Breakaway Red Carpet Premiere at the Newport Beach Film Festival 2013
Filmed within eleven days, Breakaway makes waves at this year’s Newport Beach Film Festival. Award-winning Indie film Breakaway (original title Alagwa), directed by Ian Loreños, returns for its second U.S. film festival appearance. It stars Jericho Rosales and Bugoy Cariño.
The film debuted at the Palm Springs International Film Festival last January. On April 28, Power ng Pinoy was invited to the red carpet premiere at the Newport Beach Film Festival. Jericho Rosales, Ian Loreños, and the cast of web series One Warm Night graced the red carpet at The Triangle Cinema in Costa Mesa, California.
Jericho Rosales won his first international acting award for Subject: I Love You at the Newport Beach Film Festival in 2011. And this year, he won Outstanding Achievement Award in Acting for the second time.
In Breakaway, Jericho Rosales plays a single father, Robert Lim, searching for his son Brian played by Bugoy Cariño. Writer and director Ian Loreños creatively based the film on an urban legend to draw attention to one of the Philippines’ leading problems – human trafficking.
After the showing, Rosales and Loreños entertained questions from the audience. During this portion, we found out it took only eleven days to film Breakaway. The cast and crew spent eight days filming in the Philippines and three days in Hong Kong. As for the research, Loreños said they talked to anti-human trafficking organizations. He made the conscious effort to create fictitious characters in order to avoid making mistakes with the facts.
During the meet and greet, I had a chance to speak with director Ian Loreños. According to Loreños, who recently won Best Indie Director at the 29th Philippine Movie Press Club (PMPC) Star Awards, this is only his second feature film and considers it his baby. “Every time I make movies, I try to make sure there’s something new about it,” says Loreños. From romantic drama, the award-winning director transitioned to thriller to create Breakaway. He said the story about an abducted Filipino-Chinese boy who was found as a blind beggar in the streets of Hong Kong inspired him to write the story. “All these stories I’ve heard from friends, relatives, and urban legends. I tried to create a story from there,” he says. As to why he decided to create the film, Loreños told me, “I wanted to share something about the Philippines. We have a problem. And film is one of the most powerful media. I wanted the people to see this reality in the Philippines.” And he did just that.
I bumped into One Warm Night actors Justin Lee and Sean Michael Afable shortly after the showing. Justin Lee, who is famous for playing Annyong Bluth in the recently revived television series Arrested Development, talked to me about how essential it was to be aware of issues such as human trafficking. “It is important to educate yourself,” he says. Filipino-American actor and Power ng Pinoy Season 2 guest, Sean Michael Afable, on the other hand says,
“Unfortunately it is something that does not just happen in the Philippines; it happens around the world. It is important for us to support these organizations that help face these problems.”
It is no wonder Jericho Rosales immediately said yes as soon as he got the script. “When we started shooting, I was exposed to human trafficking. And I said, this film had the potential in helping people,” says Rosales during the meet and greet. Because of the film, he was introduced to different organizations such as Call To Rescue and USAID. He was even asked to participate in one of the tasks where they create scenes to capture criminals in real life. He was grateful for being offered the opportunity to do this, but he had to decline because of his popular stature. “Now I’m in that circle where people help people. And I guess this really proves that I’m an actor because there’s a purpose to it. I think God really placed me here because something must be done. It opened my eyes to the real problem. It’s a great feeling to be able to help in our own little way.”
In the midst of the fan frenzy, Jericho Rosales was gracious to grant me a quick one-on-one interview. I asked him why it was important for him to accept this role. He answered, “I think it’s a good opportunity for an actor like me. It has a great story, a great message, there’s an advocacy to it. And these are the kinds of film I want to do. This is a great film by Ian Loreños, and I’m encouraging everyone to watch it, to tell their friends about it, and be a part of this beautiful experience and advocacy.”
Ian Loreños and Jericho Rosales created Breakaway to increase awareness that human trafficking is real, and it needs to be addressed. Rosales insisted that this film is not meant to scare people. Instead, it is meant to provide people the opportunity to empower themselves in solving this bleak reality.
(Alyssa is a Power ng Pinoy segment host and writer. You can visit Alyssa’s personal blog globalyssation.blogspot.com for updates. For information about Power ng Pinoy TV show, please visit http://www.powerngpinoy.tv)
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