Sunday, May 21, 2017

Young Director Prime Cruz Of Award-Winning 'Sleepless' Now Doing Three New Films Simultaneously For Regal Entertainment, Star Cinema & Viva Films

DIRECTOR PRIME CRUZ is one of the wards of IdeaFirst Production, the company of Jun Lana and Perci Intalan that gives breaks to promising young filmmakers, along with other young directors like Miko Livelo in “I Love You to Death” and Ian Payawal in “I America”. Prime was discovered when he joined Jun’s writing workshop, Cine Panulat, and his full length film debut is “Sleepless”, an entry in QCinema that won the best actor award for Dominic Roco and the NETPAC Jury Prize as best picture.

The film is a different kind of romantic-comedy about two call center agents suffering from insomnia who find companionship in their late night conversations. While the rest of the world is in slumber, they talk about love, work, zombies and everything else to combat their nocturnal sadness. Prime was born on November 8, 1987 as Primocyrius Cruz and finished communications at the Ateneo. The eldest of three kids, his family was hoping he’ll be a lawyer like his dad but he forayed into filmmaking instead.

He initially worked as brainstormer for Star Cinema, where he met his girlfriend, Jenny Chuaunsu, born on December 20, 1982, also a graduate of Ateneo majoring in creative writing. He then directed four episodes of “Parang Normal Activity” for TV5 and the award-winning short film, “Kung ang Ulan ay Gawa sa Tsokolate”, before doing “Sleepless” that premiered abroad at the Osaka International Filmfest.

“‘Sleepless’ actually started from an old script of Jenny about 8 years ago,” he says. “I’m glad I was able to help her tell the story and I really enjoyed making the film kasi the characters of Gem and Barry, kami yun, e. Yung aming own late night conversations when it’s quieter kasi tulog na ang mga tao kasi pareho kami, we have trouble falling asleep. Having two people talk and connect in this lonely setting was a central element in the film.”

Why did he include animation in the movie? “It’s a way of visualizing the trivial or silly things that the characters talk about, their way of escaping from reality that gives them a connection. Kung may budget nga kami, I would have made the special effects even more awesome.”

After this movie, Prime directed another QCinema entry, “Manananggal sa
Unit 23-B” with Ryza Cenon. He must be really that good as he now has three simultaneous film projects with top three companies: Regal Entertainment, Star Cinema, and Viva. For Regal, he’s doing a horror flick called “The Debutantes” starring newcomers like Sue Ramirez, Michelle Vito, Jane de Leon and Chanel Morales. He’s doing a romcom starring Gerald Anderson and Arci Munoz for Star, titled “”Can We Still Be Friends”. For Viva, he’s doing a project for producer Neil Arce. Don’t miss “Sleepless” when it opens in theaters on May 26 in SM Cinemas as part of the Film Development Council of the Philippines’ Cine Lokal. It will run until June 1.

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