Director Joel Lamangan recalls heated discussions with MTRCB over controversial gay flick ‘My Father, Myself’

Published November 24, 2022, 10:56 PM

by Robert Requintina

“My Father, Myself,” the latest masterpiece by award-winning Filipino director Joel Lamangan, is generating a lot of buzz on the internet.

But before moviegoers could judge the controversial entry in this year’s Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF), Lamangan encouraged them to watch the movie first.

“See the movie first before you judge it. There was no intention to offend anyone in any way. We just wanted to tell a story. A different kind of love. A colorful life of a family,” the director said, during the grand media conference for his latest flick, held at the Novotel Manila in Araneta City last Nov. 24.

At the same presscon, Lamangan recalled how he fought for R-16 classification of his latest movie with the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) but ended up receiving R-18 rating. This means that “My Father, Myself” is suitable for viewers 18 years old and above.

“Nagtalakan kami. Sa huli natalo ako. Sila ang nanalo. Umuwi akong talo. Akin na lamang tinanggap na R-18 talaga siya. Hindi ako nakalusot sa aking pagpapaliwanag. ‘Yun naman ay healthy dahil kailangan talagang tumayo ng MTRCB sa kanilang pinaniniwalaan. Hindi maganda ang MTRCB kung hindi maintindihan ang kanilang pinaniniwalaan. Dahil naniniwala sila na ito ay R-18, sila ang masusunod. Sila naman ang police ng state upang kontrolin ang lahat ng napapanood ng tao. Wala akong magawa kundi lunukin ko ang pagkatalo ko,” said Lamangan. “Pero hindi ako umuwi ng luhaan. Pinalakpakan nga nila ako eh. Pero talo pa nga rin ako dahil ito ay R-18.” 

(We got into a heated discussion. In the end I lost. They won. I went home defeated. I just accepted that he was really R-18. I didn’t get through with my explanation. That is healthy because the MTRCB really needs to stand up for what they believe. MTRCB is not good if what they believe is not understood. Since they believe it is R-18, then so be it. I can’t do anything but swallow my defeat,” said Lamangan. “But I didn’t go home in tears. They applauded me. But I still lost because it was an R-18.)

Jake Cuenca (Instagram)

Lamangan believes he holds the record for the Filipino director with the most number of MMFF entries in the history of the local filmfest, adding that this is the first time he received an MMFF R-18 entry for his movie.

“Eto lang ang masasabi ko. Ako ang may pinakamaraming MMFF na pelikula sa kasaysayan. Ito ang kauna-unahan kong MMFF na R-18. Napakagandang karanasan kasi first time,” he added. “Kaya isang malaking karangalan na ako ay R-18. Marami naman sinehan kung hindi puwede sa iba.”

(This is all I can say. I have the most MMFF films in history. This is my first MMFF R-18. It was a great experience because it was the first time. So it is a great honor that I am R-18. There are many cinemas if others can’t do it.)

“My Father, Myself” tells the story of a married man named Robert (Jake Cuenca) who develops an intimate relationship with his adopted son Matthew (Sean De Guzman).

Asked how he treated the film with a sensitive theme, Lamangan said: “Inatake ko ito sa paraang kaaya-aya. Dapat mahusay, dapat maganda, dapat panoorin lahat ng tao dahil may magandang aral na binibigay ang storya natin.” 

(I attacked it in a pleasant way. It should be great, it should be beautiful, everyone should watch it because our story has a good lesson.)

Joel Lamangan (Facebook)
  • Lamangan, Cuenca get praises

This early, many movie fans believe that Cuenca could be a top contender for the best actor award in this year’s MMFF.

“Ang laking bagay na pinupuri ako ni Direk Joel kasi sa tutoo lang hindi pa ako handang magtrabaho. I wasn’t ready to work yet. But then rather na matakot, buong puso ko syang tinanggap. I needed it in my life at that time. So pagkatapos ng lahat ng nangyari ng pandemya na ito, makarinig lang ako ng puri sa inyo, malaking bagay na sa akin, panalo na po ako roon,” said Cuenca, who was emotional, during the press conference.

(It’s a big deal that I get praises from Director Joel because in truth I am not ready to work yet. I wasn’t ready to work yet. But then rather than being afraid, I accepted it with all my heart. I needed it in my life at that time. So after everything that happened with this pandemic, just to hear praise from you, it’s a big deal for me, I’m already a winner there.)

Cuenca added: “I take that with the highest honor. I really look up to Direk Joel at talagang nirerespeto ko sa industriya yan. For me to do a role like this dapat buo rin ang tiwala ko sa director. Walang takot na ginawa ni Direk Joel ang pelikulang ito. This is something I’m really proud of kasi it’s a big challenge for all of us. Hindi madali yung pelikula. It’s worth doing this, moving outside of your comfort zone. To be honest, ito rin naman talaga ang dahilan kung bakit ako artista at na-challenge ako ng ganito.”

Sean De Guzman (Facebook)

Dimples Romana, one of the stars of the movie, was thankful for her training under the tutelage of Lamangan. 

“Noon pa naman anak-anakan na ko ni Direk Joel. So everytime nagko-cross ang landas namin ni direk, I always go back to him as my mentor. Noon talaga takot na takot ako kay direk kasi he’s passionate and alam naman natin lahat yan. So kapag makakatrabaho mo siya, you just have to understand his process. So ako noong bata pa ako, nanginginig pa ako nun direk. Lagi niyang sinasabi sa akin noon ‘Dimples bakit ka ba umiiyak rehearsals pa lang?’ Sabi ko naman ‘kasi direk ayoko pong masigawan.’ But then I realized I needed that kind of training. Kasi it teaches you to be prepared. You come prepared and you never take any moment for granted. Ang tinuturo ni direk hindi lang ikaw ang star sa set na ito. This is a collaboration. So dahil yan ang training na na-input sa akin ni direk, hinahanap hanap ko yan,” Romana said.

Cuenca added: “If you’re an actor, you have to go through Joel Lamangan. It’s an experience. Hindi talaga ako na-disappoint at all kasi na-meet lahat ng expectations ko working with Joel Lamangan.”

“Agree naman ako sa sinabi ni Ate Dimples. Kay direk din po ako nag-start simula noong lockdown with ‘Macho Dancer.’ Thankful ako kay direk dahil siya ang naglaunch sa akin at siya rin ang unang nagbigay sa akin ng international award. Pag tsina-challenge ka niya, andun ang hirap, so kahit magkamali ako tuloy lang. Sobrang hands-on niya sa mga actors. Pero pantay-pantay ang tingin niya sa amin pag nasa set kami,” Sean de Guzman said.

(I agree with what Ate Dimples said. I also started with the director since the lockdown with ‘Macho Dancer.’ I am thankful to the director because he launched me and he was also the first to give me an international award. When he challenges you, it’s hard, so even if I make a mistake, I’ll keep going. He is very hands-on with the actors. But he treats the stars equally when we are on set.)

Dimples Romana (Facebook)

Written by Quinn Carillo, the movie is based on a true story. It is produced by Mentorque Entertainment and 3:16 MediaNetwork.

“This is not fiction. There was a basis where the germ of the story came from. Some may find some kind of a shock value. It’s up to the viewing public as to how they will interpret it when they see it,” Qiuinn said.

Also starring in the movie are Tiffany Grey, Allan Paule, Jim Pebanco, AC Carillo, Mon Mendoza, Shawn Nino Gabriel, Erryn Garcia, K Contreras, Rayah Minioza, and Joseph San Jose; Dennis C. Evangelista, line producer; Len Carrillo, Win Salgado, Nikko Abad, Jomer Corpuz, and John Bryan Diamante, executive producers.

“My Father, Myself” will be shown on Christmas Day.

 
CLICK HERE TO SIGN-UP
 

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE

["celebrities","entertainment","entertainment-news","movies","entertainment"]
[3138273,3144241,3144235,3144168,3144165,3144162,3144131]