NEW YORK – Michael Manese, a New York-based Filipino American filmmaker, is set to start shooting his next film project titled Asian PersuAsian (15 minutes, comedy). The film is an all-Asian cast comedy about a public marriage proposal gone haywire. The short film will begin shooting in Upper Manhattan, Fort Tryon Park and Inwood Hill Park areas later this year.
Manese said he is looking forward to working with newly cast actors Philippe Garcesto, Alfiero Supan, Jeremy Rafal, and Edgar Egula. He is currently looking to audition three female characters to play the roles of Sandra, the girlfriend; Mary, Sandra’s confidant; and Kara, Tom’s ex-girlfriend, in the short film.
Manese was inspired to do the film after witnessing two back-to-back over-the-top marriage proposals at Bethesda Fountain at Central Park in New York City. The film project is funded partly through the Inwood Film Festival Filmmaker Fund created and administered by Inwood Arts Works, Aaron Simms, Founder and Executive Producer. Manese is the writer, director, producer, editor, and videographer. He is looking for a cinematographer and a sound person to join the production crew.
“I love dark humor and irony. No matter how ugly, how unlikeable or mean my characters are I try to bring out the goodness in them,” Manese said. “In my last three films my lead characters, on paper, are not likable characters. Everyone started out as cute babies. It is up to me, as the director to rise up to challenge to make them likable to the audience, or at least interesting enough for them to follow.”
Besides this new project, Manese has three other short films to his credit:
- The Pleasure of Being Served – (15 minutes, in English and Tagalog, nudity): A cleaning woman from the Philippines works for a rich, young American bachelor and gets caught up with his mistresses.
- Maxine (20 minutes, black and white, experimental): Told in flashbacks and show in multi-screens, a man has memories of breaking up with his girlfriend.
- When bart6874 met lulu5547 (7 minutes, silent, black and white) – Two lonely senior citizens try online dating.
Asian PersuAsian is a sequel to The Pleasure of Being Served. The film was screened in more than 20 film festivals, including the 40th Asian American International Film Festival held at the Asia Society and the 1st Annual Cimematografo in San Francisco.