MANILA -- After the successful run of “Dito at Doon,” JC Santos is training his sights on another meaty role as a show promoter in the Middle East.
Billed “The Eventologist,” the project draws inspiration from the true-to-life experience of a Filipino promoter based in Doha, Qatar who lived through the boom and bust of show business in Qatar.
It’s an inspiring story, Santos said in an interview shared with ABS-CBN News by his director-screenwriter Oscar Yema, a former Philippines TV news and public affairs producer who has worked for many years in Qatar.
“I love doing documentary movies. Gets ko na agad kung saan ito pupunta in the context of a Pinoy caught in the events in Qatar. It’s a story of redemption,” Santos said, comparing the theme of “The Eventologist” with the “The Big Short,” the 2015 Oscar-winning film adaptation of author Michael Lewis’s book about the success and struggle of financial professionals in the collapse of the US housing market in the mid-2000s.
Based on Yema’s production notes, Santos will portray the the role of Steven Lucas, an ambitious OFW who moves in the high-profile world of shows in Qatar as an “eventologist.” After a string of sold-out shows headlined by the biggest Pinoy celebrity A-listers, Steven goes through a series of misfortunes ultimately leading to his depression and illness.
As he regains his strength, Steven mounts a comeback through a documentary-drama film featuring real footage, behind-the-scenes clips of his shows which mirror his struggles in one of the richest lands in the world.
Lending more levity to the movie is the collaboration of Yeng Constantino and veteran songwriter Vehnee Saturno for the theme song of the film entitled “Hamon Ng Mundo.” With her pop rock singing style, Saturno trusts that Constantino will render a stirring interpretation of his composition. Both Constantino and Saturno had worked with Yema in Qatar.
Saturno said he drew inspiration from the intense true-to-life stories of OFWs and other people he knows for several lyrics of “Hamon Ng Mundo” which go:
“Sadyang 'di mo alam ang daang patutunguhan
Ang tama at dapat gawin ay laging lumaban
ito ay minsan lang
Ang hamon ng mundo ay huwag tatakasan
At hindi mo makikita kung ano ang dulo
Kung hindi mo susubukan bawat hamon sa 'yo”
Santos also regards “The Eventologist” as a personal project since his parents had been OFWs and he himself worked abroad as a singer-dancer.
“Familiar ako sa kuwento ng mga OFW. Nagtrabaho sa Las Vegas ang nanay ko. Seaman naman ang tatay ko," he recalled. “Pinagpatuloy ko 'yung pagiging OFW nila nung nagtrabaho ako sa Hong Kong Disneyland at Universal Studios Singapore.”
Santos will spend several weeks in Qatar for the principal photography of “The Eventologist” which will have an international release.