In a true case of life being stranger than fiction, kudos to Philippine cinema and Filipino artists and creatives for these innovative films that address the challenges of its country and people with clarity and courage.
Life on our islands have only gotten harsher and more bleak — caught between the rock of deep seated corruption in government and the hard place this virus and pandemic has wedged us into.
The 17th Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival is a project of the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) and the Cinemalaya Foundation, Inc. The all-digital film festival “aims to discover, encourage and honor cinematic works of Filipino filmmakers.”
The festival runs from August 6 to September 5 — screening thirteen competing short films, Cinemalaya also presents the Premieres section — featuring four never before seen feature films by Filipino filmmakers. Available on on ktx.ph.
The four films are the family drama Highest Peak, directed by Arnel Barbarona; the drama He Who is Without Sin, directed by Jason Paul Laxamana; the neo-noir film Love and Pain In Between Refrains, directed by Joselito Altarejos; and the social monologue Tao Po, directed by Mae Paner (also known as Juana Change).
Four full-length feature films will be shown in Cinemalaya’s Indie Nation section. These are: Lockdown by Joel Lamangan; Kintsugi by Lawrence Fajardo; Don Filipo by Tim Muñoz; and ECQ Diary (Bawal Lumabas) by Arlyn Dela Cruz Bernal.
Five award-winning documentary films were selected by acclaimed film director and screenwriter Dr. Clodualdo “Doy” Del Mundo for Cinemalaya’s DOKYU section.
The films to be shown are: A House in Pieces by Jean Claire Dy and Manuel Domes about the destruction of Marawi; Yugto by Joanna Reyes, Cristy Linga and Ja Turla, a short documentary of the lives of Filipinos during the COVID-19 pandemic; Paraisong Bacao by Adrian N. Manaois, follows a 14-year-old Aeta who lives in a mountainous area that he considers paradise; Last Days At Sea by Venice Atienza, follows 12-year-old Reyboy who lives in an isolated fishing village in the south of the Philippines, but who has to leave for the city to study; Masterpiece by Januar Yap and Kristoffer Villarino, follows a parish priest in Bantayan Island who, inspired by the ceiling paintings of the old churches in Cebu and the Sistine Chapel, embarks on his own epic ceiling painting project.
This year’s edition is focusing on short films for the competition section, to give more time to the feature films to be made under current constraints. It is planned that the feature films in competition will be shown next year.
Given all these challenges, wonder | wander | world extends a well deserved and resounding ovation to our country’s independent film makers!