn’t allow Vilma to accept Mike’s offer. She was then newly elected congresswoman of Lipa City.

He opted to direct “Citizen Jake,” said to be his last.

Please reconsider, Mike! Why not also do the Vilma movie…and make it your real swan song?

He directed Vilma in “Sister Stella L.”