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Juana C. The Movie - What You Need to Know

Who is Juana Change? by: Rody Vera

Artists in the Philippines with a long history of serving the function of inspiring and goading sectors into action are becoming more active. One of the initiatives of a small group of artists is the Juana Change Movement.

Juana Change has evolved into a continuing project of advocacy campaigns for freedom, justice, and clean and good governance using the sharpest political satire hoping to evoke a social sentiment for change. The idea for Juana Change was brainstormed by a group of artists and social activists, who, because of lack of money and other resources, decided to create small video episodes and upload it to the Internet video servers for public viewing. The episodes feature Juana Change, a Filipino generic character who may at some instances represent an agent for social change or at some other instances the exact opposite. Juana is a pun that refers to two diametrically opposed political stances on change. One referring to "Wanna Change" indicating an expressed need for radical reforms in the Philippine society and politics. The other refers to “Wa Na Change” (meaning change is hopeless). This dichotomy that reflects the apathy and the sincere hope of a divided nation is crystallized in the different episodes that lampoons powerful politicians and corrupt officials as well as calling for a broader form of action amongst the majority.

In more than four years of its existence, (since 2008), the Juana Change has turned into a movement composed of volunteers and artists dedicated to utilizing the power of media to keep the vigilance in maintaining the increasing victories against corruption, exploitation, and social injustice. Through videos, live events appearances, short plays, and now, a movie, Juana Change Movement hopes to continue and spread the advocacy for an increased socio-political awareness and love of country.

Juana C. The Movie: The Sexy-Comedy As A Weapon by: Jessica Zafra

There is a lot of sex in Juana C. the full-length film debut of the political critic/YouTube phenomenon. Kinky sex, sex for pay, boy on boy, girl on girl, group and something called vroom vroom. Why is there so much sex in a movie that wears its advocacies on its XXL sleeve?

Because if we devoted 1/10th of the time we spend thinking about sex to discussing the issues that affect our country, we would have a more rational, responsible, better-educated society. An informed society is harder for corrupt politicians and opportunists to take advantage of. And because what the politicians and businessmen do to Juana Change in the movie, they are doing to us. Our nation is being screwed by the very same people who are supposed to protect us.

In the first offering from Laganap Productions, Juana Change is a girl who comes to Manila to attend a prestigious university. Her townmates from Barangay Kaploc are counting on her to lead the fight against the corporate interests which are stealing their resources and killing their village. But the impressionable Juana falls in with the high-living crowd and winds up seriously in debt. How is she supposed to pay?
By selling her own natural resource: her body. And Mae Paner as Juana Change makes an all-out bid to become the first heavyweight sex symbol in local cinema. Socially-aware is the new sexy.

Under the tutelage of Peaches Tanquintera, the most powerful mistress, pimp, influence peddler, and secret keeper in the Philippines, Juana meets the people who pull the strings: the judge whose judgement is for sale, the politicians who treat public funds as their petty cash, the military who do their bidding, and the clergy who condone corruption. And when she opens her legs, she learns to open her eyes and her mind to the urgent problems of society. She gains access to information that must be brought to the people, information that could cost her her life.

Movie Director: Jade Castro

Written by Rody Vera and directed by Jade Castro, Juana C. is that rare animal in contemporary cinema: an advocacy movie in the form of a sex-comedy.

Synopsis: Juana C. The Movie by: Raymond Lee

“Juana C. The Movie” follows the outrageously hilarious yet painfully realistic adventures of a young person who slowly awakens to her country’s ills and sees how these are perpetuated by greedy businessmen, corrupt politicians, and a complacent majority. Hers is a journey from apathy to awareness to action — a triple A transformation!

Juana is a happy-go-lucky member of a clan of indigenous people living in the mountains of Northern Luzon. When the class valedictorian falls victim to toxic waste, Juana is forced to take her place as a scholar at the elite “Arrneowww de Manila University.” Besieged on one side by unabashed commercial tourism and by an expanding nickel mining plant on the other, Juana’s community pins its hopes on her to finish school, become a lawyer, and come back to save the community’s ancestral land.

As soon as Juana sets foot in Manila, however, it becomes clear that her village’s mission for her might be an uphill battle. Ashamed of her poverty and tribal origins, Juana immediately reinvents herself as a bar-hopping, salon-pampered colegiala in order to gain acceptance in her new world. Juana soon finds that the only way to sustain her lavish lifestyle is to find work, which she does—as a high-class, plus-size escort for a niche market of chubby chasers.

Her trade brings her to the doorstep of Philippine power, in the persons of rich and corrupt politicians. As Juana's star rises in the escort industry, she stumbles upon a sinister plot that will threaten everything and everyone she loves. With the help of Yanni (her first love), Hiro (an activist who has a crush on Juana), and Marina (a news blogger who runs around following leads in 7-inch heels), Juana will use all of her fabulous 250 pounds to fight the good fight against corruption and apathy.

The Cast and Production

Written by multi-awarded playwright and screenwriter Rody Vera and directed by Jade Castro of Zombadings fame, Juana C. The Movie is the first production of Laganap Productions.

Juana Change herself, Mae Paner, heads the cast. She is the face of and force behind the Juana Change Movement, an advocacy that champions critical thinking and social action and wages a war on corruption and apathy. The Movement’s short satirical videos over the last four years have been a hit on YouTube. Print journalism and broadcast news, both radio and TV, followed suit as newsmen now regularly interview Juana on the burning issues of the day.

With Juana Change’s big-screen debut, the Movement hopes to widen its reach to moviegoers, particularly those who don’t necessarily like to watch the news (unless it’s showbiz gossip) or make a stand on social and political issues. Critical thinking and social action don’t have to be joyless and grim, it wants to tell them. It is empowering, and yes, it can be fun and even sexy, too!

The casts (L-R): Ronnie Lazaro, Niño Muhlach, Annicka Dolonius, Mae Paner,
John James Uy, Joel Torre, Jelson Bay, Madelaine Nicolas

Also starring in this sexy comedy are Cosmo Bachelor hunk John James Uy, thespians Angelina Kanapi, Jelson Bay, Joel Torre, Niño Muhlach, Ronnie Lazaro, Madeleine Nicolas, Soliman Cruz, Malu de Guzman, Angeli Bayani, and rising star Annicka Dolonious (Ang Nawawala).

With this amount of talent backing it up, Juana C. The Movie promises to draw in audiences out for a good laugh and an inspiration for a better Philippines.

Write-ups and Photos courtesy of: Top Edit Comms. For more information and inquiries, contact them at 0932-8835537 or the Juana Change Movement at (02) 8172981 (look for Jing).

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