Since establishing BG Productions International in 2013, businesswoman Baby Go has become one of the industry’s independent film producers.
To her recollection, the woman not a few have dubbed as the “Queen of Indie Producers” has produced around 12 movies to date, mostly tackling socially relevant themes.
Several of her films have won acclaim here and in several international film festivals abroad, including three films directed by Louie Ignacio. There’s “Child Haus” which won Best Children Film at the Dhaka International Film Festival in Bangladesh, and “Laut” which won Special Jury Prize and Best Actress award for Barbie Forteza at the Fantasporto International Film Festival in Portugal.
There is also “Area” which bagged the special jury prize at the Eurasia International Filmfest in Kazakhstan, the special jury Remi prize at the Worldfest Houston Texas, the Best Actress honors for lead star Ai Ai de las Alas at the Queens World Filmfest in New York and Best Actress, and the Best Director award at the Asean International Filmfest in Malaysia.
And then there’s her personal favorite, Mel Chionglo’s “Iadya Mo Kami” which won Best Actor for Allen Dizon at the Silk Road Film Festival in Ireland, and the Silver REMI Awards at the WorldFest International Film Festival in Houston, Texas.
“Out of 225 entries from 54 countries, our film was the second best film in that festival in Houston. It makes me feel proud to produce movies that are not only known for their artistic quality but are also bringing honor to our country. By the grace of God, every time our film competes abroad, we always win,” Go said in mostly Filipino.
Recently, “Iadya Mo Kami” added another award to its numerous accolades when it won the FAMAS award for Best Supporting Actor for Ricky Davao. Go was also at the FAMAS awards night to accept the Best Cinematography of Rain Yamson for “Area.”
But awards are not her only motivation to produce movies. Known for her astute business acumen, Go also noted that regardless of how her films do in the box office, she does not really lose money. Broadcast rights to her films are being acquired by either GMA Network or ABS-CBN, which allows her to easily recoup her investment.
Yes, her investment is hers and hers alone. Go admitted that she finances all her films by herself and since liquidity is not an issue, she does not need to apply for loans to get the needed budget for any of her projects.
“There are interested investors but I prefer to finance my films by myself,” she declared. For 2018, Go said BG Productions will produce at least five films, three of which are already set in motion.
The first of these films is “Almost A Love Story” directed by Louie Ignacio and starring Barbie Forteza and Derrick Monasterio. Shot mostly in Italy and produced in cooperation with Salento Cinema of that country, the romantic comedy which also stars Lotlot de Leon, Matet de Leon and Ana Capri, is now in post-production and is intended for a Valentine release.
The second is Ralston Jover’s “Latay” starring Allen Dizon with Alessandra de Rossi or Lovi Poe being considered for the female lead. The compelling drama is about a battered husband who is beaten black and blue by his wife.
Go said the third film is “Sixty in the City,” a project initiated by Charo Santos as her follow-up to her acclaimed turn in Lav Diaz’s “Ang Babaeng Humayo.” To be directed by Mel Chionglo, Go said the project was initiated by Charo herself who presented the material based on Lualhati Bautista’s bestselling novel.
Also in the pipeline for BG Productions is a new film by Joel Lamangan called “Angela Lumunsad.” The story of a woman who was mistaken for a teacher and finds herself caught in a romance between a soldier and a communist rebel. Lamangan is eyeing Heart Evangelista for the title role.
Louie Ignacio has two more projects in development. One is “School Service” which he confirmed was accepted for this year’s Cinemalaya film festival. Ai-Ai delas Alas is being eyed for the lead.
Ignacio’s other project is a Nora Aunor vehicle about a woman who is mother to several midget wrestlers with the working title, “Sa Mundo ng mga Higante.”
For next year’s Metro Manila Film Festival, BG is developing its anti-pollution project called “Maruming Hangin” while there are also projects intended for filmmakers Jason Paul Laxamana, Neal “Buboy” Tan and Joey Romero.
And since BG is producing a film starring Superstar Nora Aunor, the company is also developing a vehicle for “Star for All Seasons” Vilma Santos, details of which Go is not yet at liberty to discuss.
One known trademark of films produced by BG Productions is the cameo appearance of Go herself. Asked if she intends to act more in her films in the future, Go revealed that her directors are already preparing lengthy roles for her.
“I’ve never done acting workshops but if I’m needed to act more, I guess I will have to now,” she quipped.