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Atayde returns home after Cannes acknowledged Filipino film ‘Topakk’

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A FEW days after his film was respectfully acknowledged in Cannes’ Marché du Film for the first time in France, veteran young actor Juan Carlos “Arjo” Atayde returned home on Thursday to the Philippines with some good news to the entire local film aficionados.

Atayde, also the Quezon City first district congressman, believes that the other Filipino movies produced by talented local moviemakers will soon level up with the other foreign movies worldwide after seeing his movie — “Topakk” (Trigger) — made it to the grandest international festival’s Fantastic Pavillon.

“It’s also our first time watching the movie and we’re excited just like you are,” Atayde said during a short speech after watching his film Topakk (Trigger) during the premier gala screening last May 18 at the Olympia Theater. “It’s really been a journey shooting this film.”

Topakk, an action-drama film of a security guard played by Atayde who suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), was directed by Richard Somes.

Also starring Julia Montes, Topakk was the first only Filipino film to qualify under the genre category of the fantastic pavilion of Cannes.

“Definitely we’re leveling up the action films of the Philippines, and leveling up with the other countries as well, and practically we are pushing Filipino talents out there, as much as other countries are as well. Definitely, this is something different to cater to different people.”

Topakk (Trigger), under Nathan Studios Inc. and supported by Canadian-based production company Raven Banner Entertainment, is now being picked up for Hollywood global sales and film market distribution all over the world, especially in the European sides.

“Topakk will be translated in all the countries buying them. They will be sold to all the countries that want the movies. We’re targeting over 100 countries,” Atayde, the Vice Chairperson of the Creative Industry and Performing Arts committee in the House of Representatives, added.

Atayde, sister Ria, and fellow actor Enchong Dee have also returned to the country.

Special Program in Creative Arts Act

While Topakk has already reached greater heights in the international films as the first genre action film from the Philippines, Atayde praised the recent passage of the Special Program in the Creative Arts Act on the third reading at the House of Representatives.

“The proposed law will give more young filmmakers and artists a chance to be featured in international festivals,” Atayde, one of the principal authors of the bill, said, referring to the House Bill 7540.

“Institutionalizing a Special Program in the Creative Arts (SPCA) for senior high school students will strengthen the reputation of Filipinos as world-class talents in the creative industry as our students will be honed in their craft at a young age.”

Students, Atayde said, shall be trained under a special curriculum oriented in the fields of architecture and allied arts, cinema, dance, dramatic arts, literary arts, music, visual arts, design, digital fabrication and new media.


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