By Matt Mattei - [email protected]

Isabella Sobejano, of Laflin, stars in ‘Sugar Skull Girls,’ available now

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From left: Addy Miller and Isabella Sobejano work on a scene from ‘Sugar Skull Girls.’ Addy called Isabella a ‘phenomenal actress’ and said it’s ‘an honor’ to call her a friend.
Submitted photo
Isabella Sobejano, 16, of Laflin, has had the opportunity to act in commercials, short films, and the feature film ‘Sugar Skull Girls.’ Although Isabella enjoys acting, she plans to focus on her education and study medicine.
Submitted photo
Isabella Sobejano, of Laflin, is seen here in a scene from ‘Sugar Skull Girls.’ Isabella plays Venus, a teenage shape-shifter who is resurrected from the dead in the ‘fun’ Halloween-themed film targeting adolescent girls as an audience.
Submitted photo

Special effects, famous co-stars and teenage angst are all part of a recently released feature film starring a local actress.

Isabella Sobejano, of Laflin, plays a lead role in Potent Media’s “Sugar Skull Girls,” which is now available on Amazon Prime and scheduled for release on Netflix, Red Box and cable TV in 2017.

The 16-year-old Wyoming Seminary student plays Venus, one of three supernatural sisters raised from the dead accidentally when a conjuring, intended to resurrect another young girl, goes awry.

When Venus and her fashion-forward sisters, Luna and Blue, reach the land of the living they have to deal with the Pale Witch, who is not pleased about the girls’ resurrection, as well as the daily turbulence of teenage life.

“We all have different personalities,” Isabella said of her and her fellow title characters. “Since the whole conjuring went wrong, the Pale Witch wants us back.”

Isabella said the Halloween-themed film targets girls 12 and younger as an audience.

“It’s a lot of fun, because of all the special effects in it,” Isabella said. “For instance, there’s one scene where my character, Venus, the shape-shifter, turns into a Venus flytrap.”

Another intriguing aspect of the film, Isabella said, is the reputable cast of actors and actresses.

The film features Michael Berryman, a renowned character actor best known for his roles as Pluto in Wes Craven’s “The Hills Have Eyes” and Ellis in Milos Forman’s film adaptation of “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.”

Leslie Easterbrook, known for roles as Sgt. Callahan in the “Police Academy” series and Mother Firefly in “The Devil’s Rejects,” also stars in the film. Addy Miller, who plays Venus’ sister, Luna, in “Sugar Skull Girls” first caught the attention of audiences as young Lily in “The Secret Life of Bees” and as the little girl zombie in the pilot episode of AMC’s “The Walking Dead.”

Addy, a 16-year-old Raleigh, N.C. resident, said Isabella was “great to work with” on set.

“We had to play sisters in the film, and it felt like we were sisters in real life,” Addy said. “She was always smiling and positive, and she’s a phenomenal actress. I feel honored to have worked with her and to be able to call her my friend.”

Isabella started working in the industry at a very young age. She has modeled, acted in commercials and short films, and now seeing her first feature film come to fruition, the efforts she said, have brought her great satisfaction.

“It was such a long process in editing and distribution,” Isabella said. “Now that it’s out, and I can see my work in the finished product, I’m very excited.”

Isabella’s mother, Paola Bianco, said the role was a learning and growing experience for her daughter outside the realm of sports — Isabella is an avid tennis player — and academics.

“Besides memorizing her lines, learning to work under a director and learning other acting skills, her experience has … taught her how to work in a team effectively, improved her communication skills, and taught her to get along with all types of people,” Bianco said.

Isabella’s other projects since working on “Sugar Skull Girls” include a major role in “Thursday the 12th,” which is still filming and supporting roles in “Under the Eagle” and “The Composer,” which are both in post production, but she said her acting has slowed down for now.

“I’m focused more on my school work,” Isabella said. “I definitely want to study medicine. For now (acting) is enjoyable … but I think it’s more important to focus on my education, because acting is just such a toss up. It’s not something I want to depend on.”

From left: Addy Miller and Isabella Sobejano work on a scene from ‘Sugar Skull Girls.’ Addy called Isabella a ‘phenomenal actress’ and said it’s ‘an honor’ to call her a friend.
http://theweekender.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/web1_Venus-and-Luna.jpgFrom left: Addy Miller and Isabella Sobejano work on a scene from ‘Sugar Skull Girls.’ Addy called Isabella a ‘phenomenal actress’ and said it’s ‘an honor’ to call her a friend. Submitted photo

Isabella Sobejano, 16, of Laflin, has had the opportunity to act in commercials, short films, and the feature film ‘Sugar Skull Girls.’ Although Isabella enjoys acting, she plans to focus on her education and study medicine.
http://theweekender.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/web1_Isabella.jpgIsabella Sobejano, 16, of Laflin, has had the opportunity to act in commercials, short films, and the feature film ‘Sugar Skull Girls.’ Although Isabella enjoys acting, she plans to focus on her education and study medicine. Submitted photo

Isabella Sobejano, of Laflin, is seen here in a scene from ‘Sugar Skull Girls.’ Isabella plays Venus, a teenage shape-shifter who is resurrected from the dead in the ‘fun’ Halloween-themed film targeting adolescent girls as an audience.
http://theweekender.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/web1_Isabella3.jpgIsabella Sobejano, of Laflin, is seen here in a scene from ‘Sugar Skull Girls.’ Isabella plays Venus, a teenage shape-shifter who is resurrected from the dead in the ‘fun’ Halloween-themed film targeting adolescent girls as an audience. Submitted photo
‘Sugar Skull Girls’ now available on Amazon Prime, coming to Netflix

By Matt Mattei

[email protected]

Reach Matt Mattei at 570-991-6651 or [email protected]

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Reach Matt Mattei at 570-991-6651 or [email protected]