An OFW story is not new to Philippine cinema, but there’ll always be something in it that the Filipino audience will come to see. Joseph Abello’s first film What Home Feels Like will take us to the intimate life of Antonio (Bembol Roco), who goes home from his work as a seaman and stays with his family longer than the usual.
But how did the story came to Abello? The idea started when he was working with Reality Entertainment with director Erik Matti and Michiko Yamamoto, he was assigned to wrote a domestic drama. While brainstorming, he thought of his family. That’s how it started – the idea of a seaman who was forced to retire and how he stayed in the Philippines and his children are the ones who are leaving.
Though the first draft of the story doesn’t have the element of farming, it has a backyard farming. That’s when he realized that the story is perfect for the ToFarm Film Festival. And even though there’s a little “farming” in the story, he still submitted his story and luckily, his story was picked as one of the six entries.
It wasn’t planned for him to actually direct his own story but due to scheduling conflicts, he then thought that maybe it is a sign for him to direct a film for the first time. And what better film he should direct first but the one he wrote.
For Abello, the film’s message is about communication. How lack of communication can ruin a relationship and how communication can heal.
The film talks to every Filipino, because there’s always someone we know who has a family member who works overseas. And the feeling of not knowing your blood relative is common because of how distance can do so much to a relationship.
There is something for everyone in What Home Feels Like. It is a story of a family, of a Filipino family whose lives are ordinary but have been scarred by lack of communication.
The film stars Bembol Roco, Irma Adlawan (Oro), Biboy Ramirez (Oro), Rex Lantano, Aaron Rivera (Best Partee Ever), Elijah Filamor, and introducing Bianca Libinting.
“What Home Feels Like” is an official entry to the ToFarm Film Festival 2017. It will be screened on July 12-18 in SM Megamall, SM Manila, Greenbelt 1, Robinsons Galleria, and Gateway Cinemas