Di ka ba kinabahan kasi may mga endorsements ka rin?” A member of the press asked me this at the Cinema One Originals 2016 Film Festival press conference. Let’s allow that to sink in. I was asked if I was afraid to take on a lesbian role because of my endorsements. This is how the majority may possibly already see the LGBT community — as something not to highlight in the community because it’s taboo. Unusual. Different. Or simply, something they don’t fully comprehend.
Just like parties aren’t your usual locations for business proposals, just like lesbians aren’t your usual choice of main characters in a film. And that’s how it all started. Say hello to my newest film: #BakaBukas. The story revolves around Alex (played by yours truly) who falls in love with her best friend, Jess (played by Louise Delos Reyes).
So, what happens nga ba talaga when you fall in love with your best friend? I don’t really know, but our director Samantha Lee does and it’s through this film where I understood exactly just that. Masakit pala.It’s also quite taunting and gives you a little bit of anxiety — like when you don’t know if it is okay to fall in love with that person. Direk Sam gave me a wonderful script that would have been unthinkable to pass up on, so we both worked together to make our visions work. She may be new to full-length narratives but she definitely has the spark for it.
JASMINE CURTIS-SMITH: How long did it take for you to write the script for Baka Bukas?
SAMANTHA LEE: It took me around 10 days to do the first pass I think. I remember I had to get it done before flying out to Melbourne so I was in a coffee shop every day just writing.
Other than giving a different perspective of the LGBT community, what else would you hope the viewers could take away from the movie?
A lesson you may have learned or a pain unknown to some? (Ouch.) Ikaw, Jasmine, did you learn any lessons?
Listen to your director.
It’s funny because doing this film helped me process a lot of things that happened to me three or so years ago. Like everyone’s pain is valid, even if it’s not on the same level as yours. And sacrifice comes with resentment, even if it was your choice in the first place. Did you find it weird that you could relate to my pain?