LONDON - The critically acclaimed film "Bhoy Instik" by director Joel Lamangan was showcased at the London East Asia Film Festival 2017.
It was the only Filipino film chosen for the festival, along with other entries from 10 Southeast Asian countries. The festival aims to show a "wider, eclectic and diverse" selection of films in the region.
The movie, starring Raymond "RS" Francisco, Ronwaldo Martin, Jeric Raval, Elora Espano and a host of talented actors, is about two small-time felons and hustler, Bhoy Intsik and Marlon, who crossed paths and forged an uncanny friendship.
Francisco represented the film in the festival and answered the post-screening Q and A from the moviegoers at the Odeon Tottenham Court Road.
“Ito ang first international circuit ng 'Bhoy Instik.' 'Yung mga Filipinos na nanood, nakita nila 'yung Pilipinas, wow ang ganda to watch ang Filipino film again. Pero 'yung ibang Brits, foreigners, saw a different side of the Philippines,” explained Francisco on how the film was received during the screening.
The film is the first starring role of Francisco, a seasoned theatre, television and film actor. He vividly recalled how the role was offered to him by master director Lamangan.
“Sanay lang ako sa support. Nagulat ako when Direk Joel wanted to meet up with me. He told me the story about Bhoy Intsik and all that. Sabi ko, nice. Saan ako dyan? Then he said, ikaw si Bhoy Intsik. Sabi ko, di ba lead yun? Support lang ako, direk. He said, when I read the script, ikaw ang nakikita ko,” he said.
The film already won Francisco the best actor trophy at the Sinag Maynila Film Festival held in March. The recognition means a lot to him.
“I was acting ever since I was young in theater. I was acting since I was 6 or 7 years old and that was the first time I got validated as an actor,” narrated Francisco.
Francisco said the movie has a theme that struck a chord in him.
“It’s about friendship, sacrifice. It’s not your typical LGBT film. The movie brings you in a roller coaster of emotions,” said Francisco.
The movie is aiming for a commercial release in the Philippines by mid next year, after doing a couple more rounds of international film festivals in Europe and the US.