âHoly Emyâ is a film about a young Filipino healer in Greece and stars first-time actress Abigael Loma.
Co-written and directed by Greek Hollywood-based filmmaker Araceli Lemos, it premiered at the prestigious American Film Institute film festival in November.
Loma admits she struggled to play for the first time. âI didn’t have my script in advance so it was difficult for me, what emotions to portray those days. As a beginner I really didn’t know anything about acting but Araceli was there for me. ‘help, then nakaya ko naman po (so I was able to do it), “Loma says.
The subject matter of an immigrant living in Greece is something that came to Lemos when she walked past a church basement filled with Filipinos singing gospel songs while she was writing the film. She focused on the story of two Filipino sisters left behind in a foreign country and how they come to terms with their own separate identities.
âIn Greece, there is a big Filipino community but there has been no film, even if there is a big community especially since the 80s. And I was always curious. At the time, I was writing the story of two sisters, they had a secret. The idea of ââhealing only came when I started attending church for research and discovered the rich tradition of healing, spirituality and faith, ânotes Lemos.
Loma was born in the province of Quezon and moved to Athens, Greece, at the age of seven. She was chosen to play the main character of “Holy Emy” after the production held open auditions at her school. In the film, she delivers many of her dialogues in Tagalog. She says that seeing the movie she was “overwhelmed. I really didn’t know how to react. I didn’t know what to say about it. I was concentrating on myself. [because] maybe I did it wrong. “
Loma also shares what she wants viewers to take from the film. “Kaya po nila na maging sila, na hindi sila natatakot sa kung anong sasabihin ng iba sa kanila. Yung be proud lang po kung sino sila (They can be themselves, that they are not afraid of what others will say about them. They can be proud of who they are).
The film also stars other Filipino talent, including Hasmine Killip, Angeli Bayani, and Ku Aquino. Lemos hopes the film will also educate his Greek community about the talents of Filipino actors.
âAfter the movie was shown, someone called me and said, ‘Oh, let’s talk, I want to know more about your actresses.’ So I think when people see the movie and they realize that there is all of this talent, people will be interested, âsays Lemos.
A avowed fan of TFC and Vice Ganda, Loma says she hopes to continue playing and have more opportunities to take on challenging projects like “Holy Emy”.
Holy Emy, Hollywood Independent Film, Abigael Loma, Filipino Immigrants, Greece, TFC News