MANILA -- Filmmaker Joyce Bernal will take over "Children of the Lake," a movie about the Marawi siege, after its original director Sheron Dayoc resigned, one of its producers, actor Piolo Pascual, said on Monday.
In an interview after a media launch for his MEGA Sardines endorsement, Pascual stressed that the Marawi movie will push through.
His company, Spring Films, also released a statement saying that Bernal, who is also one of the producers, will now direct the movie.
"She's taking over. That's why we released a statement. This movie is not about us. It's about Marawi. So we don't want to talk more about the conflict. It's already been said in the statement," Pascual said.
Pascual assured that resignation of Dayoc will not affect the project.
"We've been pushing through with the project. We've been revising the scripts just to be able to cater to what we really want to showcase and what we really want to show. It's got nothing to do with our director. Schedules, script and all, logistics. And as I've said before, we were not allowed to shoot for a month because there were still IEDs that were undiscovered. So, safety-wise, we were advised by the AFP not to shoot. So, we had to wait. Good thing for us because we're working on the script. So even if our director is not with the group anymore, we never stopped. Actually in October we are shooting already," adds Pascual, who also clarified that the movie is not political.
"We are not political. That's we've been avoiding. This is not a political film not at all," he said.
The actor, however, acknowledged that there were "creative differences" with Dayoc.
"We've known it. There were creative differences. It's sad of course. But what can we do? We can not focus on that. We have to focus on the film," Pascual said.
The actor said they are hoping to release the movie next year, in time for the second anniversary of the Marawi siege.
Last week, Dayoc released a statement saying he had officially resigned from the Marawi film project.
"My professional career started and rooted in telling the narratives of the marginalized Muslim Mindanao and this project is no longer reflective of my beliefs as a Mindanao storyteller. The producers and I have totally different perspectives on how the story of Marawi should be told," Dayoc wrote.
"This isn’t a love story, horror or comedy film that I would openly compromise. This is such a sensitive subject matter and the story must be treated with prudence in respect to all the lives lost during the war in Marawi. I fought for what I believe is right on how to tell this story. I could be wrong, but I could also be right, but certainly I need to make a position and this is my stand. I wish Spring Films the best and I hope that they will make a Marawi film that is truthful and beneficial to the Marawi people, specially the victims of war," Dayoc added.