Vivamax a hit among Koreans, Japanese

We had better believe it: South Koreans and Japanese go for Vivamax movies.

At the recent Busan International Film Festival held in Busan, South Korea, South Korean distribution outfits Lumixmedia, WithLion and Jaye Entertainment acquired more than 40 original Vivamax titles for distribution in their territory, while the Japanese distribution company Nettai Museum bought 24 titles.

The Vivamax delegation, headed by chairman and CEO Vic Del Rosario and president and COO Vincent Del Rosario, was able to close multi-picture deals with Korean and Japanese distribution companies during the festival.

With over 60 original titles of locally produced films sold to Asian distributors and others in the foreign market this year, the Vivamax haul is reportedly one of the largest ever in Philippine entertainment history.

The Vivamax executives consider the feat as partly a distinct recognition of the high acceptability of the works of fast-rising young directors and established auteurs whom the company has supported and nurtured these past two years, such as Lawrence Fajardo, Roman Perez Jr., Bobby Bonifacio, Jr. Yam Laranas, Topel Lee and Brilliante Mendoza. 

Established in early 2021 during the COVID-19 pandemic, Vivamax easily gained loyal patronage and created impressive traction with a steady schedule of one new original title released weekly and one new series every two weeks. 

Vivamax said it now has over 7 million subscribers worldwide ­— in Asia, Europe, the Middle East and North America, making it the Philippines’ No.1 local streaming platform. 

Mysterious actress

This week, Vivamax is set to stream Salakab, topbilled by the mysterious actress who is bruited to be the “Vivamax Queen” Angeli Khang, 22, who claims to be half-Korean and that her father is a general in the South Korean army. 

Khang rarely turns up in the media conferences for her films. One such event she attended was only virtual last year, where she admitted that “Khang” is her real surname but her real first name is “Agnes.” She said her family is “conservative” and that her father wants her to join the South Korean military. 

She also confided that she was only 17 when she agreed to be managed by Jojo Veloso as a cosplayer and model. Majority of the actors that appear in Vivamax movies are Veloso’s talents, including the three other lead stars of Salakab: Benz Sangalang and newcomers Sahara Bernales and Horace Mendoza. 

Salakab (the word refers to a bamboo fishing trap) is helmed by Roman Perez Jr. who directed Khang in her first Vivamax film, Taya, headlined by AJ Raval who was the previous Vivamax Queen.

Khang earned the title soon enough with the erotic drama Silip Sa Apoy, the first- anniversary presentation of Vivamax in 2022. She has appeared in more than 20 Vivamax films since being signed up in 2021. 

Silip Sa Apoy reportedly garnered the “highest views ever,” with over 250,000 views on its opening weekend, thus beating Vivamax’s Hugas, starring Raval.

At the recent Salakab media launch, only Perez, Sangalang and the newbies Bernales and Mendoza turned up. Khang was again a no-show.

Vivamax movies are usually shot in less than 10 days. For instance, Salakab was shot in five days straight in Francisco island between Batangas and Quezon province. On that island, recalled Perez at the presscon, there was only one rock near the shore where they could get a mobile signal. They had to wade in shallow waters for about an hour before they could reach that “signal rock.”