The 12th Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival will be bigger this year as it expands its reach beyond Metro Manila to Cebu City this August.
In Metro Manila, Cinemalaya opens its main venue on August 5 – 14 at the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) and at satellite venues at Ayala Cinemas in Greenbelt 3 and Glorietta in Makati, TriNoma, UP Town Center and Fairview Terraces in Quezon City and Nuvali, Sta. Rosa. In Cebu, Cinemalaya will run from August 9 – 14 at Ayala Mall Cebu.
This year’s festival, which carries the theme “Break The Surface” marks the return of the Full-Length Feature category.
Here are the nine entries that will vie for the Cinemalaya Award (Click the titles for the trailers):
1. Ang Bagong Pamilya ni Ponching
Directed by Inna Miren Salazar and Dos Ocampo. Starring Janus Del Prado, Ketchup Eusebio, Odette Khan, Lollie Mara, Jojo Alejar, Joyce Burton-Titular, Jackie Lou Blanco, Alibreza Libre, Phynne Barnett, Richard Manabat, Mimi Juareza, Sam Thurman, Ria Garcia, Joanna Bago, Manuel Velasco, Ricky Sanchez
A religious man who does petty crimes, PONCHING, gets into a new venture, text scamming, thinking it will not really hurt anyone. One day, his seemingly “innocent” text scam accidentally cons a recipient into thinking he is the bastard child of their late relative.
Directed by Atom Magadia.
Starring Tommy Abuel, Lotlot De Leon, Benjamin Alves, Janine Gutierrez, Alex Diaz, Sue Prado, Marita Zobel, Rolando Inocencio, Yoshihiko Hara, Arpee Bautista
After surviving the Death March, Martial Law and the loss of his legs, Justino became an atheist. But when his wife dies, a part of him is yearning to believe in life beyond death; just for a chance to be with her again. Searching for parts of her he can still hold on to, he devours her diaries for information into their past –opening a Pandora’s Box of secrets.
3. Hiblang Abo
Directed by Ralston Jover
Starring Lou Veloso, Jun Urbano, Leo Rialp, Nanding Josef, Matt Daclan, Lui Manansala, Flor Salanga, Cherry Malvar, Angela Cortez, Mike Liwag, Rommel Luna, Rener Concepcion, Anna Luna
“Hiblang Abo” speaks volumes of muted memories and infinite struggles among four men in their twilight years, confined in a hospice facility or home for the aged. Their gray hair grows and fades unnoticed, their lives enter the void of oblivion. Everything unfolds so naturally into their swan song until their body pains and heartaches yield the same intensity, when their hearing and their feelings become permanently impaired; and when their blurry vision and memories become “clear” signs that the inevitable state of death is as fleeting as the vibrancy of life itself.
4. I AMERICA
Directed by Ivan Andrew Payawal
Starring Bela Padilla, Rob Rownd, Matt Evans, Thou Reyes, Sheena Ramos, Joe Vargas, Raflesia Bravo, Julz Savard, Lui Manansala, Ms. Elizabeth Oropesa, Kate Bautista, Rhyzza Kafilas
“I America” is a dramedy about a complex half-Pinay, half-Caucasian lady looking for American living in Olongapo City (Philippines) who tries to get her passport and US visa in order to meet her father personally for the first time.
Directed by David Corpuz & Cenon Palomares
Starring Judy Ann Santos, Gloria Sevilla, Joem Bascon, Luis Alandy, Elora Españo, Mike Liwag, Bong Cabrera, Karen Gaerlan, Jane Biton, Isha Salic, Trina Legaspi, Lala Padilla, Czarina Yecla, Princess Ortiz
“Kusina” (The Kitchen) is the silent witness to the life and love of Juanita. It is her sanctuary, the place where she creates dishes for her family, her friends, even enemies and strangers. Through cooking, she gets to know the people around her, and in return, reveal herself to them.
Directed by Vic Acedillo, Jr.
Starring Allen Dizon, Gold Azeron, Roger Gonzales, Rachel Anne Ang Rosello, Maricar Semitara, Carlos Penaloza, Benjie Criss Estrella, Reynald Mangao, Camilo Apugan
Disrespected by his teenage son, a 40-year-old High School dropout tries to solve this problem by returning to school which only makes his son hate him even more. Amidst the struggle between them, an unexpected event changes everything.
Directed by Jason Paul Laxamana
Starring Pokwang, Bret Jackson, Vincent De Jesus, Lee O’Brian, Maey Bautista, Bea Vega, Mitzi Ong, Leo Sarmiento, Justine Dizon, Waka Hasegawa, Uzziel Delamide, Kristof Garcia
Carmen, a middle-aged cook, is about to close down her eatery at the foot of Mt. Arayat when a white American teenage boy named Mercury approaches her and begs for work in exchange of nothing but shelter.
Directed by Eduardo Roy Jr.
Starring Ronwaldo Martin, Hasmine Kilip, Maria Isabel Lopez, Sue Prado, Ruby Ruiz, Moira Lang, Karl Medina, Erlinda Villalobos, Domingo Cobarrubias, Paolo Rodriguez, John Bon Andrew Lentejas, John Vincent Servilla, Rian Magtaan, Myla Monido, Alora Sasam, Ruth Alferez.
Jane and Aries are teenage parents. They make a living out of stealing on the streets… until fate hits back at them.
Directed by Derick Cabrido
Starring Nora Aunor, Barbie Forteza, Flor Salanga, Ron Martin, Elora Españo, Ronnie Martinez, Al Bernard Garcia, Elora Españo, Casimira Cabilitasan
A woman chosen to keep an age-old tradition alive must now choose between her granddaughter’s life and a belief that shackled her in solitary confinement.
The Short Feature category is divided into Shorts A and Shorts B, here are the entries (Click the titles to view the trailers):
1. Ang Maangas, Ang Marikit at ang Makata by Jose Ibarra Guballa
2. Butas by Richard Cawed
3. Forever Natin by Cyrus Valdez
4. Get Certified by Isaias Herrera Zantua
5. Fish Out of Water by Mon A.L. Garilao
1. Ang Hapon ni Nanding (Nanding’s Afternoons) by Rommel Tolentino
2. Bugtaw by Noah Del Rosario
3. Mansyong Papel by Ogos Aznar
4. Nakauwi Na by John Relano, Patrick Belaros and Luis Hidlago
5. Pektus by Isabel Quesada
Cinemalaya will offer the following sections this year: Festival’s Best, Asian Showcase, Documentaries, Tribute to Francis Pasion, and Cinemalaya Institute Showcase. The Cinemalaya Campus, a major component of the Festival, will be held on August 9 – 10 at the CCP Little Theater. The Gawad CCP Para sa Alternatibong Pelikula at Video, which is considered the longest-running independent film competition of its kind in the ASEAN/Asian region, will have its 28th run during Cinemalaya.
A new feature of this year’s festival will be the participation of young celebrities who will take on the role of Cinemalaya Navigators. As such, they will engage with audiences in conversations about the Cinemalaya films.
EIGASAI JAPANESE FILM FESTIVAL
Also new this year is the partnership of Cinemalaya and Eiga Sai Japanese Film Festival =, through the Japan Foundation. As allied festivals, Cinemalaya and Eigasai will encourage film exchange, help in the promotion of both events, and contribute to audience building and film education.
Under this alliance, Eigasai brings in tow films — Ken and Kazu by Hiroshi Shoji and August in Tokyo by Ryutaro Nakagawa — to Cinemalaya’s Asian Section. Ken and Kazu will be the opening film of the Asian Section. Both films will be free admission as part of Eigasai Film Festival, the CCP will host the screening of The Emperor in August by Masato Harada on July 8 at the CCP Little Theater.
The Asian Section will feature award winning NETPAC films, namely: Child of Debt by Umashankar Swamy (India/Kannada, 2015), Mina Walking by Yosef Baraki (Afghanistan/Canada, 2015), Motor Bicycle by Shameera Rangana Naotunna (Sri Lanka, 2015), Stranger by Yermek Tursunov (Kazakhstan, 2015), The Kids by Sunny Yu (Taiwan, 2015), Under Heaven by Dalmira Tilepbergen (Kyrgyzstan, 2015), and Until I Lose My Breath by Emine Emel Balci (Turkey-Germany, 2015). The Asian Section will also screen River Road by Li Ruijun (China, 2014).
TRIBUTE TO FRANCIS PASION
The Tribute to Francis Pasion honors the life and work of the late Cinemalaya director who passed away in March 2016. His films Bwaya (Cinemalaya 2014 Best Film, Best Cinematography and Best Score), Jay (Cinemalaya 2008 Best Film, Best Editig, Best Actor) and Sampaguita (2010 Cinemalaya Special Jury Prize) will be shown in this year’s retrospective.
Lav Diaz’s Hele sa Hiwagang Hapis , which won the Silver Bear at the 2016 Berlin Film Festival, will be shown in the Special Screenings section, along with Ang Araw Bago ang Wakas. The Special Screenings section will also spotlight the work of Jaclyn Jose, recently awarded Best Actress in this year’s Cannes Film Festival, and Nick De Ocampo’s historical documentaries Eiga and Gunita, among others.
The Cinemalaya 2016 Exhibit at the Bulwagang Carlos V. Francisco (Little Theater Lobby) will feature posters and memorabilia from the films selected for the competition.
Cinemalaya is a project of the Cinemalaya Foundation, the Cultural Center of the Philippines and Ayala Malls Cinemas. Established in 2005, Cinemalaya is an all-digital film festival and competition that aims to discover, encourage and honor cinematic worls of Filipino filmmakers.
To date, Cinemalaya has supported and promoted the production of 127 full feature independent films and 106 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.
TICKET PRICE AND FESTIVAL PASSES:
For more information about Cinemalaya, visit
and the Cinemalaya Facebook page or CCP media Arts at telephone number 832-1125 local 1704-1705 and the CCP box-office at 832-3704.
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