Thirty one digital films in competition, plus more than a hundred in exhibition, new sections, and a second festival venue all make Cinemalaya bigger and better this year. With the tagline in festival ads beckoning audiences to See the Unseen, Cinemalaya films this year tackle such themes as passion, memory, truth, despair, obsession, terror and splendor.
Cinemalaya will reach a wider audience as it will be held in two places at the same time: its main venue at the Cultural Center of the Philippines, CCP Complex and at Greenbelt 3 in Makati City, in cooperation with Ayala Theaters Management. The addition of Greenbelt 3 as a second major venue for the festival is part of the vision of Cinemalaya organizers to make the Festival more accessible to the growing number of audiences that attend Cinemalaya.
Now on its seventh year, Cinemalaya is a project of the Cinemalaya Foundation, Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP), Film Development Council of the Philippines and Econolink Investments, Inc. It is an all-digital film festival that aims to discover, encourage and honor cinematic works of Filipino filmmakers that boldly articulate and freely interpret the Filipino experience with fresh insight and artistic integrity.
Cinemalaya’s main competition categories are the New Breed full length feature category and the Short Feature category featuring works by new directors. The Directors Showcase is a competition for works by established directors.
Nine films will compete in the New Breed full length feature category; ten in the Short feature category and four in the Directors Showcase.
Competing in the New Breed category are:
- Amok (Amok) by Lawrence Fajardo
- Ang Babae sa Septic Tank (The Woman in the Septic Tank) by Marlon Rivera and Chris Martinez
- Ang Sayaw ng Dalawang Kaliwang Paa (The Dance of Two Left Feet) by Alemberg Ang and Alvin Yapan
- Bahay Bata (Baby Factory) by Eduardo W. Roy, Jr. and Jerome Zamora
- Cuchera by Joseph Israel M. Laban
- I-libings: Your Loss, Our Luck (E-funerals) by Rommel Andreo Sales
- Ligo na U, Lapit Na Me (Star Crossed Love) by Noel Ferrer, Jerry Gracio and Erick Salud; Nino by Loy Arcenas
- Teoriya (Father’s Way) by Alistaire Christian E. Chan
The nine finalists of the New Breed Full Length Feature category each received a P500,000 seed grant from the Cinemalaya Foundation as investment for the production. The Best Full Length Feature Film will receive a prize of P200,000 and the Balanghai Trophy. The New Breed Full Length feature category is open to Filipino filmmakers who have not yet directed more than three full feature films.
The ten finalists in the Short Feature category are:
- Debut by Pamela Llanes Reyes
- Every Other Time by Gino M. Santos
- Hanapbuhay (Source of Living) by Henry Frejas
- Hazard by Mikhail Red
- Immanuel by Gabriel “Gio” Puyat
- Nino Bonito by Rommel “Milo” Tolentino
- Oliver’s Apartment by Misha Balangue
- Samarito (Samaritan) by Rafael L. Santos
- Un Diutay Mundo (One Small World) by Ana Carlyn V. Lim
- Walang Katapusang Kwarto (An Endless Room) by Emerson Reyes
The winner of the Short Feature Category will receive a prize of P100,000.00 and the Balanghai trophy.
The four finalists in the Directors Showcase are:
- Bisperas (Eve) by Jeffrey Jeturian
- Busong (Palawan Fate) by Auraeus Solito
- Isda (Fable of the Fish) by Adolfo Alix Jr.
- Patikul by Joel C. Lamangan
The finalists of the Directors showcase each received a P500,000 seed grant from the Cinemalaya Foundation. The Best Film in the Directors Showcase will receive a prize of P300,000 and the Balanghai Trophy. The Directors Showcase is open to full length feature works by Filipino directors who have directed at least three full-length commercial feature films.
New sections will spice up this year’s Cinemalaya menu. Focus Asia will feature eight independent works by Asian directors from Korea, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, China, Vietnam, Singapore and Japan. The Ronwaldo Reyes Retrospective, presented in cooperation with the Society of Filipino Archivists for Film, will highlight the directorial works of National Artist Fernando Poe Jr., better known to Filipinos as an action star. The Cinemalaya Documentary section, presented in cooperation with Calata Corporation, offers a hefty and more substantial helping of films on various aspects of Philippine life and society.
Two theaters at Greenbelt 3 will be dedicated to Cinemalaya on July 16-24, 2011. The films to be shown at Greenbelt will be those in competition in the New Breed Full Length Feature category, the Short Feature Category, the Directors Showcase, and NETPAC Philippine Premieres. The films of the new Focus Asia section of Cinemalaya will also be shown at Greenbelt.
At the CCP, the Festival will be held in seven venues. The opening ceremony is slated on July 15, 6:00 pm followed by the festival opening film at the CCP Main Theater. The Cinemalaya Awards Night will be held on July 24, 7:00 pm at the same venue.
Other sections of the Cinemalaya are the NETPAC Philippine Premieres with eight competing films, Ani (a harvest of the best Filipino Indie Films of the past year), Kids Treats (indie films for children) and Midnite Specials (indie films with adult themes). Cinemalaya will also organize the Cinemalaya Film Congress, which will carry the theme Building Bridges Across Asia Through Films, and other film related events such as the Sine Taktakan (forum with 2011 Cinemalaya filmmakers), lectures and exhibits.
For more synopses and schedules of the participating films, you may view Pepe Diokno’s note in Facebook here. Every year, I look forward to the Cinemalaya Season, every July, where it really showcases the works of the country’s talented filmmakers. It is the biggest, perhaps, and an important avenue in today’s cinema in nurturing the talents of emerging filmmakers. When I was a student, I always miss the opening and awards night, and most of the screenings, because of my very hectic schedule. I always wait it to be shown in UP Cine Adarna where, most of the time, it matches my timeframe and most of my friends’ too. I think I can watch more liberally this year since I don’t have school anymore (and hopefully future endeavors won’t come in conflict with this.)
Come delve into the wonderful minds of these visionaries! See you there!