Connection. This is something people need to live by. But at a time when it’s necessary to retreat into our homes for survival, connections become complex and even more important. Confinement affects every person differently, and the sense of being connected to another person makes us human. Dito at Doon tackles this idea head-on, and Janine Gutierrez and JC Santos portray characters who become entangled in a web of social isolation.
DITO AT DOON
At its core, Dito at Doon is a story about human connections at a time of seemingly endless confinement. It’s a movie made during a global pandemic about people affected by a global pandemic.
Directed by JP Habac and written for the screen by Alex Gonzales and Kristin Barrameda for TBA Studios, the movie shows that enclosed spaces aren’t confined to just the four walls of a house. That distance isn’t measured merely by how physically you are apart from others. That opening up doesn’t necessarily equate to letting in.
“Since we are confined in spaces, it is important to be reminded that we can always form connections with others — no matter the distance,” direk JP explains. “We just need to embrace the idea that life is more bearable when we let people in,” he adds.
HERE AND NOW
Janine Guttierez is Len — a responsible daughter who’s very much aware about social issues happening around her. The character is very millennial, woke, and well-aware. She’s also never been in a relationship and isn’t willing to settle. At a certain point, Janine connects with her Dito at Doon character on a personal level.
“Len is very aware of the news and social issues and this all affects her. She’s vocal about her opinions and really longs for change for the country. She’s also very choosy about who she lets into her life, sometimes defensive, and I’ve been this in the past,” says Janine. “Len is the first character I’ve played who is like this and, more than anything, the film is set during the pandemic — which makes it the first of its kind,” she continues.
Janine considers herself lucky to have made Dito at Doon even during the lockdown. Moreover, like the actor she is, she was able to pour all her emotions, frustrations and longings into the story.
THEN AND THERE
JC Santos is Cabs — a sensitive but empathic fish out of water. His desire to put food on the table during a time of uncertainty is what keeps him going. For his Dito at Doon character, JC thinks that Cab is a friend we want to have around but also a friend we need to look after.
“Cabs is one of those friends that keeps trying to make people laugh or happy and you can totally see that he is not,” JC shares. “I can relate to him on the probinsyano-guy-far-from-home part,” he adds.
When characterizing for Dito at Doon, JC explained that he made Cabs extra sensitive to the point that whenever he talks about his family and his dreams, he just gets lost for words and zones out.
NOON AT NGAYON
Dito at Doon has become an epiphany for everyone involved in the production. Working during a pandemic is a challenge. Yet for the movie industry, they try to make sure it’s business as usual but without compromising anyone’s security. For JP Habac, directing a production these days is more exciting and nerve-wracking.
“I’ve directed films and series for the past years and I never treated them differently. I always put the same level of commitment to every work that I do,” he explains. “With the recent global situation, shooting a film and series now is very challenging, but I personally make sure that this pandemic won’t get in my way as a director. I’ll make sure that nothing will compromise the health and safety of every individual involved.”
THEN AND NOW
The commitment that Janine Gutierrez and JC Santos showed for their roles is endearing. Meanwhile, the chemistry between them, the director, and the rest of the cast proves that a movie about being separated from everyone else doesn’t affect how they’ve actually bonded.
“To collaborate with actors like Janine, JC, Victor, Yesh, and Ms. Lotlot de Leon is a dream come true for every young director like me. I would love to work with this team again if given the opportunity,” shares direk JP.
“JC is the best! I really learned a lot from him and his theater background during Dito at Doon. I learned that every time you rehearse, or the more times you do a scene, it opens you up to a deeper understanding of the material. He’s also very generous and open as a person which I adore,” Janine gushes over. “Direk JP is very sincere and romantic and his storytelling and direction draws you in to a kind of intimacy with the characters.”
“Janine did an amazing job on and off the cam. She’s so collected, very engaging, and she’s willing to learn every time. The traits of a real actor,” JC says without a pause. “Direk JP is just chill. He gave us the freedom on how to tell the story of our characters. And I enjoyed his directions on set.”
STREAM DITO AT DOON NOW
Dito at Doon is a timeless tale that allows you to reflect about our current situation. It’s honest and hopeful, yet it speaks about a different kind of heartbreak — the one you don’t get from a breakup. It’s from a longing that runs deeper. Man wasn’t designed for isolation, man wasn’t made to pander without action. Connections are needed to survive, and the story asks you to open yourself to the possibilities.
Publisher | Richie de Quina & Gwynn Crisostomo
Editor-in-Chief | Angela Baltan
PR & Advertising Manager | Josh Austria
Digital Manager | Allen Esteban
Words by Lord Harvey Monteroso
Photography by Stephen Cappucino
Creative Director | Justin Besana
Stylist | Ega Rivera
HMUA by | Khary Lumbo
Having graduated from Xavier University-Ateneo de Cagayan with a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology, Lord Harvey Monteroso doesn’t shy away from using words to create visual images when he writes. He also makes sure to add humor with his in-depth analyses when writing movie/trailer/tv series/music video/song reactions and reviews.