Filipino writer-director Dodo Dayao arrived in the public consciousness back in 2014 when his debut feature, Violator, won that year's Cinema One Originals festival Best Film before moving on to selections in Karlovy Vary, Mumbai and other high profile festivals around the world. Dayao is among the fraternity of former-critics-turned-directors and with his debut feature he quickly demonstrated that hell, yeah, he's got the talent to cross the line.
Violator treads an uneasy and unusual line between arthouse and horror. It's a sort of tone poem of discomfort and dread, constantly flirting with an increasingly blurry line between the physical and spiritual, and while it may not be for everyone I fucking love it and have been eagerly awaiting Dayao's next foray in to the feature world. And that's happening now.
After some work with shorts and TV work, Dayao is now in production on his as yet untitled sophomore feature. And while I'm not certain how much I can say about it in public - particularly given that they haven't settled on a title yet, much less a formal logline or pitch - I've actually been fortunate enough to have a look at the script and, yep, this is the progression fans have been hoping for. Currently referred to amongst the production team simply as Project Midnight, they've just finished the first week of principal photography - that's a behind the scenes shot of the day three set to the left. Dayao's seemingly pervasive belief in there not really being a line between the physical and spiritual - which also pervades his short film work - is very much in effect here and those who commented on a sort of tonal and thematic kinship with the work of Kiyoshi Kurosawa in Violator will very much feel the same here.
Producers include Quark Henares for Globe Studios with Bianca Balbuena and Bradley Liew for Epicmedia. Glaiza De Castro, Jasmine Curtis Smith, Anthony Falcon and Dino Pastrano star. Watch for more as things proceed.