Xian Lim to direct country's first puppetry film series

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 1) – Actor Xian Lim now sits in the director's chair to helm the country's first puppetry film series entitled MALA-Ibong Adarna, a reimagined version of the famous Filipino literary classic.

Lim shared with CNN Philippines' Rico Hizon that it was a big challenge to do the project because of the puppets' limitations in movements.

"I am very lucky to be working with the top ventriloquists in the Philippines," said Lim, who also recently launched his first solo art exhibit.

MALA, which means Movies Adopted from the Literary Arts, is a co-production with the Cultural Center of the Philippines. It seeks to educate the current young generation on beloved Filipino literary classics. It is also made in honor of National Artist for Theater Amelia Lapeña-Bonifacio, known for her theatrical works using puppets.

The screen heartthrob bared that the film's cast and crew is on a shooting 'bubble' and the scenes are captured by film cameras.

"It is very exciting times because we can reach out to more kids in the form of puppetry," Lim said. "It is more engaging and it is more exciting telling a story of a literary classic."

The actor hopes more children will be introduced to puppetry, especially now that they are isolated at homes and frequently use technological devices, He added that each act in the series is infused with music and poetry.

Renowned ventriloquist Ronaldo Carcamo is the lead screenplay writer for the project. Puppet designer Aina Ramolete and art director Kaye Banaag are in charge of the production design. Jem Florendo acts as music composer and Miguel Hernandez serves as sound designer.

The MALA puppetry series will be streamed on the CCP Office of the President's Facebook page this month. It will also have a version of the Francisco Balagtas classic Florante at Laura, which will be announced soon.