Arts & Entertainment

The John Lloyd and Bea Alonzo Instagram Live Was Actually a Short Film By Director Antoinette Jadaone

It's a story told outside of the traditional space.
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Pinoy rom-com fans swooned over John Lloyd Cruz and Bea Alonzo’s recent virtual conversation over the latter’s Instagram Live on April 27. The video call happened after some weeks of rather flirty exchanges between the two on the comments' section of Alonzo’s old IG posts, leading fans and supporters everywhere to speculate that something more may have been sparking between the famous on-screen love team. However, it seems it was just too good to be true: It was revealed today, April 29, that the pair's Instagram Live was actually an experimental short film of sorts entitled Love Team and it was written and directed by local filmmaker Antoinette Jadaone.

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The Unconfined Cinema was founded on the idea of exploring what else cinema could be, freeing our stories to be told outside of the traditional spaces and conceptual boundaries set by the last century of the medium. In this unprecedented time of quarantine, in a time when movie production is impossible, we found it especially pressing to find ways to tell our stories. “Love Team” is a love story – whether romantic or in its other forms – told entirely within Instagram. It is a story of our times. Love stories have always had their place in Filipino cinema, and we wanted to bring the feelings that those movies inspire to a platform that has become more relevant and utilised in this time of quarantine – social media, specifically Instagram. The use of social media creates all sorts of new possibilities for storytelling. This was a story told over two weeks, adapting and evolving to real-life events, integrating our genuine sentiments over the state that we’re in. This is a platform where we all share little bits of ourselves. Through our images, this curated list of memories, we reveal what it is we want the rest of the world to see. Using the various features of Instagram, we attempted to tell a story of two people reconnecting in a trying time; separated by distance, but united in their memories. We are in a culture where the usually distinct line between reality and make-believe blur. We started this story by stating that “any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is intentional.” And that remains true. It was the only way this was possible. The Unconfined Cinema invites filmmakers and artists to join us in exploring the possibilities of our cinema. Not just on Instagram, but on every stage imaginable. #unconfinedcinema

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To refresh your memory a little about Cruz and Alonzo's April 27 conversation, it was a heartfelt, teasing, and earnest (or so we thought) few minutes between the two. Fans watched them catching up, joking around like old friends, and even talking about the current pandemic—like watching Popoy and Basha all grown up and living in 2020. The two even reenacted some of their most famous lines from 2007's One More Chance.

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According to Jadaone's Instagram post, the avant-garde film piece was a project of The Unconfined Cinema, the people behind Cruz and Alonzo's live reading of /That Thing Called Tadhana's script in February. The Unconfined Cinema was organized by film critic Philbert Dy and award-winning writer, editor, and film composer Erwin Romulo, both of whom were revealed to be producers on the experimental short film along with director Dan Villegas. The IG post revealing the video call’s scripted nature says that the project was a way for these filmmakers to continue telling stories "in this unprecedented time of quarantine... when movie production is impossible." "Love Team," the post reads, "is a love story—whether romantic or in its other forms—told entirely within Instagram. It is a story of our times."

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"This was a story told over two weeks, adapting and evolving to real-life events, integrating our genuine sentiments over the state that we’re in," narrates the post. In a way, it was the film industry's response to the current events now taking place—an expression of their feelings and sentiments in the words said by the actors as well as a statement of their dedication to the artform even when the medium of cinema is made unavailable. So we’re sorry to break your heart if you let yourself get mega-kilig over the possibility of a real-life John Lloyd and Bea union—it’s just not happening this time around, or perhaps in this version of reality. But we can’t say we didn’t enjoy it while it lasted.

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This story was originally published on Spot.ph. Minor edits have been made by Esquiremag.ph editors.

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Ashley Martelino for Spot.ph
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