Two participants in the first ever Cinemalaya film festival last year were among the ten finalists for this year’s edition of the digital film competition.
The ten finalists in the full-length feature film category were announced in a press conference at the Cultural Center of the Philippines last February 16.The finalists will sign their contracts with the organizers today, February 23, and will be given a seed grant of P500,000 each to produce their screenplays into films.
The ten screenplays, which were semi-finalists with five others, must be shot and completed for the festival scheduled in July. These screenplays are as follows:
–Ang Huling Araw ng Linggo by Nick Joseph Olanka
–Batad, Sa Paang Palay by Vic Acedillo, Jr. and Benji Garcia
–Donsol by Adolfo Alix, Jr.
–Larombata by Khavn de la Cruz
–Lima by Arah Jell G. Badayos
–Mga Anino Sa Apuhap by Domingo Lazam III, Ronald Verzo and Sigrid Andrea Bernardo
–Ngipin Ni Doring by Dado C. Lumibao and Bong Ramos
–Rotonda by Ron Bryant
–Saan Nagtatago si Happiness? by Florida M. Bautista and Real Florido
–Tulad ng Dati by Michael Sandejas
Ron Bryant was also one of the finalists in last year’s competition with Baryoke which won the best cinematography award for Jun Aves. Sigfrid Andrea Bernardo was a finalist in the short film category with Babae and won the best director award.
The Cinemalaya independent film festival and competition is a project of the Cinemalaya Foundation, the Cultural Center of the Philippines, the UP Film Institute and the Philippine Multi-Media Systems, Inc.
Last year or during the first year of the project, the Film Development Council of the Philippines spearheaded the competition and festival when it was still under Director Laurice Guillen.
For this year’s Cinemalaya, the FDCP is left out of the picture. Antonio ‘Tonyboy’ Cojunagco, owner of Phil. Multi-Media Systems Inc. confirmed this in an interview with Phil. Daily Inquirer reporter Bayani San Diego Jr.
He explained that when Cinemalaya was initiated last year, Guillen was still FDCP chairperson. “Unfortunately, she was unceremoniously kicked out of the council. We don’t approve of what happened,” he further stated.
He stressed: “it wasn’t the FDCP that was important to us. It was Laurice. More than the organizations, we value the incorporators.”
The Cinemalaya Foundation was, therefore, incorporated last year because the organizers foresaw that politics might rear its ugly head into the program. Thus, the Foundation, in true indie spirit, is autonomous from the public sector and the FDCP.
In retrospect, Cinemalaya 1 came up with outstanding digital films which included Ang Pagdadalaga ni Maximo Oliveros (Rated A by the CEB); Bigtime (Rated A); and ICU Bed #7 (Rated B).
Pagdadalaga also won awards in several film festivals abroad.