MANILA — Loisa Andalio and Coleen Garcia will be first-time co-stars in a film about esports to be helmed by acclaimed director Mikhail Red, according to Variety.
In "Friendly Fire," Garcia portrays a visionary CEO, Sonya, who aims to put Philippine esports on the map, while Andalio plays Hazel, a player whom the woman executive recruits and trains after randomly meeting her at an internet cafe.
Red, who is known for thrillers and horror flicks including 2022 MMFF winner "Deleter," described the new project as "something fresh and exciting."
"I like to think of it as my most wholesome project, because it's more inspirational and it's a genre I've always wanted to try – the sports movie and the underdog sports story," the filmmaker told Variety.
"Esports is becoming quite big, especially in the Philippines, and there's this stigma and the lack of support. It's very new and it's something that a lot of people still don't understand. It's just interesting to follow the lives of these esports athletes who are handicapped in terms of resources, support, and even internet speed and lag," he said.
Red likened "Friendly Fire" to a "classic boxing story" that will have a "rags-to-riches career fantasy journey."
The film will be produced by Ten17p, which also helped Red bring to life the crime thriller "Arisaka" starring Maja Salvador in 2021.
"Friendly Fire" is apart from Red's expansive lineup of films under Evolve Studios, his joint venture with "Deleter" producer Viva Films, according to Variety.
Viva Films and Red previously announced that among Evolve Studios' first offerings is the horror film "Nokturno," which will mark the director's second collaboration with Nadine Lustre after "Deleter."
"Helel," described as a "sci-fi spiritual horror film" about a Filipina astronaut, is also in the pipeline at Evolve Studios. Its lead star has yet to be announced.