Kai is a work-obsessed overachiever who arrives in Flotsam, a quaint artist beach hostel in San Juan, La Union. There she meets Tisoy, a very mysterious local bartender who becomes her summer fling and perfect antidote to restiveness.
The trouble is, Kai is getting married in three weeks’ time. Will she tie the knot with her fiancé or will she learn to slow down and learn to give up control?
That’s the premise of Jay Abello’s newest maindie (mainstream indie) shot entirely in the surfing town of La Union. The central characters Kai and Tisoy are played by Solenn Heussaff and Rocco Nacino, respectively.
Also, Abello’s latest project delves into seven other interweaving love stories, offering something relatable for everyone– that’s however an approximate figure, according to the filmmaker because some of them fall out of love while others double up or change partners.
The poetic keynote to the film though comes from one of the child actor’s examination about that ‘goddamn love’ the adults are talking about, to which Tisoy explains in vernacular, “Love doesn’t have a manual…you just have to try it.”
“Flotsam means wreckage of a ship washed up by the sea, it can also mean things rejected and are regardless worthless. Either way, people will see how Flotsam gathers floating debris and turn them into a beautiful love story on taking chances and making sound decisions,” Solenn told The Standard.
She furthered that the beach movie is a lighthearted romcom, which stories are based on real-life experiences of the people who run the hostel Flotsam and Jetsam.
“That what makes the movie relatable. It’s based on actual experience. It was made easy for us actors to draw out raw emotions because, one way or another, we have had experienced the same situation,” the Kapuso star said.
Solenn, her co-stars and the rest of the crew had to stay in the picturesque surfing town for two weeks to shoot the film. And for the first time, Solenn is appearing on the big screen au naturel.
“No makeup, no fake eyelashes,” she gushed.
The 30-year-old actress confessed that staying there for that period helped them create a certain bond. And that also made them shoot the film with ease. In fact, when they shot her steamy scene with Rocco, they didn’t feel any sort of awkwardness.
“That part of the film when we had to do the intimate scene didn’t bother me at all. First, these kinds of scenes, though they might appear very intimate and romantic on screen, are very technical and calculated. Besides, we’re both actors and it’s work, we just do what the script asks us to do,” Solenn explained.
Flotsam also gathers around live music, originally written for the film by Eraserheads guitarist Marcus Adoro, and Flotsam Folk Yeah! Family Band members Mia Sebastian and Kiddo Cosio.
“Yes, apart from bikinis, there will be a lot of singing in the movie, too,” Solenn added.
The songs were not only sung live, but also recorded real-time in true jamming sessions to reflect the real musicality of the place.
Flotsam also stars Marc Abaya, Carla Humphries, Franco Daza, Barbara Miguel, Adrian Cabido, Gerard Garcia and Julia Quisumbing. It will be shown nationwide on Nov. 4.