JC Alcantara and Kaori Oinuma bring extra chemistry to “School Year 2007”
“You had me with ‘Hello,’ I lost you with ‘Goodbye,’” croons New Hope Club in their latest single, Just Don’t Know It Yet. The gentle ballad, lead with a simple guitar instrumental, wistfully looks at the possibilities. But the lovelorn whispers remain just that, with the song ending with the hope that one day they transform into realities. After all, they really just don’t know it yet.
The single comes to life in this Filipino-made short film, School Year 2007, starring JC Alcantara and Kaori Oinuma. Produced by Project 8 Projects and directed by Geo Lomuntad, the 13-minute story explores the joyous thrill of puppy love and the pain of the one that got away. To celebrate this milestone, the British pop act even dropped by its red carpet premiere on April 29th, greeting their eager fans and watching it unfold on the big screen.
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School Year 2007 takes the story behind Just Don’t Know It Yet and expands it into a different universe. The short introduces us to Cathy and Angelo, two best friends who drifted apart and reunited at their mutual friend’s proposal. Set in their humble high school campus, the two relive their memories: starting as bickering nemeses before becoming the best of friends. But life happensl the obligations that come with high school graduation catch up, and the two get pulled apart. Now that their paths have crossed again, can the wishful thinking turn into something more?
Geo Lomuntad highlights the elements that make the era in School Year 2007, from handmade posters on illustration boards and games on old Nokias to the familiar nostalgia of innocent high school romances. “I have always been inspired by the mid-2000s. I was in high school at the time,” he shares in a press release. “It was [during] those years that I experienced my first love and my first heartbreak. I wanted to share this feeling with other people, and that’s why I came up with the story.” But what makes the short unique is its ode to the Filipino high school experience: the heavy burden of cleaning the classroom at the end of the day, the childish games of tag in hallways and the great move to the capital city to chase their dreams.
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Nonetheless, the ballad by the pop trio provides the perfect soundtrack for the short. Despite multiple chances, the main character lets go of the other for the second time. With this twist, New Hope Club’s Just Don’t Know It Yet takes up a new meaning. Instead of wishful thinking, the lyrics have become a secret kept a second time, without the possibility of pining becoming a reality.
But more than crying over the pains of love, this unlikely but blossoming team-up between New Hope Club and Geo Lomuntad’s team also shows one of the best sides to music: its uniting power. Through Just Don’t Know It Yet and School Year 2007, music and lyrics connect two cultures to speak the language of love.
Stream “School Year 2007” on New Hope Club’s official YouTube channel. Keep tabs on the British pop trio by following them on Instagram, TikTok, Facebook and Twitter.
Art Matthew Ian Fetalver