Ibarra C. Mateo
This year, the Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival marks its 15th year.
The Cultural Center of the Philippines and the Cinemalaya officials and staff are holding a grand ball to welcome the Cinemalaya fans and admirers.
Organizers said they are “making a striking move when they decided to open the film festival with Lav Diaz’s “Ang Hupa (The Halt).”
The festival opens on Aug. 2, 6 pm, at the CCP Main Theater lobby. Screening of the Diaz’s film is at the CCP Main Theater.
“For the first time in the film festival’s history, Cinemalaya will screen a four-hour-and-thirty-minute film to kickstart the most anticipated cinematic event in the country,” festival organizers said.
Known for defying filmmaking traditions, Diaz has been described as “a hardcore believer of slow cinema movement, having written and produced numerous films with longest narratives.”
Also, the films of Diaz are famous for being politically charged, with themes depicting the harsh social and political realities happening in the country.
He is the “creative brain behind some of the best independent films in recent years,” such as including “Batang West Side,” “Hele sa Hiwagang Hapis,” “Ang Babaeng Humayo,” and “Norte, the End of History.”
“Ang Hupa” made its world premiere at the prestigious Directors’ Fortnight, the non-competition section of Cannes Film Festival, in France early this year.
The film is set in the year 2034 AD. Southeast Asia has been in the dark for the last three years, literally, because the sun hasn’t shone as a result of massive volcanic eruptions at the Celebes Sea in 2031. Mad men control countries, communities, enclaves, and bubble cities. Cataclysmic epidemics razed over the continent. Millions have died and millions have left.
The Diaz’s film, a mix of sci-fi and horror, is “about death of a dictator, the death of morality, the death of truth.”
Actor Piolo Pascual, veteran director-actor Joel Lamangan, and actress Shaina Magdayao topbill the film. Joining them are actors Hazel Orencio, Mara Lopez, Pinky Amador, Susan Africa, Noel Miralles, Joel Saracho, Philip Heremans, and Gala Athena Diaz.
Organizers said they are rolling out the red carpet during the opening night, with a spectacular pre-screening program, to be directed by Chris B. Millado, the CCP artistic director and Cinemalaya festival director.
The invitational opening night kicks off the Cinemalaya 2019, which will run from Aug. 2 to 11 at the CCP venues, and from Aug. 5 to 13 at select Ayala Malls Cinemas and Vista Malls nationwide.
Following is the list of the 10 full-length films in competition:
- ANi (The Harvest) by Kim Zuñiga and Sandro Del Rosario
- Belle Douleur (Beautiful Pain) by Joji V. Alonso
- Children of the River by Maricel Cariaga
- Edward by Thop Nazareno
- Fuccbois by Eduardo Roy, Jr.
- Iska by Theodore Boborol
- John Denver Trending by Arden Rod Condez
- Malamaya (The Color of Ash) by Danica Sta. Lucia and Leilani Chavez
- Pandanggo sa Hukay by Shéryl Rose Andes
- Tabon by Xian Lim
The 10 short films in competition are:
- ‘Wag Mo ‘Kong Kausapin (Please Stop Talking) by Josef Dielle Gacutan
- Disconnection Notice by Glenn Lowell Averia
- Gatilyo (Trigger)by Harold Lance Pialda
- Heist School by Julius Renomeron, Jr.
- Hele ng Maharlika (Lullaby of the Free) by Norvin de los Santos
- Kontrolado ni Girly ang Buhay N’ya (Girly is in Control of His Life) by Gilb Baldoza
- Sa Among Agwat (In Between Spaces) by Don Senoc
- Sa Gabing Tanging Liwanag ay Paniniwala (Belief as the Light in Darkness) by Francis Amir Guillermo
- Tembong (Connecting) by Shaira Advincula
- The Shoemaker by Sheron Dayoc
For full screening schedule, visit the CCP website (www.culturalcenter.gov.ph).
CINEMALAYA 2019 PHOTOS