The country’s biggest independent film festival is back with feature films in competition

With the gradual return to the new normal, the Cultural Center of the Philippines and the Cinemalaya Inc. Foundation are excited about the IRL (in-real-life) screenings of feature and short films in competition this year.

For its 18th edition, Cinemalaya returns with in situ screenings of 11 feature films and 12 short films in competition from August 5 to 14 in different rooms at the CCP. For the past two years, the nation’s largest independent film festival has been spreading awareness and navigating the turbulent currents, anchored on online screenings of competing shorts and exhibition films.

“See you soon, George!” is a film by Mark Moneda finalist in the main competition for short films

The feature films in competition were the finalists for the 2020 and 2021 editions of the film festival. However, due to COVID-19 restrictions, they were unable to complete filming.

This year, 11 feature films vying for Balanghai’s coveted trophies will break the uproar. They are: 12 weeks by Anna Isabelle Matutina; Angkas by Rain Yamson; Bakit’ Di Mo Sabihin? by Real S. Florido; Batsoy by Ronald Espinosa Batallones; Blue Room by Ma-an L. Asuncion-Dagńalan; Sheenly Gener’s Bula Sa Langit; Ginhawa by Christian Paolo Lat; Kaluskos by Roman S. Perez, Jr.; Kargo by TM Malones; Retired by Milo Alto Paz and Cynthia Cruz-Paz; and Carlo Obispo’s The Baseball Player.

“The Baseball Player” features young actor Tommy Alejandrino

For the main short film competition, the finalists are: Ampangabagat nin Talakba ha Likol by Maria Estela Paiso; Black Rainbow by Zig Dulay; The City of Flowers by Xeph Suarez; Dikit by Gabriela Serrano; Distance by Dexter Paul de Jesus; Duwa-Duwa by Nena Jana Achacoso; Kwits by Raz de la Torre; Mata Kang Busay by Nińo B. Maldecir and Cypher John T. Gayorgor; Mga Handum nga Nasulat sa Baras by Arlie Sweet Sumagaysay and Richard Jeroui Salvadico; See you soon, George! by Mark Moneda; If Oddie by Maria Kydylee Torato; and Round Trip to Happiness by Claudia Fernando.

The films in competition will also be screened in certain partner cinemas in the country from August 10 to 17. After that, Cinemalaya will head to the regions, with screenings in select communities from August 22-29.

For those still eager to catch an in-person event, Cinemalaya will have an online race from October 17-31 via the CCP Vimeo account.

The cast of ‘Blue Room’ includes JK Labajo (far left) as a member of a woke indie rock band

A major component of the film festival, the Gawad CCP Para sa Alternatibong Pelikula at Video, considered the oldest independent film competition of its kind in the ASEAN region, will once again harvest the best films competing in various categories. such as Short Feature/Story, Experimental, Documentary and Animation. The finalists of the different categories will be screened from August 6 to 8 at the CCP Tanghalang Manuel Conde.

The Gawad Alternatibo awards ceremony will take place on August 13. The Cinemalaya Awards Party will be held on August 14 at Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo (CCP Main Theater).

Even the pandemic has not stopped Cinemalaya from discovering, encouraging and supporting the cinematic works of up-and-coming and veteran Filipino filmmakers who boldly articulate and freely interpret the Filipino experience with fresh insight and artistic integrity.

Roman S. Perez, Jr.’s Kaluskos Casts Coleen Garcia as Protagonist

Since 2005, Cinemalaya has supported and promoted the production of Filipino independent feature films and short films. Many of these films have won prizes in local and international competitions and festivals. As part of the annual festival, Cinemalaya presented more than 1,000 works by independent filmmakers, including feature films, short films, documentaries, classic Filipino cinema and art films.

For details, see the websites of CCP and Cinemalaya. Follow the official CCP and Cinemalaya social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.