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07/09/2011: Amigo Opens in Washington, DC; Producer and Director Call on Ambassador Cuisia

September 7, 2011, Washington, DC – The movie Amigo, which depicts the circumstances in a town in the Philippines during the Philippine-American war in the early 1900’s , opened in Washington, DC on September 2, 2011. The movie is led by Filipino actors Joel Torre, Rio Locsin, Ronnie Lazaro and Bembol Roco and Hollywood actors Chris Cooper, Garret Dillahunt and Yul Vazquez.  The movie was shot entirely in Bohol in the Philippines.

Other Filipinos in the team included writer and journalist Pete Lacaba who did the translation and Lee Briones-Meily, cinematographer. The film’s post production was also done in the Philippines.

Left: Amigo producer Maggie Renzi (left) and director John Sayles (right) call on Ambassador Jose L. Cuisia, Jr. on September 2.

Right: Audience listen to John Sayles as he explains significant parts of the movie during the screening on September 2. According to Sayles, he read at least one hundred books while researching for the movie including books by Philippine national hero Dr. Jose Rizal, Nick Joaquin as well family diaries and regimental history.

The writer and director, Oscar-nominated John Sayles, engaged the audience in a Q and A after the 7:00 p.m. screening at the West End Cinema on September 2. Earlier, he and producer Maggie Renzi visited the Embassy of the Philippines and called on Philippine Ambassador to the US Jose L. Cuisia, Jr.

During the call, Renzi and Sayles said they “loved working in Bohol” and they had “great actors and wonderful crew”. Renzi said that in the Philippines, “in every other area, work is exemplary.” Sayles added that the Philippines has the infrastructure to make beautiful films. However, many US producers are not aware of this. He informed the Ambassador that some scenes in the fourth installment of Bourne Identity will be filmed on location in the Philippines in January. Sayles further conveyed that he wished that more films about the history of the Philippines, in particular the establishment of the Philippine republic, will be made.

The New York Times says that Amigo is “entertaining and relevant,” NY Daily News rates Amigo, “ Sayles’ best in a decade,” and Rolling Stone announces, “a cause for celebration.” Two theaters in West End Cinema showed Amigo on September 2 and both theaters sold out. It is currently being played in Washington, DC, Virginia Beach, Las Vegas, Seattle, and Portland. It will also be shown this month in Albuquerque, Dallas, Minneapolis, Chicago and Denver. -- END