‘When I Met You in Tokyo’ marks 25th Santos-De Leon collaboration

Grace M. Avanzado / Contributor
File photo
File photo

BE prepared to embark on a heartfelt journey of love, beautifully transcending boundaries.

“When I Met You in Tokyo” is one of the selected 10 films qualified for the Manila Film Festival. The highly anticipated film boasts major talents in industry veterans Vilma Santos and Christopher de Leon.

The luminaries graciously welcomed members of the press and fans alike at NUSTAR Resort and Casino in Cebu City on Dec. 9, 2023, for an engaging meet-and-greet, complete with enchanting song performances by the cast members and an insightful Q & A session.

Santos, a stalwart of the entertainment industry with six decades of dedication, continues to captivate any room she enters. The “Star for All Seasons” remains at the pinnacle of her craft.

Produced by JG Productions in collaboration with directors Rado Peru and Rommel Penza, with de Leon as associate director, the film unfolds against the picturesque backdrop of Japan. Ninety percent of the scenes were meticulously captured using three cameras for optimal visual richness. Santos takes on the role of Azon, an overseas Filipino worker (OFW) on the verge of retirement after dedicating her prime years supporting her family. De Leon portrays Joey, an emotionally scarred farmer, also navigating life as an OFW. The supporting cast includes Cassy Legaspi, Darren Espanto, Kakai Bautista, Lynn Cruz, Jan Gabriel, among others.

During the event, Santos shared that “When I Met You in Tokyo” marks her 25th collaboration with de Leon, affectionately known as “Yetbo.” Unlike their previous films, known for intense drama, this movie delves into the realm of mature love. Breaking away from the norm, the actors were given creative freedom to improvise their scenes, adding a fresh and enjoyable dimension to their collaboration. Santos expressed that the team, including their illustrious directorial duo, watched the entire film the previous night, culminating in tears of joy at its conclusion.

De Leon and Santos expressed that the heart of this film is the message that love knows no boundaries. “It’s wonderful to be in love at any age,” remarked Santos. The cast earnestly hopes to inspire families to revive the tradition of family movie-bonding days during the holiday season and beyond.

“When I Met You in Tokyo” will be hitting theaters nationwide on Dec. 25 — Christmas Day.


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