Japanese drama Plan 75 is heading to Philippine theaters: ‘Pack your tissues’

(From left to right) Japanese actor Hayato Isomura, Japanese director and screenwriter Chie Hayakawa and Filipino actress Stefanie Arianne pose as they arrive for the screening of Plan 75 at the 75th edition of the Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, southern France, on May 20, 2022. (Photo by Patricia de Melo Moreira/AFP via Getty Images)
(From left to right) Japanese actor Hayato Isomura, Japanese director and screenwriter Chie Hayakawa and Filipino actress Stefanie Arianne pose as they arrive for the screening of Plan 75 at the 75th edition of the Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, southern France, on May 20, 2022. (Photo by Patricia de Melo Moreira/AFP via Getty Images)

The studio behind "Heneral Luna" and "I’m Drunk, I Love You" is set to bring "Plan 75" to Philippine theaters. And Filipina-Japanese actress Stefanie Arianne is “completely over the moon” now that Philippine audiences can watch the Japanese dystopian drama.

“It’s such an important film that represents us Filipinos on the international scene. I am thankful to everyone who made this premiere in the Philippines possible,” she told Yahoo Philippines.

Written and directed by Chie Hayakawa, Plan 75 is set in a world where senior citizens are encouraged to undergo euthanasia for $1,000. The film details the moral and social implications of the titular Plan 75 through the eyes of overseas Filipino worker (OFW) Maria (Arianne in her Cannes debut), unemployed motel maid Michi (Chieko Baisho), and “pragmatic” program agent Himori (Hayato Isomurai).

When asked what Philippine viewers can expect from the movie, Arianne advised them to “pack your tissues.” According to her, Plan 75 “highlights the contrast between Filipino and Japanese culture” when it comes to taking care of the elderly.

Additionally, “it’s also a window to the lives of OFWs. It shows their hardships and sacrifices for their loved ones back home. The movie also highlights how tight-knit and welcoming our community is even if you’re not blood-related.”

TBA Studios bagged the distribution rights for the film. Their Executive Vice President and General Manager Daphne Chiu said in a press release that “it’s truly an honor for us to be able to bring this beautiful film to the Philippines. It’s a quiet and understated film, but with a big poignant message that we hope could reach a lot of people.”

In the same press release, Hayakawa, who based the film in his segment in the 2018 anthology film "Ten Years Japan", was delighted at the update. According to him, he is “truly grateful to all the Filipino cast members and producers and those who believe in and support this film.

Plan 75 joins TBA Studios’ recent slew of international films that they have distributed locally. These films include the A24-produced sci-fi comedy-drama "Everything, Everywhere, All at Once", and soon this year, the Swedish black comedy "Triangle of Sadness". The latter won the Palme d’Or in the 2022 Cannes Film Festival (where Plan 75 competed under the "Un Certain Regard" category and won the Camera d’Or special mention prize).

Both Plan 75 and Triangle of Sadness featured an actress of Filipino blood, with Dolly de Leon also co-starring in the latter film.

While TBA Studios is yet to share how, when, and where audiences can watch Plan 75, Arianne hoped local viewers would be able to “appreciate the film just as much as I do.”

“Don't forget to pack your tissues and stay hydrated! Maraming salamat po at ingat po kayo! (Thank you so much and take care everybody!)"

Reuben Pio Martinez is a news writer who covers stories on various communities and scientific matters. He regularly tunes in to local happenings. The views expressed are his own.

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