¡Viva Viva! And that’s far as The T-Zone will go in writing Spanish for today except to say that there is no other fitting title and lead for this story than the said tautology.
A week ago today, the T-Zone attended back to back events for what is now the huge entertainment conglomerate that is Viva Communications, Inc., still headed — and markedly all the more aggressively and impressively these last few years — by one of the most prolific pillars of the movie industry, Vincente “Boss Vic” del Rosario.
The first was held at the grand ballroom of Novotel Manila Araneta City gathering many of the outfit’s brightest stars — among them Bela Padilla, Yassi Pressman, Alessandra de Rossi, Xia Vigor and Xian Lim — along with the day’s most in-demand directors and screenwriters — headed by Joel Lamangan, Dan Villegas, Antoinette Jadaone, Perci Intalan and Yam Laranas, to name a few — where Boss Vic matter-of-factly announced he was investing P1 billion just in the umbrella company’s movie division, Viva Films, alone.
As such, the event, which rolled out a staggering total of 34 full-length productions due for showing this year, was also fittingly dubbed “Viva Films 2020 Vision.” And that, along with Boss Vic’s powerful one-liner in his message eased growing uncertainties on how the local movie industry will fare in the age of digital streaming. He confidently declared, “Content is king,” and in effect assured his beloved industry that he’s got their back.
In response, gifted thespian-turned-big screen comedian Jerald Napoles told The T-Zone, “It’s a great time to be an actor.” For indeed, with Boss Vic and Viva Films ever-present, actors young and seasoned will all continue to work in 2020 with such movies as “Sunny,” a Korean movie remake, starring no less than Megastar Sharon Cuneta and Asia’s Songbird Regine Velasquez; “A Man and A Woman” with Aga Muhlach, whose 2019 Metro Manila Film Festival-starrer, “Miracle in Cell No. 7” ended the year for Viva with box office returns of P500 million; Dingdong Dantes’ “Joaquin Bordado;” Anne Curtis’ “The Devoted;” Matteo Guidicelli’s “Penduko;” and Alessandra de Rossi and Empoy Marquez’s reunion team up in “Walang Ka-Paris,” among many others.
Of course, the chain-reaction will ensure the smallest movie worker relevance in the industry.
Vincent, who is president and CEO of the Viva Group, was tasked to give the keynote speech at “Grateful: The Viva Thanksgiving Party,” and ably provided more details about Viva’s 2020 vision.
“The reason for this is our confidence in the local film industry. And in fact, out of these 34 movies, 15 are already canned, meaning they’re ready for showing, and the rest will roll out shortly. We’ve earmarked at least a billion pesos to produce these movies, and they will all come out this year.”
“Our records company [Viva Records] is still the No. 1 local music company in the country and our concerts division [Viva Live], which is producing Regine Velasquez and Sarah Geronimo’s ‘Unified’ [concert on February 14] was already sold out one week after we announced online ticket sales.”
“Maraming, maraming salamat po sa patuloy n’yong pagsuporta sa amin at sana po ay patuloy pa po tayong magtrabaho ng sama-sama ngayong taon,” Vincent simply ended his speech.
And if only for the immense and overflowing talent of the Filipino creative across all these realms of media, The T-Zone humbly throws its voice behind “Boss Vic Jr.’s” selfless plea.
Long live Viva, indeed! (T. Mauricio-Arriola, TMT)