LEAD ROLES – It’s wonderful to hear that two very fine character actors – Sid Lucero and Nonie Buencamino – topbill a much awaited crime thriller based on the acclaimed book of F.H. Batacan. Yes, they play the lead roles in “Smaller and Smaller Circles,” directed by award-winning Raya Martin.
It tells the story of Father Gus Saenz (Nonie) and Father Jerome Lucero (Sid), two Jesuit priests tasked to solve the murder of young boys whose were eviscerated and thrown in the teeming slums of Payatas. To solve the murders, they have to explore the cramped urban landscape of 1990s Manila – a trap where there is no way out for a killer and his victims.
“Smaller and Smaller Circles” was written in 1997, but the themes and images from the book are eerily relevant today, notes producer and writer Ria Limjap, alluding to recent events that involved the series of deaths of young boys around Metro Manila.
Incidentally, both Sid and Nonie studied in a Jesuit school, Ateneo de Manila.
CO-STARS – Leading the list of co-stars are Carla Humphries and Bembol Roco. They assist in solving the grisly murders.
Carla plays the journalist Joanna Bonifacio in a breakthrough performance, the best in her short showbiz career.
Bembol is Francisco Lastimosa, the director of the National Bureau of Investigation.
Completing the film’s stellar cast are some of the biggest and most celebrated names in the industry: Christopher de Leon, Ricky Davao, TJ Trinidad, Raffy Tejada, Jess Mendoza, Gladys Reyes, Junjun Quintana, Alex Medina, Cholo Barretto, Ross Pesigan, Tessie Tomas, and the late Joy Viado.
EXCITEMENT – The film recently made its world premiere at the 22nd Busan International Film Festival, where it was nominated for the inaugural Kim Ji-seok Award. Despite international attention, Martin believes that nothing beats the excitement of bringing “a great story to the Filipino people”.
He adds, “Watching the audience with so much excitement and having an active conversation about the story and what they’ve just seen is an experience I’m looking forward to because ‘Smaller and Smaller Circles’ is a story that has an important dialogue that needs to happen in crucial times like today”.
“Smaller and Smaller Circles” is produced by TBA Studios, the indie outfit behind acclaimed films such as “Heneral Luna,” “Sunday Beauty Queen,” “Bliss,” and “Birdshot.” It is distributed by Columbia Pictures.
“Smaller and Smaller Circles” is Graded A by the Cinema Evaluation Board. It opens in cinemas nationwide on Dec. 6.