Lineup: Short films competing at Cinemalaya film festival 2015
Save for Mailes Kanapi, who plays the role of an actress past her prime in Martika Ramirez Escobar’s short feature Pusong Bato, this year, actors and actresses didn’t grace the press conference of the 11th Cinemalaya Film Festival. And people didn’t swarm what is perhaps one of the most awaited events of the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) and the independent film circuit every year. As Cinemalaya Festival Director Chris Millado said, it’s a “more modest” Cinemalaya this year. The festival opens at CCP and Greenbelt 3 in Makati City on August 7 and ends on August 15.
Millado added that the all-digital film festival and competition “that aims to discover, encourage and honor cinematic works of Filipino filmmakers” will be held in the short film category only this year.
However, the grantees of the full-length films for 2016 will be announced during the end of the 11th Cinemalaya 2015 – or a year ahead of the usual schedule – giving more time for filmmakers to gather resources for their films.
“Earlier this year, Cinemalaya Foundation announced the increase – by almost as much as 50% – of production grants and cash awards to be given to finalists and competition winners. The winner of the short film category will also receive a cash prize of P150,000.00,” according to a release from CCP.
Apart from Escobar, another maker of short films chosen this year is Rommel “Milo” Tolentino, whose current work is Nenok, which tackles the story of a “9-year-old street kid in Malolos, Bulacan who adopts the city’s historic Barasoain Church as his temporary home and his personal space for mischief, to the distress and annoyance of Mang Johnny – the stern parish groundskeeper.” This is Tolentino’s 7th Cinemalaya film.
The synopses of other stories this year are:
“An afternoon of love and farewell as Mark and El spend their last afternoon together wishing on a tree, waiting to fade with the sun,” in Ryanne Murcia’s Apasol (Chasing Sun).
“In 1983, Ms. Estrella investigates the case of Carlito Dimahilig, the assassin who attempted to kill Imelda Marcos. She interviews Rolando Galman, who reveals more than what she needs to know” in Glenmark Doromal’s and former campus journalist-turned filmmaker Eero Francisco’s Gatilyo ng Baril.
“The horrors inside the head of a troubled man creeps into his skin and digs deep into his senses – bringing him closer to a much more shocking reality – which leaves him no choice but to face his atrocious demise eye to eye,” in Arvin “Kadiboy” Belarmino’s Kyel.
“Before leaving Pampanga for good, Tib chances upon an old map that triggers him to retrace the places that are special to him and his high school best friend Tric,” in Petersen Vargas’ Lisyun Qng Geografia.
“When extreme devotion and unconditional love collide, a mother and her daughter find their escape out of the loophole that binds them together,” in Annemikami Pablo’s Mater.
“During a performance, a ventriloquist suddenly finds himself talking with his past. Will he continue the conversation or remain tight-lipped form a voice long kept?” in Darwin Novicio’s Papetir.
“Marisa lives alone in the dark with an even darker secret: She’s oblivious of whether the fetuses that she extracts from her patients survive or not. A complication that besets one of them threatens her reclusive world, and she fights back to protect it,” in Kenneth Dagatan’s Sanctissima.
Anj Macalanda’s Wawa delves on “A young boy’s journey as they take his father to his final resting place.”
Millado announced that in addition to the competition, Cinemalaya will offer the following sections: The Independents: Asia, Indie Nation, Cinemalaya Restrospective, Indie Festival’s Best, Documentaries, New Short Films in Exhibition, Cinemalaya Winners, and Gawad CCP Para sa Alternatibong Pelikula.
The Independents: will open with Zhang Yimou’s Coming Home (with Gong Li in the lead role) and will offer award-winning NETPAC films: Shi Wei’s The Ferry, Reis Celik’s The Night of Silence, JuAnqi’s Poet on a Business Trip, Hiroshi Toda’s Summer Kyoto, Sanalkumar Sashidaran’s Six Feet High, Marat Saruklu’s The Move, The Maw Naing’s The Monk, Adikhana Yerzhanov’s
The Owners, Sotho Kulikar’s The Last Reel, and Isao Takahata’s The Tale of Princess Kaguya.
Indie Nation will feature films premiering at Cinemalaya. The Cinemalaya Retrospective will feature all the Best Films of Cinemalaya from 2005 to 2014 in the New Breed, Directors Showcase, Short Feature and Audience Choice categories. The Cinemalaya Documentaries will offer titles such as Cecilia Asuncion’s Sayaw, and Jethro Patalinghug’s My Revolutionary Mother.
To be screened at Tanghalang Manuel Conde on August 8, 9 and 11 are the winners of The Gawad CCP Para sa Alternatibong Pelikula at Video.
The Cinemalaya 2015 Exhibit at the lobby of the Little Theater Lobby will feature posters and memorabilia from the films selected for the competition.
Cinemalaya recently launched the Cinemalaya Institute which offers “a three-semester program of intensive training in writing, directing and producing; cinematography, editing, sound and production design, music score and acting” at foundation partner De La Salle-College of St. Benilde.
Cinemalaya has supported and promoted the production of 118 full feature independent films and 96 short films which have won awards in local and international competitions and festivals. It has showcased over 1,000 works by independent filmmakers including full feature films, shorts, documentaries, Filipino film classics, and art films.