The novel chronicles the lives of two Filipino women — Amparo, a quiet socialite born into a wealthy family, and Beverly, a wide-eyed mail-order bride — who migrate to California and discover hidden truths as their stories meet and intertwine. It was published in 2013 in English by Penguin Random House, in Filipino by National Book Store and in Spanish by Grupo Planeta. The novel won the highest literary prize in the Philippines – the Grand Prize of the Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards.
Filipino-Canadian filmmaker Martin Edralin, who tackled a migration theme in the Canadian Screen Awards nominated and SXSW-winning feature “Islands,” will direct. Rae Red (“The Woman and the Gun”) is adapting the novel as a screenplay.
Justin Deimen and Micah Tadena will produce for Singapore and London headquartered 108 Media. Executive producers on the project include Anna Liza Recto and Michael Kaleda of Los Angeles-based talent management and production company Bold MP, with Kevin Balhetchet and 108 Media’s Ryo Ebe and Abhi Rastogi.
Cuneta said: “I wanted to do ‘The Mango Bride’ because it’s the best way to connect to a global audience by putting some of the best Filipino talents and stories together to tell an emotional and uplifting story like this. I have long been a fan of Marivi Soliven’s writing, from ‘Suddenly Stateside,’ her collection of light essays about living in the U.S., to ‘The Mango Bride.’ She captures the Filipino migrant and Filipino American experience skilfully.”
Production is due to commence in late 2022.