John Lloyd and Direk Lav Diaz disguised themselves as ABS-CBN bureau reporters to gain access to restricted areas while shooting the film!
Ex-lovers John Lloyd Cruz and Shaina Magdayao are in Locarno, Switzerland for the world premiere of the Lav Diaz film “Essential Truths of the Lake.”
This black-and-white film is the Philippine entry to the 76th Locarno Film Festival, which is running from August 2 to August 12.
John Lloyd and Shaina are photographed with Direk Lav Diaz and co-star Hazel Orencio during the festival.
In “Essential Truths of the Lake,” John Lloyd plays Lieutenant Hermes Papauran, a policeman obsessed with a mysterious case that been unsolved for the past 15 years.
Shaina Magdayao is cast as Esmeralda Stuart, a model and performer whose death continues to baffle Lt. Papauran. Hazel Orencio, Bart Guingona and Agot Isidro are also part of this film which runs for 3 hours and 30 minutes.
Direk Lav is once again competing for the Golden Leopard (Best Picture) award after winning in the 2014 Locarno Film Festival for his film “Mula sa Kung Ano ang Noon (From What Is Before).”
Direk Lav and John Lloyd pretended as ABS-CBN reporters
In the Locarno film festival website, the synopsis of “Essential Truths of the Lake” goes: “When asked what drives a man to search for the truth, Lieutenant Papauran says dejectedly that maybe he just wants to keep inflicting pain on himself. Faced with President Duterte’s bloody murders and brazen lies, he continues his struggle to solve a fifteen-year-old case around an ash-laden landscape and an impenetrable lake. It has become a cross he can barely carry but keeps dragging it anyway.”
Cineuropa.org describes the film as follows: “Faced with Philippine President Duterte’s bloody murders and brazen lies, Lt. Hermes Papauran continues his struggle to find resolution to a 15-year-old case around a volcanic ash laden landscape and an impenetrable lake.”s
Lav disclosed in an interview with PUSH that he started shooting for “Essential Truths of the Lake” way back in January 2020 at the time of the eruption of Taal Volcano.
The award-winning filmmaker narrated that he and John Lloyd pretended to be ABS-CBN reporters so that they could enter areas that were off-limits to the public.
“With John Lloyd, we were able to go inside Barangay Tranca, Talisay, which is one of the most devastated areas in Batangas,” he was quoted as saying. “We disguised ourselves as bureau reporters of ABS-CBN, so we were allowed access to the area by the soldiers supervising the evacuation.”
“The location was in ruins, as one would expect after such a disaster. The place was covered with thick mud. Ashes were everywhere, and there was hardly anyone around anymore.
“I made up a story about a police officer investigating a cold case—a missing model/activist,” he continued.
“At the time, I still didn’t know where the story would go. I just wanted to record images that show the irony and contradiction of one’s search for truth in a place that’s desolate. As one of the film’s characters say, ‘Nag-iimbestiga ka ng kasong labing-limang taon nang walang sagot sa isang pook na nilibing ng bulkan? At nariyan pa ang napakamisteryosong lawa.’”
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