From a group of almost 500 teens, adults, and kids who trooped to the auditions, 21 talented teenagers were chosen by writer and producer Mario Alaman and director Paolo Bertola to star in the sci-fi movie Genius Teens.
Is this a case of teen mutants, meet teen titans, and the adorable and anguished Stranger Things teenagers? Italian filmmaker and Genius Teens director Bertola replies: “Originally, the film was created as a series with six episodes for its first season that features local and international character actors. I am happy with the enthusiastic audience response that happened during our premiere recently.”
The premiere night held in one of the cinemas at Megamall showed to the public “Chapter One: Heroes and Villains” and “Chapter Two: Dark Encounters.”
“In a nutshell, the movie version was a sci-fi, action-fantasy that tackled how humans protect the earth that we call home,” Bertola explains. “In the two chapters shown at the premiere, what was evident in them, the beautiful faces, culture, family values, the kindness, and humanity of the Filipinos, we did showcase it. Plus, how each teen character becomes a hero by discovering their ability and how they come to terms with it. I believe that it added to the awe and thrill of the audiences.”
The teen talents in Genius Teens are Ernest “Beaver” Magtalas, Bamboo Bobadilla, Arriane Butch, Princess Lucas, Kimchloie Oquendo, Kyle Espiritu, Jhassy Busran, Erica Corpuz, Ysabella Orandain, Miel Gomez, Denise Macaraeg, Sean Guyamin, Harvey Almoneda, Hyuna Ayreeka, Dasha Cura, Jil Demski, Ricky Oriarte, Alyssa Pardo, Santino Oquendo, Scarlett Pillega, Angel Laco, Cassie Kim, and Dennah Bautista.
Jhassy shares her thoughts on being Grace/Xerox: “As a teenager, Grace has a lot of dreams for her family. She wants to give them not just a comfortable life but a good one because ang pamilya niya ay mahirap.”
She carries on: “I think her biggest power is her mind, She is determined to help her family and others as well.”
As Xerox, she has: “Telekinetic powers. She can manipulate people when she touches and then, she instructs them on what to do.”
She hopes that when the series airs, people will also give it their love and support: “We worked hard on this series. This is a true labor of love, passion, and Filipino talent.”
“The positive response of the audiences during the premiere night made me ecstatic,” Busran declares. “The movie is not just about teens with super powers, it also highlights how we must cherish our family and your friends. And in the series, mas marami pang aabangan at mas interesting stories.”
Bamboo gives light to Sonny/Laser: “He is a loving grandson to his lola and is kind of shy because of his disability.”
“I believe he is emotionally sensitive and because of all the tensions that he feels, it triggered something in Sonny’s body which causes his eyes to produce the beam,” imparts Bamboo about his character’s superpower.
He urges everyone to watch Genius Teens because: “Surely, the fantasy, science fiction and action elements of it makes people curious. But what makes it an endearing watch, is it celebrates our beliefs, most especially the goodness and how persevering and loving we as Filipino.”
Completing the cast are Ruben Maria Soriquez, Dionne Monsanto, Ces Aldaba, Charles Tasker, Don Gordon Bell, Andy Kunz, and Boy Laguipo, among others.
Genius Teens, produced by Utmost Creatives, streams worldwide on www.ktx.ph, on July 15.