EXCLUSIVE: The producers of indie feature Some Nights I Feel Like Walking, directed by the Philippines’ Petersen Vargas, have revealed a first look of the film, which started shooting in Manila at the end of April.
The first look image features three of the lead cast – Miguel Odron, a musician and Idol Philippines grand finalist; Jomari Angeles, a young actor who starred in Brillante Mendoza’s Ma’ Rosa; and Gold Aceron, who won acclaim for playing an intersex person in 2019 drama Metamorphosis.
The cast also includes Tommy Alejandrino, whose credits include Goyo: The Boy General and The Baseball Player, and reality star and model Argel Saycon, making his film debut.
Also written by Vargas, the film centers on a teenage runaway who joins a group of street hustlers on a road trip to fulfill their friend’s wish. It will also shoot in Pangasinan, a province in northern Philippines.
Vargas says the film is inspired by his own experiences as a youth, aimlessly wandering around the dark corners of Manila, in search of his own identity and a place in the city. It’s also a reflection on the repercussions of former Philippines President Duterte’s infamous war on drugs, which has been linked to extrajudicial killings.
“I thought about those young men whose homelessness has left them to live on the streets. These are the same people who are most vulnerable to these police operations,” said Vargas, who explored similar terrain in his short film, How To Die Young In Manila.
Vargas also directed short film Geography Lessons and made his feature debut with award-winning LGBTQ-themed drama 2 Cool 2 Be 4gotten.
Some Nights I Feel Like Walking is produced by Alemberg Ang of Daluyong Studios and Jade Castro of Origin8 Media, both Philippines-based production companies, and co-produced by Anthony Chen of Singapore’s Giraffe Pictures, Si En Tan of Singapore’s Momo Film Co and Stefano Centini of Taiwan’s Volos Films.
Key crew on the film includes editor Daniel Hui, who also cut Locarno Golden Leopard winner A Land Imagined, cinematographer Russell Morton (In My Mother’s Skin) and producer designer Remton Siega Zuasola (Iskalawags).
The film is supported by several funds including Singapore Film Commission’s Southeast Asia Co-Production Grant; the International Co-Production Fund from the Film Development Council of the Philippines, and the Next Masters Support Program Project Development Fund from Talents Tokyo.
It was also selected for labs including Locarno Open Doors and the Southeast Asia Fiction Film Lab, where it received the SEAFIC Award in 2019.