5 fun facts about the Alempoy movie 'Kita Kita'

MANILA, Philippines – Actress Alessandra de Rossi and comedian Empoy Marquez aka Alempoy star together for the first time in an unusual romantic film titled Kita Kita, with a tagline "ang love team na di mo inakala." (The love team you did not expect.)

The trailer of the film generated much buzz, generating thousands of views since it was posted early this year.

According to a press release for the movie, Alessandra plays a blind woman,  taken care by Empoy's character as they go around Hokkaido, Japan. As they spend their time together, both of them start to feel comfortable with each other. But will their affection for each other be the same again if she gains her eyesight back?

Here are some facts about the film.

1.Piolo Pascual does the voice over of the film.

If you hear the voice over in the trailer, it is definitely Piolo's voice as he provides the narration. He's also one of the film's producers, along with director Joyce Bernal and Erickson Raymundo.

Photo by Martin San Diego/Rappler

When asked why they decided to risk in making this film, Piolo said at the press conference of the movie on June 27: "Ako kasi, risky akong tao. Pagnaniwala ako sa isang proyekto, kasama pati batok (For me, I've always been a risk-taker. If I believe in a project, I'll give everything including my neck). So regardless of the outcome, of course you want it to succeed, but basta naniniwala ako sa proyekto, sa isang konsepto, paninindigan mo iyon to the end (if I believe in the project, in a concept, I'll stick to it to the end), especially if you have people working with you that believe in the project." 

He also said that the film is a way he and his partners, director Joyce Bernal and Erickson Raymundo, can contribute in providing good films that are of international caliber. 

2. The movie was supposed to be part of the Metro Manila Film Festival 2016. Piolo shared that the movie was supposed to be shown during the film fest last year before they made the decision to pull out. 

"We decided para mas pagandahin pa yung pelikula and ayusin pa because there was a deadline di ba last year. So hinabol namin yung deadline, but we decided last minute na ayusin muna ang pelikula, huwag i-risk. So we decided to pull out from the film fest, but we had a world premiere at the Osaka Film Festival in March," he said.

(We decided to make the film better and fix it because there was a deadline for it last year. We beat the deadline, but we decided last minute to fix the film and not risk it.  We decided to pull out from the film fest. But we has a world premiere at the Osaka Film Festival in March.)

Piolo said the film was well received. Director Sigrid Andrea Bernardo said that another film festival in Nagoya will also show the movie in September. 

3. The movie's storyline is a bit lighter for director Sigrid Andrea Bernardo compared to her two other films. Sigrid, who directed the films Ang Huiling Chacha ni Anita and Lorna said that while the film's story is a bit lighter compared to her other two films, it still has that love story element.

"Siguro ang (I guess the ) common denominator sa tatlo (with the 3) is [it's still a ] love story pa rin siya. And this one kasi, Chacha is about women and different phases of women pero may love story pa rin siya. Yun Lorna love story ng 60 years old. This time love story pa rin siya ng mga millennials. So iyon yung common denominator niya lahat, love  story. And this time, gusto ko lang gumawa ng (I wanted to make a) light movie na madaling maintindihan ng mga tao pero may sinasabi pa rin (for them to understand better but still has something to say). For Kita-Kita, it's about perception of people," she said.

Photo by Martin San Diego/Rappler

When asked if the movie is about millennials, Sigrid clarified that the story is about OFWs who also fall in love, as the characters of Alessandra and Empoy are OFWs. 

4 Why Alessandra accepted the project. The movie is one of the projects that Alessandra had a partner. Asked why she accepted the film, Alessandra said in jest: "Maganda ako dito. [It's] so different. Nililigawan ako dito kasi ang roles ko dati nang aagaw... ako this time gustong-gusto niya ako."

(I'm pretty here. [It's] so different. I'm the one being courted because my previous roles would always be the one who would steal the guy... here, he likes me a lot. )

Photo by Martin San Diego/Rappler

Turning serious, she said: "Hindi ko ever ini-expect na magkakaroon ako ng ganitong klaseng pelikula. Sanay na ako sa heavy drama tsaka, sa totoo lang, ayoko naman talaga dahil marami rin akong restrictions."

(I never expected to have this kind of movie. I've always been used to heavy drama, and to be honest, I'm really not into it because I have so many restrictions.)

She considers Kita Kita as her lightest film, saying : "[This is] very, very light. Ito yung tipong mare-recommend ko sa lahat ng mga kaibigan ko. (This is the type of film I would recommend to all of my friends.)" 

5. The meaning of Kita Kita in Japan. In an interview with reporters after the press conference, Sigrid shared that during the fan signing and screening of the film in Osaka, some of the fans told her the meaning of Kita Kita in Japanese.

"Ang sinabi nila kasi ang (What they me was that) kita kita means North... and north means Hokkaido to them," she share 

"Sabi ko sakto naman. Sabi nila naisip ko ba iyon. Actually coincidental pero nakakatuwa na yung kita means north." (I said that it was so precise. They asked me if I thought about it. Actually, it was coincidental but it's really nice to know kita means north.)

She also said that in the film, she wanted to show a different side of Empoy.

"Si Empoy, may serious side na gusto ko ilagay sa pelikula kasi iyon lang [comedy] ang nakikita ng mga tao. So tamang balance lang nung dalawa," Sigrid said of the Alessandra and Empoy's roles.

(Empoy has a serious side I wanted to show in the film because it's always that [comedy] people  would see in him. So it's the right balance of the two.)

Photo by Martin San Diego/Rappler

Produced by Spring Films, Kita Kita opens on July 19. – Rappler.com