‘Across the Crescent Moon’ crosses boundaries to bring message of hope, peace

In today’s world marred by chaos, bullying and divisiveness, the Filipino motion picture “Across The Crescent Moon” dares to bring the message of peace and unity.

Opening on January 25 in cinemas nationwide, “Across The Crescent Moon” tells the story of Abbas (played by heartthrob Matteo Guidicelli), a Moslem Special Action Force (SAF) Exemplary Officer who is married to a Christian. Abbas is tasked to investigate a human trafficking syndicate. In the process of carrying out the mission, he runs into conflict with his family, tests his fidelity to Islam, and even endangers his life.

Veteran screenwriter Baby Nebrida (who wrote the classics “Langis at Tubig,” “Init o Lamig,” “My Only Love,” “Epimaco Velasco: NBI,” “Chop-Chop Lady: The Elsa Castillo Story,” “Sana Bukas Pa Ang Kahapon” and many other notable films) is the writer, director and producer of “Across The Crescent Moon.” The movie is Direk Baby’s first action-drama film.

Direk Baby was motivated by Pope Francis’ plea to end modern-day slavery. She became more concerned when she learned through research that one out of every four victims of human trafficking is a Filipino.

“Across The Crescent Moon” brings together the biggest stars and the finest Filipino filmmakers to make this important film. Aside from Matteo, in the cast are: Christopher de Leon, Dina Bonnevie, Gabby Concepcion, Sandy Andolong, Alexandra “Alex” Godinez, Joem Bascon, Ivan Carapiet, Jerico Estregan, Leo Martinez, Rex Cortez, Jackie Aquino, Garie Concepcion, Jerene Tan, Mariel de Leon, Ku Aquino and many more notable actors and actresses.

Direk Baby has also assembled a group of acclaimed Filipino filmmakers. Topel Lee is the director of photography. Erwin Sanchez who designed “Binhi,” “Elemento” and “Violator,” is the production designer. Award-winning musician Von de Guzman is the musical scorer. Renowned audio engineer Mike Idioma of Wild Sound created the sound. While John Wong of Edge Manila studios is the film editor.

Direk Baby even flew in Hollywood stunt directors Shawn Bernal and Tim Waid to devise the fight scenes. Snooky Cruz, a noted Filipino fitness and stunt expert, was tapped to choreograph the encounter scene involving the SAF and rebel groups.

“Across The Crescent Moon” was shot on location in Tanay, Subic, Zambales, Clark, and Tawi-Tawi, including Sheikh Makdum Mosque in Simunul Island which is the first and the oldest mosque in the Philippines. An original theme song entitled “Watching The Crescent Moon” (lyrics and melody by Baby Nebrida, arrangement by Von de Guzman and sung by Bituin Escalante) was also composed to drum up the film’s advocacy.

Indeed, Direk Baby and her cast and team pulled out all the stops to send a very important message. She declares, “We are promoting love because we are one family. We have to respect each other’s beliefs. We want our film to serve as an inspiration and enlightenment to what Filipinos should value most— lasting peace, love, preservation of family unity, and displaying the respectability and acceptability of each other’s faith. Most of all, to embrace a strong sense of mission to please God or Allah and instilling in every Filipino’s heart and mind— true patriotism in loving and serving the country well in every chosen field of endeavor people choose, should be in our spirit.”

Opening across the Philippines on January 25, 2017, “Across The Crescent Moon” is produced by Gold Barn International with Amado Tan and Ana Clemena as executive producers.

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