Text by Marz Aglipay
Cinemalaya endures in spite of postponing its annual on-site festival which drew roughly 50,000 patrons to the CCP complex in 2019 alone. For the first time, the highly anticipated film festival goes virtual in response to the times. Following the lead of Virgin Labfest, CCP’s theater festival that went virtual in June, Cinemalaya will premier on its own Vimeo channel on the 7th of August.
This year’s festival aptly themed “Streaming Consciousness,” that connotes their films being available for streaming, is projected to tap a new set of audience that is unlike their typical festival crowd. “(This year) our measure of success is if Cinemalaya connects with its target audience, save jobs, and create a platform for creators to show their work,” says Chris Millado, Vice President and Artistic Director of the CCP.
According to Cinemalaya President Laurice Guillen, the full-length films slated to compete in this year’s competition were unable to complete the production of their films. “Only one out of the ten films have finished shooting their film,” Guillen says. These full-length films will be shown together with the next batch of full-length films in 2021.
The festival organizers also expressed their consideration for new challenges in film production that requires adhering to safety protocols and making their existing production budgets from Cinemalaya work or adapt to these new parameters.
On the other hand, competing short films don’t receive budgets. Cinemalaya was able to receive all 280 short film entries before the quarantine took place. It was only a matter of following up with the jury to come up with their selection of shortlisted entries despite announcements that their physical festival being canceled. “Ipagkakait pa ba natin sa kanila [ang pagkakataon]?” (Would we deprive them [of this opportunity]?) Director Jose Javier Reyes, the Monitoring Chair of Cinemalaya, quips.
These are the 10 short films in competition for Cinemalaya 16:
1. Excuse me miss miss miss by Sonny Calvento
2. Fatigued James by Robin Mayo
3. Living Things by Martika Ramirez Escobar
4. Pabasa Kon Pasyon by Hubert Tibi
5. Quing Lalam ning Aldo (Under the Sun) by Reeden Fajardo
6. Ang Gasgas na Plaka ni Lolo Bert by Janina Gacosta and Cheska Marfori
7. Ang Pagpakalama ng Unos by Joanna Vasquez
8. The Slums Jan Andrei Cobey
9. Tokwifi by Carla Pulido Ocampo
10. “Utwas” Richard Salvadico & Arlie Sweet Sumagaysay
The awarding ceremony is expected to take place sooner than it typically does in order to allow audiences to enjoy watching this year’s Cinemalaya award-winning films. According to Millado this year’s ceremony will be kept simple and won’t be on the same production-scale as the awarding ceremonies film-makers and festival-goers have grown accustomed to.
In addition to the ten in-competition, there are also films to be presented by allied film festivals such as the Japanese Film Festival “Eiga Sai” and the EU Film Festival, Ten (10) short films-in-competition for Gawad Alternatibo Competition and Exhibition, tribute film screenings for Anita Linda and Peque Gallaga, and an ABS-CBN Film Archives restored film “Minsa’y Isang Gamu-gamo” starring Nora Aunor.
All films will be made available via Vimeo for the first two weeks of the festival starting 7th August. It will then be available on other platforms such as iWant and TFC Global allowing overseas audiences to enjoy all the films.
Access to Cinemalaya come at affordable rates: A standard bundle costs Php 75 and while a whole season pass that includes access to all films, webinars, and talkbacks at Php 300.
For more information, you may visit: https://www.facebook.com/CinemalayaOfficial/