Produced by Family Affair Films, “Boy” was included among the Dutch films that were screened at the Netherlands Film Festival in Utrecht.
The movie’s writer took inspiration from her Pinoy friend who worked as a houseboy, hence the film was aptly titled as “Boy.”
“I was intrigued by someone I know who cleans posh houses in Amsterdam and I know him as a very mysterious, secretive man who seems very intelligent and too good for this kind of work,” Cecily Levy told ABS-CBN Europe News Bureau.
“I’ve been intrigued by his secret world moving around in these posh houses, seeing everyone’s secrets, everyone’s dirty underwear, everyone’s mess but not really being a part of their lives” Levy added.
According to Levy, it was a very intensive writing period, and the whole story is an image of the tension between being very service-minded and also very dependent on their environment.
“I think Filipinos, they are all over the world. They are very highly educated, they know their languages. They are very friendly and they mingle easily in the different kinds of environment,” Levy said.
“Boy” showed the hard work, patience and concern of the Filipino domestic helper to his employer as well as his love for his family in the Philippines.
Both Dutch and Tagalog were spoken in the movie.
Two unknown Filipinos starred in “Boy” and are now instant celebrities in The Netherlands.
“They’re amateurs but you don’t have professional Filipino actors in Holland in this age that we wanted, that speak Dutch and Tagalog and that require the kind of expressions that you need,” the film director Tami Ravid said.
“I love them. I am very happy I found them. I found Arvin in the beginning, in the first casting and I already knew I wanted him for the boyfriend and then I have to find a lead but it took a long time but I found him…They have very good chemistry with each other,” Ravid added.
Gerald Gonzales played the role of “Boy”, a homosexual and undocumented worker in The Netherlands, who works as house cleaner in order to support his family in the Philippines.
With him is Arvin Quirante who played the gay dancer-boyfriend of Gonzales.
The two Pinoys cannot believe their luck in landing on the big screen in The Netherlands.
“Mixed emotions kasi, of course, marami namang magagaling na Pilipino na pwedeng gumawa ng role pero happy, at the same time, shocked. I did not expect that I will be cast in this role,” Quirante said.
“Actually I don’t have any acting experience. I got this part by accident. My friend sent me the link to the website,” Gonzales said.
Without any acting experience, the two Pinoys landed major roles which will change their lives forever.
“Medyo mabigat yung theme. It’s not just about being gay but also about being illegal in Europe also pagiging malungkot yung buhay na mahirap sa Philippines tapos dito din yung buhay ng mahirap,” Gonzales said.
“Ninerbyos kami parehas ni Gerald pero ang mga team, they handled it very professionally so kumalma kami,” Quirante said.
Quirante even took the initiative to take a few hours of pole-dancing lessons in order to portray the role well and was very happy when he finally watched the movie.
The two Pinoys are not only thankful for the very rare opportunity to show their acting skills and be international stars but all the more for the very big chance to give life to the struggles of gay Filipinos outside the Philippines on the Dutch silver screen.
-FRANKLIN M. BOBADILLA