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Cebuano Filmmaker Kerwin Go Tackles Drug Dealing In His Debut Film ‘Mina-Anud’

Dennis Trillo, Matteo Guidicelli, and Jerald Napoles star in this crime comedy film

Cebuano filmmaker Kerwin Go makes his debut with the upcoming film Mina-Anud, which is based on true events and tells the story of that time in 2009 when three tons of high-grade cocaine were mysteriously found on the shores of a seaside community in Eastern Samar. Selected as the closing film for this year’s Cinemalaya Film Festival, the plot of the movie was experienced by the director himself. "I was there when the incident happened, and I felt very compelled to tell it," Kerwin tells Metro.Style. "As a filmmaker, there are certain stories that only you are uniquely qualified to tell. You have to write what you know, and for me, it’s this material."


Cebuano filmmaker Kerwin Go

Mina-Anud revolves around the lives of Ding and Carlo, played by Dennis Trillo and Jerald Napoles, respectively. Ding is lured by his bestfriend Carlo into selling the cocaine bricks after learning about its price. There’s also Paul, Matteo Guidicelli’s character, a b-list celebrity who partners with the two to engage in drug dealing in Manila. Eventually, they find themselves in a gain and lose situation.

Jerald Napoles as Carlo and Dennis Trillo as Ding in 'Mina-Anud'
Matteo Guidicelli as Paul in 'Mina-Anud'

The narrative is a timely material, and despite the story being a tricky one to release for his debut film, Kerwin has always known that Mina-Anud will be his introduction to the Filipino film industry. "I think I already had it at the back of my mind, that this would be my first," Kerwin shares. It’s also perfect timing for him as viewers are now looking for material that veers away from the usual themes of love and drama. The combination of comedy, drama, and action, with surfing and beach culture thrown in, is a refreshing break that movie-goers can easily get drawn to.

Kerwin describes it as an "underdog film." Still, what's nice about is that it’s underlying themes are absolutely relatable. It’s also parallel to the director’s career; he began as a technician of somebody else’s material and, now, he has mustered up the courage to put his own work out there. "Just like the characters in the movie, I decided na, 'Okay, it's now or never,'" Kerwin reveals.

'Mina-Anud' also showcases the beach lifestyle and surfing culture.

As with many firsts, of course, challenges came with the movie's production. The limited time and number of days, the ambitious script, the effort it takes to put together all the actors’ schedules, and the hassles that come when shooting outdoors were hurdles the cast and crew had to overcome. It was a nightmare, Kerwin says, but he credits his crew as "a very dedicated bunch of professionals." "So even though all of these things were thrown at us, we're still able to pull through just because of everybody's effort," he points out.

When asked about the main takeaway from the film, the director answers that it’s just for us to realize that the "now" is more important than anything else. "Especially now with social media, we always feel like we're being left behind. We always feel inadequate because people have more than what we have—they're going on a nicer vacation, they have nicer cars, and whatever. I'd like people to take a step back and just to look and see and appreciate what they already have and to live more in the moment," Kerwin shares.

With Mina-Anud’s nationwide release set on August 21, he’s on steady momentum with a new gothic horror flick and action satire comedy in the works. 

Photos from @minaanudfilm