Despite MMFF snub, Eugene bets 'Tuhog' to go global

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 18 2012 09:12 PM | Updated as of Oct 19 2012 07:29 PM

MANILA, Philippines -- Award-winning actress Eugene Domingo is confident that her next film can gain recognition from international award-giving bodies for its script. This, despite the project getting snubbed as an entry to the 38th Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF).

Eugene Domingo speaks to reporters after a story conference for "Tuhog" held Tuesday.

"Maganda 'yung script. It's one of the best scripts I have read in a long time," Domingo told reporters shortly after the story conference held Tuesday for her upcoming big screen outing titled "Tuhog."

Written by Ronnie Velasco and Jinky Laurel, "Tuhog" will be released under Skylight Films, a division of ABS-CBN's film production outfit Star Cinema.

Expressing confidence in Velaso and Laurel's follow-up to the comedy film "Last Supper No. 3," which won Best Film at the 2009 Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival, Domingo said: "Wala naman akong mapapala kung magloloko pa ako. Maganda talaga 'yung script. I think kung magkakaroon ng pagkakataon na maipalabas natin ito sa international film fest, malaki ang chance ng script na 'to [na manalo]."

Asked to explain the story of the film in a nutshell, Domingo instead related the lessons that can be drawn from "Tuhog."

"Ang nakaka-interes para sa lahat ng tao is ipapakita dito 'yung kahalagahan ng buhay," she said. "'Yung aksidente na ang bilis nangyayari at 'yung kwestyon na bilang tao, masarap ka ba buhayin o patayin ka nalang?"

"[Matututunan mo na] kailangan mong mabuhay bilang tao na ang araw na ito ay huling araw mo na sa mundo. Maganda siya. Lahat ng tao, kahit anong edad, lahat kayo matatamaan, lahat kayo matutuhog," she said.

"Tuhog," according to Domingo, was among the films vying for a slot in the MMFF. In June, however, the film, along with three others, were not included in the official announcement of the annual film fest's Christmas Day line-up.

Of the snub, Domingo said: "Ito sana [isasama sa MMFF], pero hindi nga nakapasok 'di ba? Pero 'you can never can tell,' ika nga."

"Maganda na naman ang mga entries, masaya. At lahat naman tayo susuporta [lalo na at] wala tayong kalabang Hollywood," said Domingo, who has been a regular presence in the annual film festival, most notably for her role in the "Tanging Ina" series of films.

Comedienne Ai-ai de las Alas, who co-starred with her in the film series, is returning to MMFF this year via "Sisteraka." The Star Cinema film will feature the team-up of de las Alas with Vice Ganda and Kris Aquino, and will be directed by Wenn V. Deramas, also of the "Tanging Ina" fame.

"Sobra [akong excited]," Domingo said of "Sisteraka." "Can you imagine, kung gaano kadagungdong ang sinehan sa tatlong malalaking artista, at si direk Wenn Deramas [pa ang mag-didirehe]. Very, very exciting. Lahat ng pelikula ng Star Cinema. Actually, lahat."

As Domingo gears up for the filming of "Tuhog," which co-stars Enchong Dee, Empress Schuck and Jake Cuenca, the award-winning comedienne said she intends to devote all her "love" to her craft for Filipino moviegoers.

Asked if she still has time for "love" amid her packed schedule, Domingo said: "'Yung pag-ibig ko ay talagang para nalang sa mga taong naghahanap ng maganda kong trabaho. 'Yun na lang. I'm so very much tied up with my work and my passion to give my audience the best entertainment they deserve."