When you converse with Allen Dizon, leading man of Judy Ann Santos in Brillante Mendoza’s Mindanao, he immediately strikes you as pleasant, with no air of superiority whatsoever.
As he shares his stories and points of view, you get hooked. He is no smooth talker. He does not make you bola. He speaks in the vernacular with sincerity that is why he connects. And yes, it does help that his Filipino features are easy on the eyes.
Winner of a Gawad Urian for best actor in Jason Paul Laxamana’s Magkakabaung, Dizon was victorious nine times, bringing home international best actor trophies from film festivals abroad, one of which came from the A-List Warsaw Film Festival, where he was given a special jury prize for acting, in Ralton Joven’s Bomba.
One of his most interesting sharing is about Megastar Sharon Cuneta, who watched during the recently concluded celebrity screening of the film.
Says Dizon, “I don’t know her personally. Pero syempre kilala ko siya. Who does not know Ms. Sharon Cuneta. She said to me, ‘Uy, Uy, napanuod kita. You are so good. Ang husay mo sa movie. At ang guwapo mo sa screen,’ and then she said, ‘Ano nga pangalan mo?” Allen guffaws after the reveal.
2019 is a banner year for the actor. Some of his most impressive film projects were Alpha The Right to Kill, another Mendoza motion picture, had screenings in France and is currently being shown in Japan.
Persons of Interest, another opus by director Jover was an official selection to the Shanghai International Film Festival.
His latest artistic collaboration with the Palm D’or winning director, Mindanao had a red carpet premiere in the Busan Film Festival held in Korea and he also attended the Cairo International Film Festival which gave Santos her first international best actress trophy.
How was it like working with Judy Ann? He quickly replies, “She’s good. And she is always in her character. Alam mo, sa pelikula ni direk Brillante, he just says to us what happens in a particular scene and improv na ang lahat. She is an intelligent actress. She knows what to do.”
His most memorable scene with the actress, divulges Dizon, “When we first met after I came from an encounter. Pagkakita niya sa akin, niyakap niya agad ako, Mahigpit. At that moment, she was not my co-actress anymore, she became my wife and the mother of our sick child. With you Judy Ann, you cannot afford na hindi ka prepared. Kasi she surprises you. Minsan sa facial expression. Minsan sa mga pagtingin niya sa iyo.”
People who have seen the film, are proclaiming in unison that he has a good chance in bringing home the MMFF best actor trophy.
He smiles sheepishly and reacts, “If that happens, thank you. Pinaghirapan ko naman yung character ko and sino ba ang hindi gustong maging best actor, Winning an award is like a great tap on your shoulder that you did well. Kung papalarin, sobrang saya. Kung hindi naman, whoever brings home the trophy, tiyak naman deserving.”
Allen’s ultimate desire for Mindanao is for the movie to figure prominently in the MMFF box office race.
He declares, “Masarap manalo ng acting award but when your movie is being watched and kumita sa takilya, mas lalong masarap sa pakiramdam. I think people will be curious about it because it is a family drama. May animation. We also showcased some interesting aspects of the culture of Mindanao, the dances, myth, yung ilang tradisyon at ritwal. Sigurado rin akong the movie goers will have a good cry kasi punom-puno ng puso.”
What is next for the male attraction then? He shares, in conclusion, “I am starring in a movie entitled Latay. It’s with Lovi Poe, it is about the story of battered. For iWant, I am part of The Beauty Queens with Joel Lamangan as our director. Mga real life beauty queens like Gloria Diaz, Maxine Medina at iba pa ang kasama ko.”