Heneral Luna Special Advanced Screening Comes to Cebu City
Photo by Gifthir Lemuel Elmido
Heneral Luna, one of this year’s most anticipated historical movies, held its regional advanced screening in Cebu City last July 29 at the Marcelo Fernan Press Center.
Directed by Jerrold Tarog and produced by Artikulo Uno Production, the film follows the story of General Antonio Luna as he leads the Revolutionary Army of President Emilio Aguinaldo during the Philippine-American War. The generals were portrayed by John Arcilla (Antonio Luna), together with several other noted actors: Mon Confiado (Emilio Aguinaldo), Epy Quizon (Apolinario Mabini), Leo Martinez (Pedro Paterno), Alex Medina (Capt. Jose Bernal) and Paulo Avelino (Gregorio del Pilar).
The Cebu leg of the special screening was spearheaded by Dakila, a collective for modern heroism, and was co-presented by the Cebu City Youth Movement (CCYM) and Young Heroes of Cebu.
To formally start the event, CCYM President Atty. Mikel Rama gave a welcome speech challenging the youth to “do the right thing. Don’t show fear. Don’t waver. Don’t ask for thanks. You don’t have to be called a hero to be one.” Also present at the venue were director Jerrold Tarog and actor Archie Alemania. According to Tarog, “We are hoping it’s a film that will inspire questions about cultural growth and true nationhood.” He also expressed fondness in Cebu as his first movie, Confessional, was shot in the Province.
According to Archie Alemania, the actor who portrayed Capt. Eduardo Rusca, making the film was neither fast nor easy. “The script was 17 years old, and it took us three months to film and five months for post-production,” Alemania said. When asked how the actors were cast, he shared that “no actor was handpicked for this event because everyone applied for a role.” He also stated that Heneral Luna is one of the most memorable projects he has been part of, as the actors were given freedom in acting out their characters.
Cebu was chosen for the screening in part due to its heritage and relevance to the film’s subject matter. Danielle de los Reyes, Managing Director of Dakila Cebu, cited the province as a land of heroic people. “Cebu had a long history of fighting colonizers and oppressors – from homegrown heroes like Lapu-Lapu and Leon Kilat.” De los Reyes believes that the people present during the screening will be able to identify with the story of Heneral Luna’s heroism and how it relates to the rich history of Cebu’s struggle for liberation from colonizers.
After Cebu, the special advanced screening will continue on Aug. 6 in Cagayan de Oro City, Aug. 17 in Baguio City, and Aug. 21 in Iloilo City. Heneral Luna opens in theaters nationwide on Sept. 9, 2015.