After 10 years, 'Saving Sally' comes to theaters for MMFF

Jon Carlos Rodriguez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 18 2016 06:11 PM | Updated as of Nov 18 2016 07:13 PM

Rhian Ramos and Enzo Marcos, lead actors of MMFF entry "Saving Sally." Photo from Saving Sally Facebook page

MANILA - Ten years in the making, the indie film "Saving Sally" will finally be shown in theaters for the first time as an official entry for the Metro Manila Film Festival.

"Saving Sally," a film that mixes 2D animation with live actors, is one of the eight entries that will be screened in the annual all-Filipino film festival, which opens every Christmas Day.

Here are the films competing in MMFF 2016

But unlike the other entries, "Saving Sally" has long been in the drawing board, and began shooting as early as 2005. Another entry in this year's festival, "Ang Babae sa Septic Tank 2: Forever is Not Enough," is a sequel to a film that was released in 2011.

That's how long the film's lead, Enzo Marcos, waited for a chance for the film to be shown in theaters.

After initial filming in 2005, the project came to a halt due to lack of funding. French film producer Alain de la Mata, who was impressed with the work of film director Avid Liongoren, decided to come in and help with production.

"We had to do a reshoot. We did the whole thing all over again," Marcos told ABS-CBN News.

However, the film's original "Sally," Anna Larrucea, was no longer available, which meant the crew had to find a new partner for Marcos' character. After a long audition process, a new female lead was cast in Rhian Ramos.

Photo from Saving Sally Facebook page

The crew resumed shooting scenes in 2010 on a green screen, which was later replaced with a futuristic Manila and 2D animated monsters created by Liongoren and his team of artists at Rocket Sheep.

On the film's official website, "Saving Sally" is described as a "typical teen film about love, monsters, and gadgets" -- a synopsis that remains relevant despite the decade-long wait.

"Avid worked hard on this film. He didn't take any shortcuts and he made sure he poured his soul into it," said Marcos. "Every frame, every background, every piece of art was painstakingly made. He truly deserves an audience."

Liongoren's short film "Momo," was also selected as an entry in the short film category of MMFF 2016.