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Tuesday, December 5, 2023

The Boy Foretold by the Stars: A tale like any other love

Even before Boys Love (BL) became a dominant content online—specifically on popular video streaming sites —in terms of the interest people have shown in the genre, cameras had already started rolling for The Boy Foretold By The Stars. Needless to say, the people behind this Metro Manila Film Festival 2020 entry had a vision and saw something special about the story that deserved to be heard by a wider audience.

The movie is written and directed by Dolly Dulu. It is based on a play Ang Hangal that Dolly wrote in college.

The Boy Foretold by the Stars: A tale like any other love
The rom-com is one of the ten entries to the Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) 2020 happening online through Upstream starting Dec. 25.   

“The story is based on my personal experience back in high school. It’s a very personal story that I wanted to share with the audience. It’s not just a passion project, it’s a material that carries a very important message specifically for the members of the LGBTQ+ community,” the director told Manila Standard Entertainment in a virtual interview. 

Indeed, The Boy Foretold By The Stars is not just a story about two boys discovering the thrill of young romance, but a movie that celebrates the reality that love is destined for each and everyone. 

This rom-com is a collaboration of three production outfits: The Dolly Collection, Brainstormers Lab and Clever Minds, Inc. of which one of the executive producers is actress Jodi Sta. Maria. It stars Adrian Lindayag as Dominic, and Keann Johnson as Luke, who are students in an exclusive school. 

Dominic and Luke belong to different worlds as they move into separate campus cliques. That situation is about to change, thanks to a fortuneteller who correctly predicts that the two high school seniors would be joining a school retreat. What follows is a bittersweet journey of growing up and finding one’s identity.

“It’s part of the biggest festival in the country, and it came at the most perfect time. We made a quality film, I’m sure of that. It features an effeminate lead that we don’t get to see on mainstream media. Thus, representation matters. It’s a movie for all the little gay boys. It’s a film that represents them, I believe it’s something first on mainstream media,” Adrian told Manila Standard Entertainment in an exclusive interview. 

The Boy Foretold by the Stars: A tale like any other love
The film stars Adrian Lindayag (left) and Keann Johnson as high school students Dominic and Luke.  

“I’m glad that Adrian was chosen to play the character for a specific reason. And I'm glad that it’s one of the first BL movies here in the country. We want to make sure that this movie will leave a lasting impression, that the story will be memorable. We wanted to make sure that this movie would showcase the characters the way we really wanted them to be seen by the audience,” Keann said echoing the statement of his co-star.

Playing the pivotal character of the fortuneteller is Iyah Mina, star of the acclaimed Cinema One Originals film Mamu: And A Mother Too. For her moving performance as an aging transgender sex worker who adopts her sister’s transgender daughter, Iyah won Cinema One Originals’ 2018 Best Actress. She is the first transgender actress to receive this distinction in the Philippines. In her acceptance speech, Iyah dedicated her win to the trans community and to promoting equality among genders.

Iyah thus sees her role in The Boy Foretold By The Stars as part of raising awareness about the lives of LGBTQs.

Adrian joins Iyah in the advocacy, as he would like viewers to see gays as real people and not simply characters who deliver comic relief. In a previous interview, the former mainstay of German Moreno’s iconic Walang Tulugan TV show and stage performer said that his mission as an actor is to elevate the honor and dignity of gays.

So when The Boy Foretold By The Stars made history as the first Filipino BL movie and the first BL rom-com to be part of the Metro Manila Film Festival, Adrian was ecstatic. He posted on Facebook, “Lord, grabe ka po! Salamat!”

Writer-director Dolly Dulu underscores that their film is for all lovers, regardless of age, gender, or persuasion. 

“Be a friend and watch naman kayo,” Dolly posted on Facebook. 

The Boy Foretold by the Stars: A tale like any other love
‘The Boy Foretold by the Stars,’ directed by Dolly Dulu (center), is a romantic comedy movie about two senior high school boys, who through the help of a fortune teller, find each other at an optional school retreat.   

Catch The Boy Foretold By The Stars, streaming on Upstream PH beginning Dec. 25, 2020. For details and updates, like and follow The Boy Foretold By The Stars on Facebook.

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