A Winnipeg actress made her dreams come true on the big screen by playing a role that is more than familiar.
Philippine-born Sheila Lotuaco took on the role of Marisol, a professional caretaker, in the movie “Islands”. The story follows a shy middle-aged immigrant from the Philippines who is afraid of being left alone after the death of his parents.
“It was a childhood dream for me to star in movies. In the Philippines I just attended a school theater. “This is very exciting,” said Lotuaco.
Her character mimics her real role as she currently works as a health worker. Lotuaco previously graduated from the University with a Doctor of Dentistry and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and later practiced as a licensed dentist and registered nurse in the Philippines. She said her background allowed her to accurately portray caring for the elderly.
He took part after responding to a call on social media looking for middle-aged or elderly actors.
At first she hesitated to answer for fear that it was a scam, but she was reassured by a friend, who was the director’s cousin, that it was true.
“After a series of auditions with them and also a real chemistry with Rogelio (Balagtas), the leading role, they answered and gave me the role,” Lotuaco said.
The film has received critical acclaim and awards. She is currently nominated for three Canadian Screen Awards, including Best Feature Film, and won a Special Jury Recognition Award at South by Southwest (SXSW) last year.
“The film I’m very proud of,” Lotuaco said. “It’s like a Filipino-Canadian representation of the arts and Filipino-Canadian talent, so I’m really proud of that.”
The film premiered in Winnipeg on April 15 at the Cinematheque, with Lotuaco saying more screenings will follow.
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