The Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) and the Cinemalaya Foundation are definitely back in the spotlight as they launch the 14th edition of the country’s biggest independent film festival, the Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival, which will run from August 3 to 12, 2018.
This year, the Cinemalaya can also be seen in the following venues such as Glorietta, Greenbelt, UP Town, Trinoma, and Ayala Malls in Legazpi, Albay.
The 2018 Cinemalaya Film Festival carries the theme “Wings of Vision”. The theme, according to CCP President Arsenio Lizaso, was derived from a poem made by Jose Corazon De Jesus in a 1982 poem entitled “Pakpak”. He also added a short excerpt on where the theme was lifted, “Bigyan mo ng pakpak itong aking diwa., At ako’t lilipad hanggang kay Bathala.”
Lizaso also reminisced the good old days of the film industry by saying, “Masaya po ang buhay pelikula.” He further encouraged the audience to continuously support local films.
Since 2005, Cinemalaya has continued to discover, encourage and support the cinematic works of upcoming and veteran Filipino filmmakers who boldly articulate and freely interpret the Philippine experience with fresh insight and artistic integrity. Cinemalaya has supported and promoted the production of Filipino full feature independent films and short films. Many of these films have won awards in local and international competitions and festivals. Through the annual festival, Cinemalaya has showcased over 1,000 works by independent filmmakers including full feature films, shorts, documentaries, Filipino film classics, and art films.
Judging by this year’s line up of full-length films and short features, the Cinemalaya 2018 promises to deliver the best visual storytelling to every film enthusiast. They also assured the public that the films will surely capture the audience’s imagination.
Following the theme “Wings of Vision,” this year’s Cinemalaya will screen 10 full-length films, all competing for the grand awards. The competing full-length entries are:
- “Distance” by Percival Intalan
- “Kung Paano Hinihintay ang Dapithapon (Waiting for Sunset)” by Carlo Enciso Catu
- “Kuya Wes” by James Robin Mayo
- “Liway” by Kip Oebanda
- “Mamang” by Denise O’Hara
- “ML” by Benedicto Mique Jr.
- “Musmos na Sumibol sa Gubat ng Digma (Unless the Water is Safer than the Land)” by Iar Lionel Arondaing
- “Pan De Salawal (The Sweet taste of Salter Bread and Undies)” by Che Espiritu
- “School Service” by Luisito Lagdameo Ignacio
- “The Lookout” by Afi Africa
Various actors participating in the full-length films were also present during the press launching.
“It is very refreshing because it is different from the other roles I had. In here, I am not sure what I am but I would really aspire it especially that I am working alongside Dante Rivero and Perla Bautista,” Menggie Cobarrubias said, part of Carlo Enciso Catu’s Kung Paano Hinihintay ang Dapithapon.
The veteran actor also added that he always look forward, despite his age, to working with his co-actors.
With a controversial teaser trailer that left the audience in awe, the main star of Benedict Mique’s ML (Martial Law), one of the veteran actors of this generation, Eddie Garcia stressed that the film had no political agenda despite its title. Garcia will play the role of an old retired soldier during the dark days of Martial Law.
“You just behave and you don’t have any problem,” Garcia stated. When asked if he could still do gay roles for the film, the 89-year-old actor jokingly said he is ready and would willingly do any roles if mandated.
Another film set in the Martial Law era is Kip Oebanda’s Liway with Glaiza de Castro and Dominic Roco as the main actors. De Castro is known for portraying roles that empower women and as she stated, their film entry is one of the roles that inspire her to encourage women to be brave and resilient.
“Mas palaban si Liway and masasabi ko na masaya ako sa ginagawa ko both in TV and films. I am portraying strong women, kaya kahit personally meron akong insecurities, nakakatulong tong mga ganitong roles na to sakin para magkaron ng confidence and para mas magkaroon ng emaning yung mga ginagawa ko,” the Contessa actress stated.
Glaiza also disclosed that “Liway” is her third film entry in the film fest wherein she played the main role. She also added that her role became special since the film is based on a true to life story and she was able to meet the person she is portraying in the film.
“We met her and kinukwento niya lahat ng disposition niya sakin during that time. And parang napapasa sakin yung energy, tapos kinikilabutan ako na kinakabahan na naiiyak. Halo halong emotions. Kaya after our last day, umiyak talaga ako,” she further stated.
Meanwhile, on its 14th run, there will be 10 short films, including:
- “Babylon” by Keith Deligero
- “Jodilerks Dela Cruz, Employee of the Month” by Carlo Francisco Manatad
- “Kiko” by Jojo Driz;
- “Logro” Kani Villaflor
- “Nangungupahan (Who Rents There Now?)” by Glenn Barit
- “Sa Saiyang Isla (In His Island)” by Christian Candelaria
- “Si Astri maka Si Tambulah (Astri and Tambulah)” by Xeph Suarez
- “Siyudad sa Bulawan (City of Gold)” by Jarell Serencio
- “Yakap” by Mika Fabella and Rafael Froilan Jr.
- “You, Me and Mr. Wiggles” by Jav Velasco.
Chris Mallado, Cimelaya’s Festival Director also introduced the annual festival mainstays such as Dokyu, the documentary section; Best of the Festivals, which showcases the best films from local festivals; Indie Nation, a special section featuring independent films; Visions of Asia, featuring award-winning Asian and Netpac films. There will also be a showcase of the final projects of the Directing and Production Management workshops at the 4th Cinemalaya Institute.
Cinemalaya will pay tribute to Maryo J. Delos Reyes through a special screening of his best films “Bagets” and “Magnifico”; and to Bernardo Bernardo by showing “Manila by Night” by Ishmael Bernal. A retrospective section will feature the 2017 Cinemalaya Best Film “Respeto” by Treb Monteras, and “Baconaua” by Joseph Israel Laban who won Best Director.
The Cinemalaya Foundation also presented the films from abroad that will be opened for screening during the film fest. These are the films that gathered different awards in the diverse award-giving body across the world: “Of Love and Law” (Japan), Goodbye Grandpa (Japan), Bet (India), Nearest and Dearest (Russia), Bad Genius (Thailand), and The Taste of Rice Flower (China).
On its 30th edition, the Gawad CCP Para sa Alternatibong Pelikula at Video, considered the longest-running independent film competition of its kind in the ASEAN region, will once again harvest the best of the best, with films competing in various categories such as Short Feature/Narrative, Experimental, Documentary, and Animation. Pre-selected entries will be screened on August 4-6 at the CCP Tanghalang Manuel Conde (Dream Theater).
The Cinemalaya Campus, a major component of Cinemalaya, is slated on August 7 & 8 at the Silangan Hall. The Cinemalaya Awards Night will be held on August 12, 2018, at the Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo (CCP Main Theater).