Movies & TV

Mikhail Red Spills the Beans On His Latest Film, Arisaka

Director Mikhail Red reveals an interesting trivia about Arisaka. 
IMAGE Artu Nepomuceno, Ten17p
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Mikhail Red does not know the meaning of slowing down. Amid the pandemic, the critically acclaimed director has been juggling production work and directing like any normal workday. 

“I am continuing development with projects like Eerie Zero with Star, The Grandstand with Ricky Lee and Globe, reading open directing assignments and screenplays sent by my agent in the U.S., and still prepping for the remaining episodes of HBO’s Halfworlds which will resume production soon. I've also got a thriller in the works with VIVA written by my brother Nikolas Red, it will be my first with them,” Red told Esquire Philippines. 

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But his most anticipated project now is Arisaka

“This film was greenlit last year and announced in Singapore, and even with the unexpected pandemic and the new challenges productions must face, they still decided to support my vision, and for that I am grateful. I am also very thankful to Ten17p for their dedication and support.”

Ten17p is the company producing the film. Also on deck is fellow director Paul Soriano, who is an executive producer for the project. 

What is Arisaka about? 

Red teases us about the details of Arisaka’ “It’s about a woman who must retrace the forgotten trail of the Bataan Death March in order to escape her captors. Arisaka is a film about survival, transformation, and ultimately, revenge.”

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But why did he choose the title Arisaka

“Arisaka is the name of the rifle used by Japanese soldiers during World War II and in the Bataan Death March,” said Red. 

Later on, while talking about our favorite distractions and video games amid the pandemic, Red, who is also a gamer, revealed Arisaka’s connection to his favorite video game at the moment. 

“If I am not at work, I play Destiny 2. It is a looter shooter. In a way, Arisaka is a looter shooter, or at least its story structure is inspired by those genre elements.”

Looter shooter is a genre of video games that marries RPG elements with point-and-shoot-style games. Basically, it’s a first-person shooter game in an open-world setting.

So, will Arisaka be like Destiny 2 set in Bataan and played by Maja Salvador

Not exactly, but director Mikhail Red has a few things to say about Salvador’s work ethic, which works perfectly with the demands of such a genre. 

Mikhail Red and Maja Salvador

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Arisaka????

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Director Mikhail Red on Maja Salvador’s Attitude

“She’s a pro,” Red gushed. “Even in her earlier works like Ten17p's Thelma, she showed her dedication and athleticism.”

“Considering the varied range of TV and movie work that she had gone through, I am confident she has the experience and technical prowess to make the most out of her difficult role in Arisaka.”

Arisaka Release Date 

While the pandemic has prevented the release of many films this year, Red and production studio are targeting a release by 2021. 

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Fortunately for them, Red has had to make only a little workaround considering all the new pandemic protocols and physical distancing. 

“We have to follow the new safety guidelines and protocols. Fortunately for us, the story of Arisaka works even with these new limitations since it is mostly shot in rural, exterior, open spaces with few characters while still having an ambitious scope.”

“I know making a full-scale feature film during times like these is a rare opportunity, my team and I will make the most out of it,” said Red. 

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Pandemic-Inspired Film in the Planning Stages

After Arisaka, Red will return to the drawing board to finish a project with his brother, Nikolas. It will be about a pandemic and is inspired by COVID-19. 

“The one I’m developing with my brother and Viva is my first story set in our new pandemic reality. It is definitely something different and exciting at the same time. Hopefully, I get to shoot it next year.”

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Mario Alvaro Limos
Features Editor, Esquire Philippines
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