By Ibarra C. Mateo
The Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival sails its maiden voyage to the “seven seas” of the digital world from Aug. 7 to 16, 2020.
Chris B. Millado, vice president of the Cultural Center of the Philippines and Cinemalaya festival director, told an online press conference on Wednesday / July 15, 2020 that the 16th edition of the Cinemalaya will be screened on Vimeo because of the Covid19 pandemic.
Millado said that CCP and Cinemalaya are partnering with iwant.ph and The Filipino Channel for the eventual online screening of the 2020 Cinemalaya films. “This will give the 2020 Cinemalaya a global reach.”
The migration to digital platform also poses challenges, such as possible piracy and violation of intellectual property rights, he said.
Despite the challenges, Millado said the digital platform widens Cinemalaya’s audience reach.
For a bundle ranging from 75 pesos to 300 pesos, Cinemalaya films can be accessed on demand.
This year’s edition of Cinemalaya celebrates the 16th year of the country’s biggest independent film festival.
Co-produced by the CCP and the Cinemalaya Foundation, the 2020 Cinemalaya will focus on short films.
2020 Cinemalaya and Covid19
Director Jose Javier Reyes, chair of the Cinemalaya Competition and Monitoring Committee, said the impact of the Covid19 pandemic and the subsequent months of lockdown, together with the new government protocols on shooting films, became insurmountable problems for directors of the full-length films.
“However, the full-length films in competition supposedly for the 2020 Cinemalaya will join the 10 full-length films that will be showcased in 2021 Cinemalaya,” Reyes said.
Two full-length films in the 2020 Cinemalaya batch will be unable to join the 2021 festival, he said.
“But having 18 full-length films in one Cinemalaya edition is a big deal,” Reyes said.
Laurice Guillen, Cinemalaya Foundation president, said that they hope to see how the current situation will impact on the stories that will be told by Filipino directors in future Cinemalaya festivals.
Films in competition
Out of 244 entries submitted, 10 short films have been selected and are now vying for the Best Film award.
Reyes announced the list of the 2020 Cinemalaya films in competition.
These are: “Ang Gasgas na Plaka ni Lolo Bert” (The Broken Vinyl Record) by Janina Gacosta and Cheska Marfori; “Ang Pagpakalma sa Unos” (To Calm the Pig Inside) by Joanna Vasquez Arong; “Excuse Me Miss, Miss, Miss” by Sonny Calvento; “Fatigued” by James Robin Mayo; “Living Things” by Martika Ramirez Escobar; “Pabasa Kan Pasyon” by Hubert Tibi; “Quing Lalam Ning Aldo” (Under the Sun) by Reeden Fajardo; “The Slums” by Jan Andrei Cobey; “Tokwifi” by Carla Pulido Ocampo; and “Utwas” (Arise) by Richard Salvadico and Arlie Sweet Sumagaysay.
In Ang Gasgas na Plaka ni Lolo Bert, an old vinyl record alters a closeted gay man’s life. Meanwhile, memories catch up as a girl visits a ravaged port city in Ang Pagpakalma sa Unos.
Excuse Me Miss, Miss, Miss tells the story about a department store sales lady who unearths the ultimate secret to regularization; while Fatigued is about an employee who overslept and must wake-up from a nightmare.
Living Things is about a woman who discovers that her decade-long lover has turned into a cardboard standee. Pabasa kan Pasyon follows a Bicolano family that turns to religion to make both ends meet.
In Quing Lalam Ning Aldo, a transgender sampaguita farmer decides to renovate their neglected kitchen as soon as she hears that her son is going home.
The Slums, on the other hand, follows a documentary team which progressively intervenes and trespasses into the lives of a poor family living in the slums as they try to cope with the loss of their television set.
In Tokwifi, a 1950s mestiza star, trapped inside a television that fell from the sky, dreams up a romantic romp with a Bontok Igorot man who does not know how to kiss.
Utwas narrates how a young boy discovers the ocean as he tries to learn how to dive and fish.
Aside from the main competition, the Cinemalaya will have a specially-curated Short Films in Exhibition, featuring 20 short films namely: Ang Meron Sa Wala (Beyond Nothing) by Arby and Christine Larano; Ang Nawalang Haligi (Pillar) by Sarah Mya Regacho; Dama De Noche by Lawrence Sibug; Grand Gestures by Cody Abad; Gulis (Lines) by Kyle Jumayne Francisco; Habak by Paolo Matibag and Mia Salisbury; Himagsik ng Hiwaga (Revolt of the Mystic) by Geoffrey Solidum; Igib by Joey Paras; Jepoy by Avid Liongoren; Kung Saan Patag Ang Bundok (Where The Horizon Meets The Mountain) by Dolliete Echon; OctoGod by Shievar Olegario; Paon by Seb Valdez; Pinakanakapagpapabagabag-Damdamin (Most Disturbing Feeling) by Jermaine Tulbo; Si Gloria at Si Juan by Gilliano Salvador; Sumasaiyo, (Yours truly,) by Jermaine Tulbo; Tarang (Life’s Pedal) by Arvin Alindogan Belarmino; and The Rooftop by Avirup Biswas.
Gawad CCP Para sa Alternatibong Pelikula at Video, the longest-running independent film and video competition in Asia, will also continue its run this year.
Visions of Asia, one of the major components of the film festival, will screen award-winning indie films from Asia.
Cinemalaya will also pay tribute to individuals who have made great contributions to the Philippine film industry, namely director Peque Gallaga and actress Anita Linda.
Screenwriter Ricky Lee, in partnership with Cinemalaya, will conduct a scriptwriting masterclass. There will also be a virtual reunion of his writing workshop alumni.
Don’t miss out on other Cinemalaya components such as the Cinemalaya Retrospectives, featuring past Cinemalaya films, and Cinemalaya Campus, among others.
For more updates, please visit the CCP and Cinemalaya websites.
Follow the official CCP and Cinemalaya social media accounts.
CCP / Cinemalaya Images
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