The country’s independent film scene has not seen anything as unprecendted as this. During a span of less than three weeks, a total of fifteen digital full length feature films and six short narrative films were and will be exhibited in Metro Manila, signalling a reinvigorated independent film sector that will probably change the filmmaking landscape locally.
Most of the films were shot with video cameras and digitally edited and produced.
The first digital filmfest is the Cinemalaya Philippine independent film festival of the Film Development Council of the Philippines which was held at the Cultural Center of the Philippines from July 12 to 17, then transferred to the UP Film Institute from July 18 to 23.
Another batch of six feature length filmswill be exhibited during the Cinema One Originals digital film festival scheduled from July 29 to 31 at the SM Megamall Cinema 12.
On top of these festivals, Pinoy Blonde, directed by Peque Gallaga, a film shot in video then transferred to 35 mm. film, began theatrical exhibition on July 14, 2005.
The Cinemalaya filmfest was capped by an awards night last Saturday, July 17. Nine feature length films and six short films vied for several award categories. The following came out the eventual winners:
Full-Length Feature Films
Best Film— Pepot Artista, directed by Clodualdo del Mundo Jr.
Best Direction—Rica Arevalo, ICU Bed # 7
Best Screenplay — Mario Cornejo & Coreen Jimenez , Big Time
Best Cinematography—Jun Aves, Baryoke
Best Editing—Daniel Adapon, Pepot Artista
Best Production Design—Clint Catalan, Christina Dy & Lily Esquillon,
Ang Pagdadalaga ni Maximo Oliveros
Best Sound—Raffy Magsaysay & Allan Feliciano, Big Time
Best Performance—Eddie Garcia, ICU Bed # 7 ( actor )
Meryl Soriano, Room Boy ( actress )
Nathan Lopez, Ang Pagdadalaga ni Maximo
Oliveros (special citation)
Special Jury Prize— Ang Pagdadalaga ni Maximo Oliveros
Short Narrative Films
Best Film— Mansyon by Joel Cruz
Best Direction—Sigrid Andrea Bernardo, Babae
Best Screenplay — Pam Miras, Blood Bank
Special Jury Prize— Kultado by Lawrence Fajardo
After the awards night, the nine feature films and six short narrative films were also exhibited at the UP Film Institute. Those who want to view some of the filmfest entries can still attend the final two days of the UP Film Institue showing.
For today, July 22, the entry Lasponggols is scheduled at 7:30 p.m. Slated for showing tomorrow (July 23) are the six short narrative films, namely, Alimuom, Babae, Blood Bank, Kultado, Mansyon and Panaginipan, starting at 5 p.m. The last scheduled showing is for Pepot Artista, the best picture winner, directed by Clodualdo del Mundo Jr., which will screen at 7:30 p.m.
The forthcoming Cinema One Originals filmfest is a project of the country’s premiere movie cable channel Cinema One. The following digital full length feature films will be exhibited during the filmfest:
Dilim, directed by Topel Lee, an action thriller starring Rica Peralejo, Emilio Garcia and Mario Magalona.
Sa North Diversion Road, directed by Dennis Marasigan, starring John Arcilla and Irma Adlawan.
Sandalang Bahay, directed by Denisa Reyes and Mark Gary, starring Albert Martinez, Mads Nicolas, Hermie Concepcion, Gilleth Sandico and Sharmaine Centenera-Buencamino.
Ang Anak ni Brocka, directed by Sigfreid Barros-Sanchez, a semi-documentary starring Nonie Buencamino, Jeffrey Quizon, Gina Alajar, Bembol Roco, Soxy Topacio, Michael de Mesa, Geoff Eigenmann and Philip Salvador.
Anak ng Tinapa, directed by Jon Red, starring Ryan Eigenmann, Atong Redillas and China Cojuangco.
Sitak, directed by Lisa Cornejo, starring Chanda Romero and Gerry Cornejo.