Screenwriter and author Charlotte Dianco aims to raise the bar for her fictional female characters, just like what she did for one of her more recent projects: the forthcoming ALV Films romcom, “Because I Love You,” featuring David Licauco and Shaira Diaz.

In the movie, Shaira plays the feisty, street-smart firefighter who proudly continues her departed dad’s heroic legacy. This is a far cry from the stereotypical sweet and demure belles who spend their lives chasing their “happily ever after” moments.

Through the powerful medium of print and film, Charlotte hopes to inspire her readers/viewers to live fearlessly and not be afraid to shatter stereotypes.

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Charlotte Dianco

That same aspirational missive is stamped all over her previous works, including “Magpakailanman” (June 2017-December 2018), “EB Lenten” (Inay-2017), “Maynila” (2015-2017), “Calle Siete” (2016), “Princess in the Palace” (2015-2016), “Wattpad Presents” (2014-2015), “Beki Boxer” (2014), “One of the Boys” (2014), “Cassandra Warrior Angel” (2013), “Enchanted Garden” (2012-2013), “Third Eye” (2012) and “Nandito Ako” (2012).

She has also published a sizeable catalog of Precious Hearts Romances book titles, including “The Cavaliers,” “Destined for Love,” “Por La Eternidad,” “Cure My Heart,” “All in the Name of Love,” and more.

She recalled: “I grew up in a military family. I have a lot of brothers and most of my cousins are boys, but we’re very matriarchal. My mom has a tough personality and she raised me to be independent and strong.

“I usually put my thoughts and stand through writing. So, when my characters follow their hearts and fight for their dreams in the story, it’s my way of telling my readers and viewers that it’s okay to pursue their dreams and happiness; that no matter how rocky the road may be, they shouldn’t give up or stop their journey.”

And what better way to flesh out her characters than to mold them from real-life pegs, thanks to her keen observational powers.

“Most of the traits and personalities of my characters are based on real people – from friends, family to those I meet along the way. Sometimes, I could sit long hours just observing strangers go on their everyday lives (in coffee shops, streets, random places),” she said.

When did she get the creative spark for “Because I Love You?”

“I created the whole concept/storyline back in 2014 because the characters are part of my own literary universe. Summer (Shaira’s role) is a cousin of Revo from Book 6 of my book series with Precious Hearts Romances and Rael (David’s character) has also appeared several times in the batch 2 of my book series, “The Cavaliers.” I wrote the screenplay in 2017, and it took me a week to finish it.”

“Because I Love You” marks Charlotte’s reunion with award-winning director Joel Lamangan, who she had previously worked with in some of GMA-7 and TV5’s teleseryes.

“When ALV asked me to choose the director for BILY, I immediately asked for Direk Joel because I like working with him. He’s brilliant, meticulous, strict, and most importantly, he respects the writer (and the script). I was his series writer for ‘Madam Chairman,’ ‘Lady Next Door,’ ‘Enchanted Garden’ and ‘Magpakailanman.’”

DAVID LICAUCO and Shaira Diaz - ‘Because I Love You’ writer raises the bar for empowered woman

DAVID LICAUCO and Shaira Diaz (Twitter)

After previewing the initial rushes, Charlotte was happy with their lead stars’ performances.

“They have amazing onscreen chemistry,” she said. “I’ve known Shaira since her TV5 days. I’ve worked with her several times and she’s a natural actress. David, despite being new in the industry, Is hardworking and always willing to learn. He’s dedicated and very professional, which is a good combination.”

To date, ALV Films president Arnold Vegafria had already contracted Charlotte for a follow-up romcom project.

Produced by ALV Films in cooperation with Garahe Films, (distributed by Regal Films), “Because I Love You” opens in cinemas on June 26.

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