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“BUYBUST,” director Erik Matti’s latest film had its successful sold out world premiere in New York on Sunday, July 15 as the closing film of the 17th New York Asian Film Festival.

The film was sold out as of Saturday morning and by 6:00 pm on Sunday, a line has formed outside the SVA Theater in Chelsea for standby tickets. The crowd grew to almost a hundred moments before the 8:30 pm screening started.

In separate interviews with director Matti and the film’s lead star Anne Curtis, both shared how they felt screening the film before a New York audience, two full weeks before the film opens in the Philippines.

“I’m excited and nervous at the same time to hear what people have to say. This is my first ever world premiere,” Curtis said.

Matti expressed his trepidation as well. He and Curtis have a reason to be nervous.
It has been quite awhile since the Philippines saw an all out action flick. Gone are the days when action kings such as Fernando Poe, Jr., Ramon Revilla, Lito Lapid, Phillip Salvador, Robin Padilla, among others, made films that lorded it over the box office.

Which is why coming up with an action movie — with a female lead star, no less — during this time is a big and calculated risk for producers.

It is a big gamble, indeed, and it was tough to sell the idea.

“We eventually found a partner, Viva, which became our co producer, and in 2016, the new government happened,” Matti said. “It started out as another popcorn film, a buybust operation gone wrong. It is still a popcorn entertainment movie but we didn’t want to do a film that doesn’t put into consideration what’s happening in the country. ”

The idea for the film started when he was still doing his film “On The Job.” They were shooting then in a slum area in Caloocan when a drunk guy started to make a mess in the set.

“I thought then, if all hell breaks loose here, how do we get out? That’s where the germ came from,” Matti shared.

The idea became the major plot point of “BuyBust” and the story revolved around how a team of police operatives got caught in a war inside an enclosed slum neighborhood called Gracia ni Maria, where there is only one way in and one way out.

Empowered woman

“BuyBust” shows Anne Curtis like you’ve never seen her before.

She did not do any films with her mother studio Viva Films for the past two years because she did not like the scripts that were falling into her lap. She felt t