Chai Fonacier wants more regional stories in PH films

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 23 2023 03:43 PM

Photo from Chai Fonacier's Instagram account
Photo from Chai Fonacier's Instagram account

MANILA — Actress Chai Fonacier hopes that the Philippine film industry would invest more on stories in the regions, a report said Monday.

"I feel like we need to tell more regional stories here in the Philippines. Kailangan muna natin marinig 'yung mga kuwento ng mga kapitbahay natin sa mismong loob ng sariling barangay natin na tinatawag nating Pilipinas," Fonacier said in a report by ABS-CBN's Push.

"I always say that regional stories are very important kasi ito 'yung nagiging cultural ID natin. We can introduce ourselves to each other as neighbors. Nawawala 'yung mga stereotype na naiisip natin sa mga kapitbahay natin, 'na 'yung mga Batangueño mga ganyan-ganyan, mga Bisaya mga ganyan, mga taga-Mindanao mga war freak,' 'yung mga ganun. Nawawala 'yung mga stereotype na yan the more that we tell our stories," she added.

Fonacier, who is part of the new international film "Nocebo" with Eva Green and Mark Strong, said that telling stories from the regions will strengthen our understanding of our culture. 

"The more stories that we tell about ourselves, the more na naiintindihan natin ang isa’t isa. And the more na naiintindihan natin ang mga sarili natin as a unit, as regions, as neighbors. And ultimately, as a diverse country. And then eventually, we have a real appreciation for what diversity means, na hindi lang siya sinasabi tuwing Buwan ng Wika. Hindi ba? Na 'pag sinabing diversity, magkakaiba talaga tayo pero we can live together," the actress said.

"And we can appreciate each other and we can understand the plight of our neighbors. And hindi tayo separate from the plight. Their plight is our plight kasi nasa isang barangay tayong lahat, di ba?" she added.

The actress also share her experience working on "Nocebo": "I have a UK agent. Actually, si Eva was the one who referred me to her agent. So I'm under their agency now, ganun. We don't have projects yet. Well, I've been auditioning for the last year. They would give me auditions but I'm hoping na at some point [makuha]. Audition lang nang audition, you never know."

"Kinabahan ako nang bongga. When I got there, just to be in the same room with Mark Strong and Eva Green, parang nakakalimutan ko na parte pala ako ng eksena. Kunyari nagre-rehearse kami, tapos eeksena na sila. Nanonood na ako tapos kailangan pala pumasok na ako. Alam mo 'yung ganun? You can't help it," Fonacier said.

"It's a joy to watch them work, you know. Ang ganda ng mga ideas nila, mga choices nila, ang ganda ng mga tina-try nila. Tapos ang ganda nung feeling na makita mo ang isang Eva Green. Pag off cam siya nasa tabi lang siya," she added.

"Pero pag nag-on cam na, sakop niya yung buong kuwarto, buong location. As in 'yung presence niya kaya niyang kontrolin. Puwede niyang paliitin 'yung presence niya, puwede din niya palakihin 'pag kailangan.”

Fonacier is now working on a Malaysian film titled "Franklin": "Hindi ako nagbabasa ng reviews eh kasi wala, medyo kinakabahan. Ang gusto ko is sana magustuhan siya ng mga tao at the end of the day. And I don't know if it's directly because of Nocebo but this year I had a Malaysian film. 

"We went to Malaysia last June. The film is called 'Franklin.' I think nag-screen na siya in some film festivals. 'Franklin' is a series of short films na shinoot sa iba't ibang countries. So kami 'yung nasa Philippine side of the story. Pero Malaysia ang setting nung kuwento, mga Filipinos in Malaysia kumbaga. We shot in Malaysia. We went to Kuala Lumpur," she said. 

"My role there is a prostitute who helps out the main character na napadpad doon by some twist of fate. And ang background din ng character niya is that she is actually part of the local mafia. Interesting din siya in a way."

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