(STAR) By Edith Regalado - The company that is shooting a movie featuring Hollywood star Josh Hartnett is “donating” funds to the gold rush site in Mt. Diwalwal.

Barangay officials in Mt. Diwalwal said they have not stipulated any amount for the “donation” to be made by Central Films Production for shooting the Josh Hartnett starrer “I Come with the Rain” at the gold-rush site.

“Actually, we have not come up with a barangay resolution yet as to how much we will charge them. But we leave it up to the producers how much they would give to the barangay. It would be in the form of a ‘donation’ instead,” Mt. Diwalwal barangay captain Franco Tito told The STAR.

Hartnett arrived here late Thursday afternoon for the filming of the $18-million detective thriller. Hartnett, of “Pearl Harbor” and “Black Hawk Down” fame, was ferried by a private helicopter to the mining site early yesterday morning.

Mt. Diwalwal, home to more than 50,000 small-scale miners, is reputed to be where the country’s biggest deposit of gold ore can be found.

The site was reportedly the personal choice of multi-awarded Vietnamese-French director Tran Anh Hung. Mt. Diwalwal is one of the locations for the shooting of “I Come with the Rain,” which started last month in Hong Kong.

Tran himself did an ocular inspection of Mt. Diwalwal last June, which convinced him more than ever that the gold-rush site would be the place in Asia where Hartnett, who plays the role of a private detective, would go to in search of an heir with healing powers.

Tran, a Vietnamese who grew up in France, was said to have been taken by the realities of the life of miners in Mt. Diwalwal that he really pushed for the film to be shot at the mining site.

Tran debuted his film career with the highly acclaimed “The Scent of the Green Papaya.” He wrote the screenplay and directs “I Come with the Rain,” which is scheduled for release next year.

Tran was reportedly even planning to submit “I Come with the Rain” as an entry in next year’s Cannes Film Festival in France.

An advance team of the film crew arrived here last week to pave the way for the arrival of Hartnett and the other major stars of the film.

Elements of the Army’s 28th Infantry Battalion have also been tapped to provide security for Hartnett and his group during their stay at the mining site. Barangay policemen were tasked to secure the crew of Central Films Productions.

“I would really assure the security of our foreign visitors from Hollywood. We are glad that they have chosen Mt. Diwalwal as the location for shooting Josh Hartnett’s film.” Tito said.

Hartnett himself is expected to stay in Mt. Diwalwal for five days to one week.

A number of Filipino stars will reportedly take part in the film, and several miners have also reportedly been tapped to play minor roles and would be paid at least P300 each.

The cast includes Tran’s wife, Tran Nu Yen Khen, and Korean heartthrob Byun Hung Lee. Lee will play the role of the Hong Kong gang boss who controls a vast Asian drug network.

Aside from “I Come with the Rain”, Tran reportedly also plans to make a number of other films at Mt. Diwalwal, including a documentary which shows that he has been following the developments at the mining site for several years already.

Tito said Tran was particularly amazed at the small shanties, much like “matchboxes” that house the miners in the area.

Tran was also said to have insisted that aside from the tunnels of the Blucor and Helica Australia mining firms, a scene would also be shot at what locals call the “bardown” site where a tunnel collapsed, killing several miners.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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