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IdeaFirst signs up artists, directors

By: Nestor Cuartero

JUST A THOUGHT: “Life’s tragedy is that we get old too soon and wise too late.” –Benjamin Franklin

ENTERTAINMENT LANDSCAPE CHANGING: The last few years has seen drastic changes in the entertainment scene.

Indie films have suddenly assumed importance, winning awards internationally. Some have created huge impact on moviegoers, becoming big hits at the box office.

27Direk Jun & Direk Perci with IdeaFirst artists copy

The recently held first Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino reportedly finished with a gross of over 130 million pesos in just one week of showing. The report came from FDCP chair herself Liza Diño.

COMES THE IDEAFIRST COMPANY: These new developments in the indie scene have encouraged more and more mainstream actors to experiment. They have now become more open to entertaining projects from young, unknown, so-called independent filmmakers. Now comes the tandem between Jun Lana and Perci Intalan announcing that their company, IdeaFirst, is now also into talent management.

There’s a difference, though. IdeaFirst isn’t managing careers of actors only. It has signed up at least five up and coming directors, all of them below 35, to its fold.

Jun Lana (“Barbers’ Tales”) said the movie landscape is fast changing, demanding more quality in the finished product. This is why, he said, it is important that his company groomed artists – writers, directors – behind the scenes.

Greater emphasis is placed on content these days for a film to make it as a hit, Perci added. “We decided that to be able to achieve that, we must develop our own set of artists, talents to deliver the goods.’’

The couple note that it’s a brave new world out there for Philippine entertainment. With independent films becoming mainstream blockbusters and digital shows becoming talk-of-the-town hit programs, audiences are now clamoring for fresh and innovative content.

ARTISTS ARE THE STARS: “Artists are now the stars of Philippine showbiz,” says Direk Perci. “People are now buying tickets if they see that a film has a good story made by good storytellers performed by a good cast of actors and actresses.’’

“Audiences are looking for something new,” Direk Perci adds. “Even in Hollywood, you can see that fresh talent is key. There are big productions that are being helmed by relatively new directors top-billed by relatively new actors.’’

CREATIVE ARTISTS SIGNED: The IdeaFirst Company has put together an impressive roster. They include Prime Cruz (Best Director, QCinema International Film Festival for his film “Ang Manananggal sa Unit 23B”), Miko Livelo (writer-director of acclaimed comedies “Tanods,” “Blue Bustamante,” and “I Love You To Death”), Ivan Andrew Payawal (writer-director of “I America,” which competed at the 2016 Tokyo International Film Festival), Dominic Lim (writer-director whose debut feature “The Write Moment” was selected for the 2017 QCinema International Film Festival), and Sigrid Andrea P. Bernardo (writer-director of the award-winning “Ang Huling Cha-Cha ni Anita” and the highest-grossing Filipino independent film “Kita Kita”).

THE ACTORS: In the roster of performing artists of The IdeaFirst Company is Christian Bables, the breakout star of the 2016 Metro Manila Film Festival who now has Urian and MMFF Best Supporting Actor awards to his name.

Another proud addition to the IdeaFirst roster is MMFF Best Supporting Actor nominee, film and theater actor Cedrick Juan, who previously appeared in films and TV shows like “On the Wings of Love” and plays one of the leads in the 2017 QCinema entry, “The Ashes and Ghosts of Tayug 1931.”

Completing the select group is young actress Adrianna So (formerly known as Malak So) who Direk Jun describes as “an exciting and unique performer who has a look, a sense of grace and a certain mystique about her.’’