Independent film is alive despite pandemic – Manila bulletin



Thanks to Cinemalaya and the PCC, the Filipino film industry stays afloat

Some say that Filipino cinema is dying, but we are not giving up, at least not the Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival, which supports the lives of young Filipino filmmakers in the making. While the world is still in the grip of the coronavirus, the independent film festival is navigating social currents, once again traveling to the digital platform. Participating films will be screened on from August 6 to September 5.

This is the second online edition of the Philippines’ largest independent film festival. In its 17th edition, Cinemalaya remains prominent today, unwavering in its mission to discover, encourage, support, train and recognize gifted independent Filipino filmmakers.

These 13 interesting short films are in competition for the prestigious Balanghai Trophies this year.

Children on fire by Kyle Nieva tells the story of a prepubescent boy discovering the power of his sexuality during a religious camp, where he fulfills his special role in the prophesied return of the Son of God.

Maski Papano (I mask continue) by Tagyamon and Glenn Barit follows the tale of a face mask that, after being thrown, begins to transform into a humanoid figure. He wanders the different places of Manila in search of his former owner.

that of Myra Aquino Beauty queen follows the struggles of a young woman during WWII in the Philippines after losing her father.

At Marc Misa Crossing, a desperate security guard named Gabriel Arkanghell plots to rob a bus. Just before he committed the crime, two real thieves beat him in the fist. Gabriel is forced to become the hero he didn’t intend to be, stuck at a crossroads between doing what’s necessary versus what’s right.

Playful child learns the value of time and life as he finds his way back to his father by Kawatan Sa Salog (A toy in the river) by Alphie Velasco.

Ang Pagdadalaga nor Lola Mayumi by Shiri Francesca D. De Leon, tells the story of an old virgin woman who hires a callboy to change her perspective on men.

A tikbalang turns into a teenager to disprove rumor horse demons are killing civilians in the mountain in In search of Rafflesias and other ephemeral things by James Fajardo.

A housekeeper in difficulty goes through an unexpected and uplifting experience in Ate OG by Kevin Mayuga.

Enrico Po Out of body takes the audience on a macabre commercial shoot with a young model.

Ang Mga Nawalang Pag-Asa in Panlasa (The Lost Hopes and Flavors) by Kevin Jay Ayson is a documentary on the quest for “Iloco pagkaing” in the midst of the health crisis.

Career and friendship are on the line when a comic book artist tells his writer the truth about his relationships in Dust for you by David Olson.

Grandmother and grandson comfort each other and face the harsh reality of the pandemic together in Namnama En Lolang (Grandmother’s Hope) by Jonnie Lyn Dasalla.

Finally, the recent winner of the Nespresso Philippines Talents 2021, is An Sadit na Planeta (Little Planet) by Arjanmar Rebeta, who follows the adventures of a young man who explores a very small planet.

Cinemalaya has remained at the forefront of independent Filipino cinema since its inception in 2005. But to keep things fresh, other projects are underway.

The selection committee noted that applications for the main competition have become predictable, following recurring themes of gender, poverty and social inequalities. Thus, to find new cinematic voices and develop a growing audience for independent films, Cinemalaya Film Lab was introduced. This is a three-month cinema-laboratory mentoring program that takes place over the second half of the year, particularly from September to November.

With the efforts of some organizations, we strive to sustain and develop the local film scene. The Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival provides vital support to up and coming young Filipino filmmakers.

The Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) will open its doors with a hybrid drive-in cinema, called Cinema Under the Stars, where cinema regulars watch a film in Liwasang Ullalim’s hybrid drive-in cinema. The first audience-centric onsite event since the lockdown, the open-air hybrid cinema caters to everyone, whether motorists, bikers, or even those who are just strolling and passing by. .

Of course, the pillars of Cinemalaya remain. Gawad CCP Para sa Alternatibong Pelikula at Video, Asia’s oldest independent film and video competition, is set to take off again this year.

The usual Visions of Asia, a major component of the film festival, will continue to screen award-winning independent films from Asia. Likewise, IndieNation will feature outstanding and critically acclaimed feature films and short films produced over the past year.

Another component is the Cinemalaya retrospectives which showcase past Cinemalaya films. The film festival will also pay tribute to people who have made a great contribution to the Filipino film industry, such as filmmaker Mel Chionglo, former chairman of Cinemalaya’s competition and monitoring committee, with the screening of three of his best films.

Also attend the premieres, a screening of feature and short films produced last year for the first time in the Philippines, as well as the launch of the book “Riding the Waves: 15 Years of Cinemalaya”, a comprehensive guide to the colorful history of largest independent film festival in the country.

The film festival is co-presented by CCP and the Cinemalaya Foundation Inc. This year, they partnered up with streaming platforms and Kumu. Other business partners are Huachen Bayfront Hotel, McDonald’s Philippines, Optima Digital, B + C Design Inc .. Meanwhile, Magazine Rank, Adobo Magazine, Our awesome planet,, ArtPlus Magazine, Click City, Online business world, WeThePvblic, Filipino primer, and the Manila Broadcasting Company, are media partners.





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