As much as they wanted to grace the 2021 British Film Institute (BFI) London Film Festival, internationally acclaimed filmmaker Lav Diaz and actor John Lloyd Cruz decided not only because of the raging COVID-19 pandemic but more so, the health protocols in the Philippines and London that come with it.
Lav’s latest outing, “Historya ni Ha (History of Ha)” which stars John Lloyd as Ha is slated to compete in the 65th edition of the prestigious world film event.
“Mahirap po (It’s hard),” said Hazel Orencio, one of the actresses of the film and Sine Olivia Pilipinas’ spokesperson.
“Kasi po, matagal din ang quarantine. Ilang araw din dito sa Pilipinas at ten days din pagdating sa London (It’s because the quarantine periods are quite long here in the Philippines and another ten days spent in isolation in London),” added Hazel who conducted an online get-together of most of the cast of the film headed by John Lloyd with Mae Paner, also known as Juana Change, Teroy Guzman, Dolly de Leon, Earl Ignacio, Jonathan O. Francisco, among others.
The whole ensemble had enjoyed shooting the film however tedious trips to its locations were in several islands of Palawan.
“Marami kaming hindi makakalimutang karanasan dito. ‘Yong biyahe, ang lalayo pero masaya at (There are many unforgettable experiences in doing this movie. The travels were far and wide but) fulfilling,” informed Orencio.
“Historya ni Ha” is about a ventriloquist named Hernando Alamada who staged the performances of his puppet Ha in the 1950s when all his sentiments and views on life are articulated by the dummy.
According to Hazel, “Historya ni Ha” was supposed to screen at the Locarno International Film Festival in Switzerland last year but the owners of the fest had changed so the film’s inclusion to the annual event was altered.
Locarno’s loss is BFI’s gain.
BFI London Film Festival runs from October 6-17, 2021.