EIGHT-division world champion Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao is set to inspire the world in a different light, as the highly anticipated sports drama movie event of the year titled Kid Kulafu shares his story not as a sports icon, but as a young boy who knocked out life’s challenges.
“This is the untold story of our People’s Champ—way before the fame, fortune, championships and even prior to wearing boxing gloves,” said Paul Soriano, the director of the biographical film presented by ABS-CBN, Star Cinema and Ten17 Productions. “It is not about his career as a professional boxer but an in-depth look into his early years, from his birth up to his teenage life.”
According to Direk Paul, Kid Kulafu has been three years in the making, with two years dedicated for extensive research about the childhood of the People’s Champ.
“Viewers will discover in the film how hard life was for Manny as a kid in General Santos City. They will get to know a young boy who had nothing but attitude, passion and fighting spirit to face every challenge head on and knock it out one by one,” shared Direk Paul.
The director added that what inspired him more to do the movie was when he got to know Manny more through a series of conversations which took place within the two-year research spent for the biographical film.
As Manny shared to Direk Paul, “All the pain and the knockouts I experienced in boxing were just physical pain. But you know what’s more painful? It’s the fact that you have nothing to eat, no home where you can rest and having a broken family. And I endured all those when I was young.”
Like Direk Paul, former child actor and Kid Kulafu lead star Buboy Villar feels honored to be part of the world champion’s biopic.
“I knew that there were a lot who auditioned for the role. That’s why I was so happy when I was chosen. I’m really a big fan of Pacquiao,” said Buboy, who underwent serious boxing training in preparation for the film.
“Because of Kid Kulafu, I realized that Sir Manny can be a huge source of inspiration to kids of today. He’s hardworking, determined to rise above poverty and has high respect for his parents and family,” shared Buboy. “When Sir Manny stepped into amateur boxing, his goal was not to win. He wanted to help provide meals for his family and make his parents proud of him.”
Buboy assured moviegoers that there are still a lot that the world doesn’t know about Pacman. He quipped, “Before he became a world champion, he was Kid Kulafu, who was filled and fueled by passion and faith.”
Kid Kulafu was shot in select locations in Saranggani and General Santos City, where Manny spent his childhood and teen years.
Portraying Manny’s parents, Dionisia and Rosalio, are award-winning actors Alessandra de Rossi and Alex Medina. Also part of the cast are Cesar Montano, Khalil Ramos and Igi Boy Flores. Kid Kulafu is written by Froilan Medina and under creative consultant Amor Olaguer and fight director Erwin Tagle.
The biggest sports drama movie of the year, Kid Kulafu will hit cinemas nationwide on Wednesday, April 15. (PR)