SATURDAY, August 13, at the 12th Cinemalaya Film Festival offers two films, one short and one very long film, by award winning filmmaker Lav Diaz in the section billed The Long and Short of Lav.
The acclaimed eight-hour film Hele sa Hiwagang Hapis (A Lullaby to the Sorrowful Mystery) won the Silver Bear Alfred Bauer prize in this year’s Berlin International Film Festival (Berlinale). The film is about the controversial death of Andres Bonifacio, Supreme Leader of the activist group, Katipunan, and founder of Philippine Revolution against Spain. It was May 9, 1897, the day that Bonifacio was charged with punishment by death. Rival revolutionaries executed him and his body has never been found. The film revolves around the desperate and harrowing thirty-day search of Bonifacio’s widow, Gregoria de Jesus, to find Andres’ body in the mountains, as she searches for the truth behind her husband’s death. The film stars Piolo Pascual, John Lloyd Cruz, Hazel Orencio, Alessandra De Rossi, Joel Saracho, Susan Africa, Bernardo Bernardo, Cherie Gil, Angel Aquino, Sid Lucero, Ely Buendia and Ronnie Lazaro. Screening begins at 12:45pm at the CCP Tanghalang Manuel Conde.
Ang Araw Bago ang Wakas (The Day before the End) is a 17 minute short film set in the year 2050. In the film, the Philippines braces for the coming of the fiercest storm ever to hit the country. And as the wind and waters start to rage, poets are being murdered. The film won the Principal Prize in this year’s 62nd International Short Film Festival Oberhausen, Germany. Screening times are at 10am, 10:40am and 11:20am at the CCP Tanghalang Manuel Conde.
Additional screenings are set for main competition entry Kusina at 12:45pm at the Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo and Toto, 2016 Asian American International Film Festival Best Audience Choice Awardee, at 10am at the Tanghalang Huseng Batute.
The Green Carpet Screening at 7pm at the CCP Front Lawn features Lakbay2Love by Ellen Ongkeko Marfil on a pay-what-you–can scheme. At the suggested donation of P50, the audiences can get the chance to win a brand new bike.
In Indie Nation, Joseph Laban’s The Sister is slated at 9pm at the CCP Little Theater. In the middle of the traditional Holy Week moryonan rites in the island province of Marinduque, Mariana receives the devastating news of the death of her sister Magda who was working as a domestic helper in Saudi Arabia. Mariana and her mother then have to deal with the tedious and expensive process of repatriating the remains of Magda. Mariana’s faith and determination are put to a test as she is forced to navigate through a sea of difficult choices while also coming to terms with her own past of grief and despair.
The Rainbow section features Traslacion: Ang Paglalakad sa Altar ng Alanganin (The March to the Altar of Uncertainty) by Will Fredo at 6:15pm at the CCP Tanghalang Huseng Batute. Traslacion captures the hearts of LGBT families faced with their biggest challenge, themselves and the conservative Philippine society they live in. It presents an honest look into the plight of homosexuals in the Philippines, their journey to define themselves and their definition of family. Is the Philippines ready for a liberal Pope or a more accepting state leadership? Clearly, the divide stirs up discussions of faith, of morals, amongst themselves and the society. The march towards the altar is a romantic quest to know if the unconventional fairytale ends with a happy ending.
Curiosity, Adventure and Love by Sunshine de Leon and Suzanne Richiardone in the Panoptika section at 3:30pm at the CCP Little Theater weaves together 3 threads — the life of a 104-year-old American who journeys to the Philippines alone in 1933 at age 18, the history of the country that she has witnessed and the insights and wisdom of a woman whose indomitable spirit has evoked inspiration for the thousands who have known her. The film received the Special Jury Prize award in the New Filipino Cinema program of the World Premieres Film Festival Philippines 2016.
Thomas Chapin, Night Bird Song by Stephanie Castillo in the Panoptika section at 9pm at the CCP Tanghalang Huseng Batute draws an intimate portrait of a musical explorer who transcended the boundaries of jazz and dissolved the distinctions between sound and music. Destined to be among the great jazz virtuosos, Thomas Chapin an alto sax and flute master, was nearing the pinnacle of his meteoric career when leukemia took him at the age of 40. Decades later, his passionate life and incandescent music continue to inspire new generations of artists and musicians. It won the Best Story award at the NICE International Filmmaker Festival of World Cinema, 2016.
Visions of Asia presents The Kids by Sunny Yu (Taiwan) at 12:45pm at the Tanghalang Huseng Batute. In the film, Bao-Li has just started 8th grade, when he comes to the rescue of Jia-Jia, an older girl he immediately falls in love with. When Jia-Jia becomes pregnant with their daughter, Bao-Li drops out of school to support his new family and tries to earn Jia-Jia a nicer home, but discovers that his mother has gambled away all their savings. After a heated argument, Jia-Jia admits that she is having an affair, and takes their daughter away with her. Hoping to win Jia-Jia back, Bao-Li starts selling drugs to make money, realizing there are many difficulties in life he must face.
Gil M. Portes’ Ang Hapis at Himagsik ni Hermano Puli (The Agony and Fury of Hermano Puli) will be the closing film of the 12th Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival. Set at 9pm at the CCP Main Theater, the film is a historical drama based on the life and times of Apolinario de la Cruz, who led a revolt in 1841 against the Spanish colonial government in the Philippines in the name of religious freedom. Decades before the rise of liberalism in Spanish-era colonial Philippines, a young charismatic preacher leads a movement for equality and religious freedom for his fellow native Filipinos. He is hailed as the Christ of the Tagalogs, but is sentenced to death for heresy by both Church and State. Hermano Puli is a story about love. The love of a prophet for his God, the love of a nation for its culture, the love of a native for his country. Admission is free for Hermano Puli.
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