Gretchen finds 1st indie its own reward
MANILA, Philippines - Like Vilma Santos, Gretchen Barretto is a newcomer to the world of independent cinema. She appears in a competing entry in the Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival, a project supported by her partner Antonio "Tonyboy" Cojuangco Jr.
Gretchen stars in "The Diplomat Hotel," directed by Christopher Ad. Castillo, who carries on the filmmaking legacy of his father, the esteemed director Celso Ad. Castillo
The gala premiere of "The Diplomat Hotel" was held on July 31 at the Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo (Main Theater) of the Cultural Center of the Philippines. Gretchen accommodated the media with an interview.
She said she almost turned down this project because of her aversion to horror. Like many people, the actress fears the supernatural.
Gretchen said she was afraid of going to the Diplomat Hotel in Baguio where the film was shot on location.
But her faith gave her the courage to commit herself to the project. She said she didn’t feel anything that should scare her while shooting in Baguio.
Winning an award in Cinemalaya is far from her mind, she said. It's enough for Gretchen, who shares the enthusiasm of other celebrities, that she already took part in an independent film, working with a great cast and a good director.
She finds it a blessing that she accepted "The Diplomat Hotel." Anything else that follows is a bonus, she said.
Christopher Ad. Castillo is “a brilliant director and very, very focused,” Gretchen said. She admires his dedication to his craft and she feels lucky having worked with him. She also gave a thumbs up sign for her co-stars.
Gretchen herself assumes that not everyone will agree on her merits as an actress.
"Some people will put you up while others will pull you down," she said. "That is part of our life. But I am more inspired when people tend to put me down. It inspires me to be stronger."
Gretchen would be the first to say she's competitive. She's not the type who’d turn her back on a challenge. She welcomes criticism because it keeps her on her toes.
When she was asked to comment on her sister Claudine's marital crisis with Raymart Santiago, Gretchen said with a laugh, "Wala akong pakialam." (I don’t care.)
She would rather mind her own concerns, she said.
And she would rather think about the positive than the negative. - Rappler.com
Cinemalaya runs until August 4 at the CCP, TriNoMa, Greenbelt 3, and Alabang Town Center. An Awards Night at the CCP will cap this festival on that date. The screening schedule is available here.