AFTER its successful 14th edition, the Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival gears up for its 2019 run with ten new full-length finalists who will compete for the coveted Balanghai trophies.
During the Awards Night last August 12, at the CCP’s Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo (Main Theater), the Philippines’ longest and biggest indie film festival announces the finalists, including: ISKA by Theodore Boborol; JOHN DENVER TRENDING by Arden Rod Condez; ANi by Kim Zuñiga and Sandro del Rosario; BELLE DOULEUR (A Beautiful Pain) by Joji V. Alonso; MALAMAYA by Danica Sta. Lucia and Leilani Chavez; ANNAK TI KARAYAN (CHILDREN OF THE RIVER) by Maricel Cariaga; WARD by Thop Nazareno; PANDANGGO by Sheryl Rose M. Andes; TABON by Xian Lim; and, FUCC BOIS by Eduardo Roy, Jr.
Written by Mary Rose Colindres, “Iska” by Theodore Boborol is about a loving but impoverished grandmother of an autistic child who loses everything and turns into someone society reckons her to be.
In “John Denver Trending,” director Arden Rod Condez bookmarks a period in people’s lives when they allow social media to reshape their mindset. Based on true events and will be shot entirely in Pandan, Antique, it narrates how the life of a young boy has changed when he was caught on a viral video brutally attacking a classmate.
“ANi” by Kim Zuñiga and Sandro del Rosario follows an orphaned boy and his malfunctioning robot embark on a quest to save his grandfather’s life.
Co-written by Carl Adrian Chavez and Kristin Barrameda, “Belle Douleur (A Beautiful Pain)” by Joji V. Alonso is story of a self-made woman in her late 40s who is bent on living on her own for the rest of her days and her journey of finding happiness in complete surrender and sacrifice.
Co-directors Danica Sta. Lucia and Leilani Chavez, with screenplay by Leilani Chavez and Liberty Trinidad, present “Malamaya,” a film about a pessimistic, uninspired middle-aged artist who finds spark with a millennial photographer who leads her on a path of creative and sexual reawakening.
In “Annak Ti Karayan (Children of the River),” director Maricel Cariaga expounds how a young boy and his three friends try to live a normal life, while battling their own demons and taking care of their respective families while their fathers are away.
Director Thop Nazareno, who directed “Kiko Boksingero” in the 2017 Cinemalaya, returns to the film festival with “Ward,” a film about a teenage boy who has been forced to live under the hospital bed of an ailing father and tries to live with some semblance of normalcy.
Also returning to Cinemalaya is director Eduardo Roy Jr. for “Fucc Bois.” The director has won Best Director and Best Film for his film “Pamilya Ordinaryo” in 2016.
“Pandanggo” by Sheryl Rose M. Andes follows a small-town midwife as she prepared for a job interview abroad.
Actor Xian Lim wears the director’s hat in “Tabon,” a film how a man’s belief in reality is tested when suspects are accused of a crime they believe to not have committed.
Since 2005, Cinemalaya has continued to discover, encourage and support the cinematic works of upcoming and veteran Filipino filmmakers who boldly articulate and freely interpret the Philippine experience with fresh insight and artistic integrity.
To date, Cinemalaya has supported and promoted the production of Filipino full feature independent films and short films. Many of these films have won awards in local and international competitions and festivals. Through the annual festival, Cinemalaya has showcased over 1,000 works by independent filmmakers including full feature films, shorts, documentaries, Filipino film classics, and art films.
For more information about Cinemalaya, visit www.cinemalaya.org, www.culturalcenter.gov.ph and the Cinemalaya Facebook page or CCP Media Arts at telephone number 832-1125 local 1704 & 1712 and the CCP Box Office at 832-3704.