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Cinemalaya 2015 finalists unveiled, fest runs Aug. 7-15


The 10 finalists in the 11th annual Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival and Competition were formally introduced to the public on Thursday afternoon at the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP).
           
In a departure from the tradition in the last several years, the competition in the 2015 Cinemalaya will only be in the short-film category.
           
Chris B. Millado, CCP vice president and also the 2015 Cinemalaya festival director, surprised members of the media during the media launch by announcing that the “competition process for the full-length feature category is ongoing and the screening of the competition films is in August 2016.”
           
The announcement means the full-length feature films category missing from this year’s Cinemalaya will return next year.
           
Millado, who is also the CCP artistic director, said the early processing of the full-length feature application is to enable the producers and directors to get enough financial support and publicity to ensure the success of their film entries.”
           
‘Taklub’ opens this year’s fest

The film festival opens on Aug. 7, with the film “Taklub” starring Nora Aunor and directed by Brillante Mendoza.
           
“This year’s Cinemalaya is a modest version of the previous ones. But that is not to say that this year’s film festival is the least interesting of the 11 editions. We are already planning our bigger journey and happier sailing with the Balangay Awards,” Millado said.
           
The Balangay Awards are the much-coveted trophies, inspired by the mythical “sarimanok” and given to winners of the annual film festival, which is a joint project of the Cinemalaya Foundation and CCP.
           
Established in 2005, Cinemalaya is an all-digital film festival and competition which aims “to discover, encourage, and honor” cinematic works of Filipino filmmakers.
           
Millado said that the 120-member Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra will play themes from select Cinemalaya films featured in the previous years.
           
Laurice Guillen, Cinemalaya Foundation president, announced the titles of the film entries and the names of the directors competing in the 2015 Cinemalaya.
           
They are:  
  • “Apasol” by Ryanne Murcia
  • “Gatilyo ng Baril” by Glenmark Doromal and Eero Yves Francisco
  • “Kyel” by Arvin Belarmino
  • “Lisyun Qng Geografia” by Petersen Vargas
  • “Mater” by Annemikami Pablo
  • “Nenok” by Milo Tolentino
  • “Papetir” by Darwin Novicio
  • “Pusong Bato” by Martika Ramirez Escobar
  • “Sanctissima” by Kenneth Dagatan
  • “Wawa” by Angelie Mae Macalanda
           

The winner of the short-film category will receive Php150,000 cash prize.

Sections

In addition to the competition, Cinemalaya 2015 has the following sections: “The Independents: Asia,” “Indie Nation,” Cinemalaya Restrospective, “Indie Festival’s Best,” Documentaries, New Short-films in Exhibition, Cinemalaya Winners, and Gawad CCP Para sa Alternatibong Pelikula.
 
“The Independents: Asia” section opens with Zhang Yimou’s acclaimed “Coming Home” with Chinese superstar Gong Li in the lead role. This section will offer award-winning films of NETPAC such as “The Ferry” by Shi Wei, “The Night of Silence” by Reis Celik, “Poet on a Business Trip” by Ju Anqi, “Summer Kyoto” by Hiroshi Toda, “Six Feet High” by Sanalkumar Sashidaran, “The Move” by Marat Saruklu, “The Monk” by The Maw Naing, “The Owners” by Adikhana Yerzhanov, “The Last Reel” by Sotho Kulikar, and “The Tale of Princess Kaguya” by Isao Takahata.
           
“Indie Nation” showcases films premiering at Cinemalaya.
           
The Cinemalaya Retrospective features all the Best Films of Cinemalaya from 2005 to 2014 in the New Breed, Directors Showcase, Short Feature, and the “Audience Choice” categories.
           
The “Cinemalaya Documentaries” section highlights titles such as “Sayaw” by Cecilia Asuncion and “My Revolutionary Mother” by Jethro Patalinghug, among others.
           
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 be an added feature of this year’s Cinemalaya. 
           
The Gawad Alternatibo runs August 8, 9, and 11 at the CCP Tanghalang Manuel Conde.
           
The Cinemalaya Forum, a major component of the festival, is on Aug. 11-12 at the CCP Little Theater.
           
For this year, the forum aims to “gather honest and genuine criticism of indie films from different sectors of the public,” Millado said.
         
The Cinemalaya 2015 Exhibit at the Bulwagang Carlos V. Francisco (Little Theater Lobby) will feature posters and memorabilia from the films selected for the competition.
         
Training practitioners

“After a successful decade and attaining premiere status as the Philippines’ leading independent film festival and competition, Cinemalaya is now expanding its mission to the training of practitioners in key aspects of film production and serving as an inspiration to independent filmmaking in Asia,” Millado said.
           
Earlier this year, the Cinemalaya Foundation had announced an increase of about 50 percent on production grants and cash awards to be given to finalists and competition winners.
           
“While it has sought to nurture Filipino filmmakers through the yearly competitions, Cinemalaya aims to inspire Asian filmmakers by showcasing the Philippines as the cinematic center of creativity and free artistic expression and to professionalize film practitioners in various aspects of film production,” Millado said.
           
This year, the Cinemalaya Foundation launched the Cinemalaya Institute which offers a three-semester program of intensive training in writing, directing, and producing; cinematography, editing, sound, and production design, music score, and acting, Millado said.
           
The Cinemalaya Institute opened with the first cluster of courses in writing, directing, and producing in June at the De LaSalle University - College of St. Benilde, the partner of Cinemalaya Foundation for this project.
           
Cinemalaya had supported and promoted the production of 118 full feature independent films and 96 short films. Many of these films have won awards in local and international competitions and festivals.
           
Through the annual festival, Cinemalaya had showcased over 1,000 works by independent filmmakers including full feature films, shorts, documentaries, Filipino film classics, and art films.
           
For more information about 2015 Cinemalaya, visit www.cinemalaya.org, www.culturalcenter.gov.ph, and the Cinemalaya Facebook page or call the CCP Film Office at telephone number (632) 832-1125 local 1704-1705 and the CCP box office at (632) 832-3704. —KG, GMA News
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