Why Gino Santos Tells The Hard Truth As A Director

Why Gino Santos Tells The Hard Truth As A Director


In a world where disinformation takes over reality, the director still believes that honesty is the best policy. 

Gino Santos is no stranger to finding the truth and tackling the hard parts of it. If you lay out his directorial projects—#Y, Sin Island, Ex With Benefits, Love Me Tomorrow—to name a few, you would notice that he is one to take on the usually unspoken complications of life’s realities. 

“I don’t want to give my audience just 1+1=2. 

Red suit set from ORIAS STUDIOS by VIN ORIAS. Black dress shirt by MARK TAMAYO

I kind of want to give them something that they would have to think about. As a director, it’s important that we always have something to say. 

Gino Santos

“Big or small. It can be obvious or something subtle such as Coppola using orange to symbolize death in The Godfather. It’s the little things. They make films more interesting,” he explains.

Gino on His History With Film

As a 90s child, Gino gets his inspiration from that era. Slasher flicks such as I Know What You Did Last Summer and Scream influenced him a lot. “I love slasher films, teen comedies—anything to do with the youth. It’s interesting how every ten years, nag-iiba ang trends and jargons ng youth. So, that’s something I want to discuss.” 

One cannot tell a story that he himself cannot comprehend. It’s just Gino’s luck that the fickleness of youth is something he once experienced, too. 

Red suit set from ORIAS STUDIOS by VIN ORIAS. Black dress shirt by MARK TAMAYO

Although he has always loved watching movies growing up, he considered cooking as a possible career first. The cooking, he had that easy; the cleaning up after? That’s what made him realize that the degree did not match his degree of interest to it. 

That’s when he switched to filmmaking—his interest that for the longest time, was already in his heart. 

“I attended a workshop with now national artist Marilou Diaz-Abaya. I was with Mikhael Red and Kiko Meily and we were the last batch! We were around 13? 14? years old. Being surrounded with my peers and doing my first short film, that’s when a hobby became a passion. Now, it’s a career.” 

Gino on His Future With Film

Trust is not complete with the letters t, r, and u. Say it out loud and it sounds like “true”. Indeed, trust is formed when there is honest and genuine care in the relationship. 

In his pursuit of discovering and telling the truth, Gino puts his trust in Crown Artist Management to join him in his mission as a director. 

Red suit set from ORIAS STUDIOS by VIN ORIAS. Black dress shirt by MARK TAMAYO

“Rambo helped me out with one of my endorsements before. From there, I’ve always trusted him. When they told me they were opening a management, I was so excited for him and Maja. They’re very close to me and they take care of me well. We work fun, but we also work well.” 

In an age where misinformation and disinformation have proliferated, combating them has never been this challenging. But as someone who has always made the hard stuff possible to understand, Gino is compelled to continue telling the truth. 

Using history’s remnants act as the truth source, the director plans on making a film about what transpired during the Japanese occupation in the country. He specifically mentions that he wants to focus on the narratives of comfort women. 

Red suit set from ORIAS STUDIOS by VIN ORIAS. Black dress shirt by MARK TAMAYO

“I’d like to tackle stronger women,” Gino shares. “The ones who fight in many forms. I’d also like to highlight social issues and the difference of social classes brought by corruption.”

Aware of the complexities of communicating to the audience through history, the director knows what he needs to do.

It boils down to credibility at the end of the day. History is not just found in social media or TikTok. You go to professors who actually study these things. You read books. As an artist, it is your responsibility to research.

Gino Santos

Creative Direction BRIE VENTURA & GARI SY
Fashion Direction RYUJI SHIOMITSU
Hair and Makeup ARON GUEVARA
Shoot coordination KZ FRANCISCO & MJ ALMERO

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