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How far can friendships go?

Alessandra de Rossi wrote, acted, and directed My Amanda which premieres on Netflix

A FRIENDSHIP between a man and a woman does not always have to take a romantic route. The film My Amanda  written, directed, and starred in by Alessandra de Rossi —  explores how much people are willing to give for friendship.

The film —  which premieres on Netflix on July 15 —  follows two close friends, TJ (played by Piolo Pascual) and Amanda (play by Alessandra de Rossi), who share every aspect of their lives together.

The character of TJ is based of Ms. De Rossi’ real life best friend of the same name.

“This story is very personal to me because it’s about my friendships… But, of course, the story (of the film) has nothing to do with real life,” Ms. De Rossi said at an online press conference on July 8 held via Zoom.

“It’s something that I wanted to share with Filipinos also, that a guy and a girl can be friends. I don’t want people to always be beside the opposite sex and think that [there is] some sexual tension. I want people to treasure friendships and appreciate them as they are,” she added.

Their characters share many experiences from taking long road trips, sharing vacations, and witnessing each other’s milestones. As their respective lives evolve, their bond remains the only constant.

“If you really have the purest of intentions, then it is possible to not cross the line and just be there for each other and just be there for that person that you value the most,” Mr. Pascual said of the character’s relationship in the film.

Despite having fun shooting, Ms. De Rossi found it draining to multi-task between acting, directing, and deciding on camera shots.

“’Yung challenging is doing all three together. Wala na sigurong mas challenging pa doon (Nothing can probably be more challenging than that),” Ms. De Rossi admitted.

Gusto kong ulitin yung [pagiging] director na hindi ako actor, kasi wala ako sa monitor to feel the scene. Preview na lang pinapanood ko (I want to experience being the director when I am not also an actor, because I am not behind the monitor to feel the scene. I only get to watch the preview),” she said, adding that she only got to experience the directing task in post-production, doing sound design, editing, and color grading.

On the other hand, Mr. Pascual had a relaxed preparation for shooting the film since he was mostly “being himself” around Ms. De Rossi.

“It was easy being directed by Alessandra because she knew her material, she knew her script, she knew what she wanted, she knew her shots, so I didn’t have to think about Alessandra as an actress, because I knew she could take it on,” he said.

Also in the film’s cast are Luz Valdez, KC Montero, and Helga Krapf.

The film’s producer, Spring Films, which was founded and managed by Mr. Pascual, got in touch with Netflix and offered the film for a global release.

“When they gave us a deadline, we made sure [to] put in all our efforts, whatever we can do to make this beautiful film,” Mr. Pascual said.

My Amanda premieres on Netflix on July 15. For more information, visit www.netflix.com/myamanda. — Michelle Anne P. Soliman