I America starring Bela Padilla Opens in Cinemas September 21
Bela Padilla is surely has a lot of things to be thankful for even though the year is about to end since she has been given fruitful projects this year and notable roles as well making her one of the most sought after actress.
Even though Bela has done several Teleseryes and has appeared in several mainstream movies, she has been dreaming of starring in her very own indie film. Bela narrated that when she was still in GMA Network, Bela auditioned for any movie in Cinemalaya.
“Siguro walang character na pwede para sa akin na medyo tisay. ’Di ba, most indie films nagpo-focus on real life of Filipinos? Parang sa kulay ko po parang nahirapan po ako,” she said. Adding that it has been one of her bucket list.
Fast forward to 2016, Bela Padilla landed on her role as Erica in “I America,” a Cinemalaya 2016 entry now for regular theater run.
No wonder that being selected by director Ivan Andrew Payawal to portray a so-called jologs Amerasian in “I America” is a dream come true for her.
Bela shared how she prepared to play Erica Berry, a girl eager to meet her long-lost American father. Bela said that when the role was offered to her, she instantly said YES and she also loved the role. She eagerly went to their location so that she can immerse with the people and can perfectly portray her role.
Bela even shared how wonderful it is to worked with one of the vetran and top actress in the country, Ms. Elizabeth Oropesa. “Napakasarap, napaka-generous niyang artista. Si Tita Elizabeth ay nakatrabaho ko po sa ‘Felix Manalo.’ Eight months kaming nagkasama. Marami siyang tips sa akin, maraming kuwento ng pagiging artista niya so naa-amaze ako na gusto niyang i-share sa akin ’yon kasi ’yung ibang artista imbes na makipagkuwentuhan ay itutulog na lang. Minsan ang artista kanya-kanya. So natuwa ako na ang dami niyang stories na natutunan ko rin. Pagdating ng ‘I America’ ay relaxed na relaxed na ako sa kanya,” Bela shared.
Bela described the movie as some sort of advocacy film. “Ito (‘I America’), gusto namin matulungan ’yung mga nawawalan ng identity, particularly ’yung mga Amerasians.”
Director Ivan also believes many can relate to stories about self-discovery, which is what their movie is about. Direk Ivan shared that he really felt that the role was meant for Blea and nobody else which is why when they offered the role to her, they kept praying and hoping that she would accept it. The story is an eye opener to everyone and we can all learn from the story itself.
“It’s an everyday struggle to know who we really are, but a fulfilling journey nonetheless. ‘I America’ definitely explores the lives of our Amerasian brothers and sisters and how they cope living without knowing who their fathers are. I arrived at a realization that somehow, regardless of gender, race, skin color… as long as you know who you are and learn to accept yourself, then life would be so much easier to endure,” he said.
Produced by The Idea First Company and Eight Films, and distributed by VIVA Films, “I America” opens in cinemas on September 21.
Watch the Presscon here:
Watch the trailer of I America here: