TFC News

How a Filipino horror film landed an Amazon distribution deal

Yong Chavez | TFC News Hollywood

Posted at Feb 02 2023 09:20 AM

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Before 'In My Mother's Skin' even made its sold-out premiere at the recently concluded Sundance Film Festival, it already secured a highly-desired global distribution deal through Amazon Prime Video.

Jasmine Curtis-Smith, Kenneth Dagatan, Beauty Gonzalez
(L-R) Jasmine Curtis-Smith, Kenneth Dagatan, Beauty Gonzalez at the "In My Mother's Skin" Sundance premiere red-carpet.

Writer-director Kenneth Dagatan said it was fellow filmmaker Quark Henares who brought the deal to Amazon.

"I met Quark and we gave him a screener and he really liked it and he was the one who gave the film to Amazon because he’s working with Amazon now," Dagatan said. "Sobrang saya lang namin na kinuha ng Amazon dahil just before going here, na-acquire na siya so wala ng pressure."

Dagatan's first movie 'Ma' came out in 2018 and tells the story of a young boy who sells his soul to bring his dead mother back to life. It was shown on ABS-CBN's streaming platform, iWantTFC.

Kenneth Dagatan, Jasmine Curtis-Smith at Sundance. Photo credit:
Kenneth Dagatan and Jasmine Curtis-Smith at Sundance

Meanwhile, for actress Jasmine Curtis-Smith, playing the mysterious fairy was an interesting challenge.

"The fact that hindi tao ang ipo-portray ko, that’s what made me wanna take on this role and really find a way to fulfill it so that the horror and I guess the illusion of it all works. And that's something that I'm always so curious about kasi sanay ako to play regular people with certain jobs and different social classes but this is not relying on that," Curtis-Smith shared.

"So you gotta be in your head and figure out to make sure what the director is trying to say comes through, so watching this first film helped a lot."

Photo credit: In My Mother's Skin
In My Mother's Skin

Beauty Gonzalez plays Ligaya, the titular mother whose deteriorating condition and her loved ones' desire to find a cure resulted in horrific circumstances.

"It showcased the Filipino folklore and we have a lot of folklore stories back in the country so it's nice to share our thoughts about it. It was so fun to be working with a Filipino na Cebuano kasi not a lot of directors na Cebuano din and I'm so proud of him kasi syempre pag Bisaya, kakampi kami lahat and ang sarap ng katrabaho ng Bisaya kasi sa set puro Bisaya kami," Gonzales said.

'In My Mother's Skin' was the only non-english film that played in Sundance Film Fest's midnight lineup. It will premiere on Amazon Prime Video towards the end of the year.