Just this week, Bench posted a video that warmed the hearts of Filipinos regardless of gender or sexual preferences.
“Amoy Kita” tells the story of JR (Limer Veloso), a college student who’s been hiding his sexuality from his father for fear of disappointing him.
Director Chris Martinez, who gave us entertaining comedies like Ang Babae sa Septic Tank and Kimmy Dora: Kambal sa Kiyeme, confessed that he wanted to make the online film as relevant to our times as possible.
“I just went for the difficult struggles of coming out,” he said in an exclusive interview with SABAW.ph.
With the LGBTQ+ community dominating the entertainment scene and making a mark in various industries, you’d think that it’d be easier to be an openly gay man in these times. But the difficulty of coming out remains unchanged, especially when it comes to those closest to you—like your parents.
In the video, JR tries to grab the attention of his crush, Vince (Marco Gumabao), by transforming into his true self once his father drops him off at school. When he gets home, he goes back to being a straight-acting young man, concealing his sexuality from his father yet again.
“I just kept my focus on how difficult it is to come out to your parents especially to your father,” said Martinez, adding that his directing style for the video was inspired by his personal experiences
The surprising and touching end of the video encapsulates how important it is to feel acceptance and love from your father. Martinez, who was backed up by a production team that made casting, shooting, and editing smooth, managed to also shoot alternative endings to the film.
“We have versions of different reactions of the son from subtle to not so subtle. We also have an alternative ending where the dad goes into the room, sits beside him, comforts him and hugs him.”
Because “Amoy Kita” was crafted in such a simple yet relatable way, it has since turned viral with over three million views within twenty four hours of posting. With the views and shares came, as of this writing, hundreds of comments from people narrating their own stories of coming out, some even creating accompanying memes. It has even sparked discussion about acceptance.
“Naaaliw ako sa mga friends ko na binabantayan ang number of views by the hour tapos nagre-report sila sa ‘kin,” Martinez said.
Martinez credited the overwhelming positive response to the video to the quality and universality of the narrative. “In its entirety, it is a feel-good film,” he stated.
With all the “Amoy Kita” memes, reaction videos, and stories that have been popping up on social media, Martinez shares that the best response is seeing people sharing the video, and tagging their friends and family.
The video’s positive message, heart-tugging scenes, and tremendous feedback show how #LoveWins over and over again. Martinez agreed, saying “it’s a feeling you want people close to you to experience too,” and “Amoy Kita” has certainly achieved more than just that.