Earlier this year, On The Job or OTJ for short; brought back the Philippine action genre in our local cinemas. Star Cinema releases a new action movie as an entry for the Metro Manila Film Festival.
Saka Saka stars Ejay Falcon in his first action movie and indie movie actor Joseph Marco and directed by Toto Natividad. During his debut from a popular reality series, Ejay always wanted to become an action star. He even knows the previous work of Direk Toto.
After appearing in love team roles, Ejay was given a break for the action genre in the series, Dugong Buhay, also directed by Toto Natividad. Thanks to the workshops. Ejay was the first choice for Saka Saka. I saw Ejay's potential to be the next action star, says Direk Toto.
I created this story ten years ago says the director. When Star Cinema was looking for a new action movie, I showed them the script and they agreed. Saka Saka is a Northern(Luzon) term for assassins. Politics in the provinces is dictated with power struggle. Some of the lords in the provinces have saka saka in their employ to do the deed.
I am not afraid to reveal this because it is no secret, says Natividad. The reason why they are called saka saka because when they have no target person/s, they are doing farming errands on their land which was given to them as rewards for the deeds. In this movie, I am not saying judging them right or wrong but only humanizing them.
Just like me, Ejay Falcon grew up watching local action movies especially FPJ. When I ask him about doing stunts, he prefers he is the one doing it and he was willing. There is one scene where he was running across the rooftops of houses. They shot on location mostly in Rizal. I also ask what project he prefers to do: Love teams or action? He immediately answered action. He adds, he can do even without a leading lady.
During my talk with Direk Toto, we were discussing the future of action movies in the Philippines. He shared with me that he was also involve in shooting Missing In Action trilogy starring Chuck Norris that was shot entirely here in the Philippines. Saka Saka serves as a testing market for action movies. Star Cinemas first movie was action.
If Hong Kong movies are also gaining international recognition, why not ours especially when Natividad already had Hollywood credentials during Missing In Action. I remember recognizing scenes done in Luneta Hotel and National Library which was set up as an American Embassy during the evacuation of American forces in Saigon.
|The author with Ejay Falcon and director Toto Natividad. Thanks to Stanley Briz for the photo|
Saka Saka is one of the entries in this year's Metro Manila Film Fest that is new. It will be shown in advance exclusively in selected cinemas from December 18 to 24. Saka Saka is released and distributed by Star Cinema.