[box type=”default” size=”large”] He wants to share inspiring Filipino stories of struggle and triumph [/box]
Filipino-American Hollywood movie director Ryan Agoncillo Moore said his reason for creating a film about the life of Filipino boxing icon Manny Pacquiao “stemmed from my dream of sharing inspiring Filipino stories of struggle and triumph.”
The film, entitled “Manny,” is due for international release by Universal Studios in the third week of January 2015.
Moore, whose mother is a Filipina, said “it has always been my hope to elevate Filipinos… especially in mainstream entertainment. When I was living in Manila I learned so much about my culture, family and especially the hardship they went through to get me to where I am now.
“My grandma (who lives in La Union) was a single mother of six who worked at a sari-sari store so she can afford my mom an education so she could become a nurse.”
Moore said that while in Manila he applied at the prestigious USC film school attended by great directors like George Lucas, Ron Howard, and Bryan Singer. The essay/thesis he submitted was intended as a step toward to Hollywood to share Filipino stories.
“Unfortunately, the school wasn’t interested, but USC accepted me into the business school instead. So I continued to learn by volunteering on film projects when possible,” Moore said.
“I never gave up on my dream. Now I am five years into my first feature film entitled ‘Manny. ‘I produced this film independently, and this is my first go at directing.
“I was able to secure Liam Neeson as my narrator, along with other notable personalities such as Mark Wahlberg, Jeremy Piven and Jimmy Kimmel. In addition, I was able to get Lorne Balfe, the music producer of “The Dark Knight,” “Sherlock Holmes” and other films to compose the score.
He also said that shortly after wrapping up the film earlier this year, Universal Studios acquired the rights and is releasing it internationally.
“Manny” will premiere next month in Los Angeles.
It is noted that this is the first time that a Filipino-American directed/produced film about a Filipino subject, backed by a major Hollywood studio. It will have a red-carpet premiere at the TCL Chinese Theater (formerly Mann’s/Grauman’s Chinese).
On January 23, 2015, “Manny” will be shown in select theaters across the US and on pay-per-view.
Moore said, “My hope is that the Filipino community will come out to support it. After this, my hope is to continue producing more Filipino-centric feature films in Hollywood.