2012 Cinemalaya opens

Ibarra C. Mateo
There are 25 films in competition, 60 in exhibition

DIRECTORS' SHOWCASE. (From left) Lawrence Fajardo (Posas), Jose Javier Reyes (Mga Mumunting Lihim), Raymond Red (Kamera Obskura), Jun Robles Lana (Bwakaw) and Adolfo Alix Jr. (Kalayaan). Photo by Jude Bautista

MANILA, Philippines – The 2012 Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival and Competition, considered as the country’s biggest and most prestigious indie film festival, formally opens on Friday (July 20) at the Cultural Center of the Philippines.

25 new films are competing for top honors in 3 categories and 60 more are to be showcased in various exhibition sections.

Chris B. Millado, CCP vice president and artistic director, said the 2012 Cinemalaya boasts of 10 original films by young and new directors competing in the festival’s main section called the “New Breed” full-length feature category. Another 10 films are vying for awards in the “Short Feature” category, also by new directors.

Millado, who is also the 2012 Cinemalaya festival director, told a news conference that 5 new works by veteran filmmakers, under the “Directors’ Showcase,” are seeking recognition from the 2012 Cinemalaya jury.

The 25 new digital films in competition will be shown simultaneously on July 21-29 at the CCP, Greenbelt 3 in Makati and Trinoma theaters in Quezon City.

Millado said there will be separate formal opening ceremonies at the CCP and the Trinoma Cinema 1 Lobby.

CCP opening rites begin 6:30pm at the CCP Main Theater Lobby on Friday (July 20) and will be followed by the 7:30pm gala premiere of the late Mario O’Hara’s “Babae sa Breakwater” at the CCP Main Theater. 

On Saturday (July 21), the Trinoma festivities start at 5:30 pm at the Trinoma Cinema 1 Lobby and will be immediately followed by the screening of “Babae sa Breakwater.”

Awards night will be held on July 29, 7 pm, at the CCP Main Theater.

“This year, Cinemalaya gets even bigger with the addition of a new major venue at Trinoma in Quezon City, making the reach of Cinemalaya even wider and bigger. This is part of the vision of Cinemalaya organizers to make the festival more accessible to the growing number of audiences that attend Cinemalaya,” Millado said.

“The annual Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival and Competition 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,” he said.

“After 8 years of producing and presenting excellent and engaging films, the Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival and Competition is the leader among indie film festivals and has inspired the creation of other festivals that encourage the new voices, new ways of telling stories,” Millado added.

NEW BREED FINALISTS (From left) Paul Sta. Ana (Oros), Marie Jamora (Ang Nawawala), Mes De Guzman (Diablo) and Aloy Adlawan (Ang Katiwala). Photo by Jude Bautista

The 10 films in the “New Breed” category are:

  • “Aparisyon” (Vincent Sandoval)
  • “Ang Katiwala” (Aloy Adlawan)
  • “Ang Nawawala” (Marietta Jamora)
  • “Mga Dayo”  (Julius Sotomayor Cena)
  • “Diablo” (Mes de Guzman)
  • “Intoy Syokoy ng Kalye Marino” (Lemuel C. Lorca)
  • “Oros” (Paul Sta. Ana)
  • “REquieme!”  (Loy Arcenas)
  • “Santa Niña” (Emmanuel Quindo Palo)
  • “The Animals” (Gino M. Santos)

The 10 “Short Feature” films are:

  • “Ang Paghihintay sa Bulong” (Sigrid Andrea P. Bernardo)
  • “As He Sleeps” (Sheron Dayoc)
  • “Balintuna” (Emmanuel Escalona Jr.) 
  • “Bohe Sons of the Waves” (Nadjoua Bansil)
  • “Manenaya” (Richard Legaspi)
  • “Pasahero” (Mario Celada)
  • “Ruweda” (Hannah Espia)
  • “Sarong Aldaw” (Marianito Dio Jr.)
  • “Ulian” (Chuck Gutierrez) 
  • “Victor” (Jarell M. Serencio)

The 5 films in the “Directors’ Showcase” are:

  • “Bwakaw” (Jun Robles Lana)
  • “Kalayaan” (Adolfo B. Alix Jr.)
  • “Mga Mumunting Lihim” (Jose Javier Reyes)
  • “Posas” (Lawrence Fajardo)
  • “Kamera Obskura” (Raymond Red)

The 60 films in various exhibition sections will be showcased via the “NCCA Premieres,” “Ani,” “Cinemalaya Documentaries Focus on Early Indies” and the O’Hara retrospective.

According to Millado, “Cinemalaya Documentaries” this year include the Tribeca Film Festival awardee Marty Syjuco’s “Give Up Tomorrow,” a riveting documentary on the celebrated case of the Chiong sisters and the Larannaga family, Lyca Benitez Brown’s “Dance of My Life” and J. Abello’s “Pureza.”

“Early Indies” include the screening of the early films of Raymond Red, Kidlat Tahimik, Bibsy Carballo and Roxlee.

An important section in this year’s Cinemalaya is the “Exhibit of Movie Advertisements from the 1940s” from the collection of art patron Danny Dolor.

Millado said the Department of Trade and Industry participates in this year’s Cinemalaya though the “Special Conference: Film, Animation and Gaming Conference” with Ralph Guggenheim of Pixar Studios, which produced the blockbuster hit “Toy Story,” as a resource speaker.

Other activities lined up for the film festival are the “Manila Film Financing Forum,” a business meeting to look for practical solutions to film financing and distribution issues, and the “Cinemalaya Film Congress” participated in by members of the media, academe and film practitioners for “a dialogue on the dynamic interaction between the independent and mainstream cinemas,” he added.

SHORT FEATURE FINALISTS (from left) Marianito Dio Jr. (Sarong Adlaw), Emmanuel Escalona Jr. (Balintuna), Mario Celada (Pasahero), producer Jalz Zarate (Ang Paghihintay sa Bulong), Richard Legaspi (Manenaya), Hannah Espia (Ruweda), Nadjoua Bansil (Bohe Sons of the Waves) and Chuck Gutierrez (Ulian - Senility). Photo by Jude Bautista

Now on its 8th year, Cinemalaya is a project of the Cinemalaya Foundation, CCP, Film Development Council of the Philippines and Econolink Investments, Inc. – Rappler.com


(For more details, please visit www.cinemalaya.org and www.culturalcenter.gov.ph.)