“A dream is a wish your heart makes,” a line from the iconic animated Cinderella Disney motion picture rings true for multi-awarded TV and film director and renowned contemporary visual artist Louie Ignacio.
His eight-year-old passion project billed Abe-Nida gets the all systems go approval from BG Productions International, headed by film maven Baby Go, which is going back to film production after being inactive since the pandemic last year.
In a nutshell, Abe Nida, written by Ralston Jover, is about a sculptor Abe and the love of his life and muse, Nida. Think of the tragic love story between Juan Luna and Paz Pardo de Tavera and one gets the perfect idea of what to expect from this Ignacio helmed art captured in film offering.
“This is based on a true story,” Ignacio comes clean. “I personally know the artist. I know his whereabouts. Bought some of his works. When I met him and learned of his story, I know it would make interesting material for a movie.”
Adds the director: “He is an artist, a wonderful sculptor. Sadly, he has a mental condition as well. His art has been his refuge and therapy. You know, it makes me wonder how does he cope with the reality of his life and that despite it, he creates divine pieces of sculptured art. Yes, aside from exorcising his so-called mental-emotional demons through his art, he is under medication and that calms him and puts his mental health issues at bay.”
Meanwhile, Ignacio explains why Allen Dizon was chosen to play the lead. He said he had the award-winning actor in mind when he was writing the story.
“I want him to do a role that he hasn’t done yet. He is perfect for the role and he is challenged by it. There will be a lot of emotional and physical bearing in the film. And most of Abe’s struggles are internal. I know that Allen is an intelligent actor so I am certain that he will be able to give the nuances and the emotional truth of Abe.”
Dizon is ecstatic to give life to Abe and he just feels lucky to get good roles.
“I am not the type of actor who’d say I’d like this role for my next film or this is my dream role. I believe I am just fortunate to be offered a role as interesting as this one. I know he’s kind of crazy. This is a rare chance for me to play a character who has a mental condition na dapat hindi halata kasi he acts and looks normal.”
For casting Katrina Halili as Nida, Ignacio believes that the actress can deliver.
“She is just waiting for the right project that will show her mettle as an actress. I believe this is the one for her. She is my only choice to be Nida,” Ignacio reveals.
Giving life to two pivotal characters in the film are Laurice Guillen who plays Allen’s domineering and loud-mouthed aunt and Joel Lamangan who plays a priest.
Rounding up the cast are Maureen Mauricio, Ina Alegre, and Leandro Baldemor, who happens to be a sculptor in real life.
“My objective in doing Abe Nida, is to let audiences see that the lives and world of visual artists are wonderful sources of inspiration and learning. And yes, cinema is indeed is the perfect medium to fully capture the many layers of their personalities and will further immortalize their artistry and achievements,” ends Ignacio.