Maricel Soriano (above, left) will star in Rain Valdez’s upcoming trans-led romantic comedy “Re-Live: A Tale of an American Island Cheerleader,” Variety has learned exclusively. As previously reported, “Re-Live” co-writers Rachel Leyco and Valdez (above, right) star as sisters Rochelle and Rowena, respectively. Soriano will play their mother, Thelma. Jhett Tolentino (“Lingua Franca”) will executive produce in association with Shant Joshi’s Fae Pictures.
“Re-Live” tells the story of Rowena, a transgender movie star who returns to her home in Guam for her high school reunion’s “do-over week.” Rowena’s plan to live out her childhood dream of being a cheerleader falters when her mother’s cancer begins to worsen, and she learns to value the family she left behind. The film marks Valdez’s feature directorial debut.
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“Having a legendary Filipino actress like Maricel Soriano strengthens our commitment to telling our stories from our authentic experiences and for our Filipinx diaspora,” Leyco and Valdez said in statement. “Now more than ever, this empowers us to further highlight our communities at a time when visibility must be taken to new heights to fight against the rise of anti-trans and anti-Asian violence.”
Soriano is one of the Philippines’ most awarded actors, with a career spanning more than 50 years in film and television.
“Re-Live” is set to begin shooting in November in Hawai’i and Guam. It was previously selected for Inside Out’s LGBT Finance Forum in 2021 and won the Inside Out Pitch Please! competition in 2019.
Valdez received a Primetime Emmy nomination for outstanding actress in a short form comedy or drama series for her lead role in “Razor Tongue,” which she created, crowdfunded and produced.
Maricel Soriano is represented by Biboy Arboleda and Veana Fores. Tolentino brokered the deal.
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