Cinemalaya 2013 opened in four cinema sites last Friday, July 26 to showcase five feature-length films in the Directors Showcase and 10 films in the New Breed category .
This year’s Cinemalaya, on its ninth year, will be shown at the Cultrual Center of the Philippines in Pasay City. Trinoma in Quezon City, Greenbelt in Makati City and the Alabang Town Center in Alabang.
In addition to New Breed category, which is the main competition category, and the Directors Showcase, Cinemalaya has a Short Film competition and other sections for exhibition films.
Cinemalaya is a project of the Cinemalaya Foundation, Cultural Center of the Philippines, Film Development Council of the Philippines and Econolink Investments, Inc.
The finalists are listed down as follows (with synopses provided by the Cinemalaya Foundation):
Directors Showcase (for veteran filmmakers)
Directed by: Adolfo Alix, Jr./Written by: Ralston Jover
Starring: Carlo Aquino, Yul Servo, and Angel Aquino
“Porno” is a powerful story about individuals linked by pornography. Three souls, one explicit illusion. To find the ultimate joy in their empty lives. A safe haven, where passion and love mean humanity, ecstasy means enlightenment; and the soul is the ultimate arbiter of the truth.
Porno is the fifth film of Alix in competition after Donsol (2006); Kadin (2007); Isda (2011); and Kalayaan (2012). He recently had his film Death March screened at the Un Certain Regard section of the Cannes Film Festival.
AMOR Y MUERTE
Directed by: Cesar Evangelista/Written by: Jerry Gracio
Starring: Althea Vega, Markki Stroem, Adrian Sebastian, Ama Quiambao. Mico Palanca, Kuya Manzano, and Amante Pulido.
Set in 16th century, “Amor Y Muerte” (means “love and death”) is an examination of the initial encounter between the Indios (natives) and their colonizers (Spaniards) and their conflicting views on love, passion, religion, and sexuality.
EKSTRA (THE BIT PLAYER)
Directed by: Jeffrey Jeturian/Written by: Jeffrey Jeturian, Antoinette Jadaone, and Zig Dulay
Starring: Ms. Vilma Santos, Marlon Rivera, Vincent de Jesus, Ruby Ruiz, Tart Carlo, with the special participation of Piolo Pascual, Pilar Pilapil, Cherie Gil, Cherry Pie Picache, Richard Yap, and Marian Rivera
A socio-realist drama-comedy film, which follows a seemingly usual day in the life of Loida Malabanan as she embarks on yet another shooting day of a soap opera as an extra. As the shoot goes on, we get a glimpse of the truth in the ruling system of the production as well as the exploitation on the marginalized laborers like her.
Directed by: Gil Portes/Written by: Senedy Que
Starring: Alessandra de Rossi, Jan Harley Hicana, John Michael Bonapos, Cris Villanueva, Richard Quan, Jim Rocky Tangco, Sue Prado, Dax Alejandro, and Arnold Reyes
Based on a real-life sports scandal, “The Liars” traces the incredible rise and the humiliating fall of a humble Filipino baseball team of young boys in an international baseball competition in the 1990s.
Portes is back in Cinemalaya after competing for the festival in 2010 with “Two Funerals,” for which he won Best Director.
Written and Directed by: Jerrold Tarog
Starring: Paulo Avelino, Lovi Poe, Benjamin Alves, Ria Garcia, and TJ Trinidad
“Sana Dati” is a love story about a woman whose wedding is thrown into disarray when a mysterious person arrives and reminds her of the man she really loves. It is the third part of Jerrold Tarog’s Camera Trilogy after Confessional (Cinema One Originals 2007) and Mangatyanan (Cinemalaya 2009).
New Breed category (for up-and-coming directors)
THE DIPLOMAT HOTEL
Written and Directed by Christopher Ad Castillo
Starring: Gretchen Barretto, Art Acuña, Mon Confiado, Joel Torre, Sue Prado, Nico Antonio, Abe Pagtama, and introducing Sarah Gaugler
A disgraced reporter seeks redemption by leading his documentary crew to spend one night and tell the story of what really happened at the haunted and infamous The Diplomat Hotel (Baguio City).
Directed by Hannah Espia/Written by Hannah Espia and Giancarlo Lauro Abrahan V
Starring: Jasmine Curtis Smith, Ping Medina, Irma Adlawan, Mercedes Cabral, and Marc Justine Alvarez
“Transit” begins and ends in an airport during a father and son’s transit flight from Tel Aviv to Manila. It tells the story of Moises, a Filipino single-dad working as a caregiver in Herzliya, Israel, who comes home to his son Joshua’s 4th birthday. It was on that day that Moises, together with their Filipino neighbors, Janet and her daughter Yael, find out that the Israeli government is going to deport children of foreign workers. Afraid of the new law, Moises and Janet decide to hide their children from the immigration police by making them stay inside the house.
Written and Directed by Joseph Israel Laban
Starring: Nadine Samonte, Jake Cuenca, Anita Linda, Manny Castañeda, Mikael Liwag, and Barbara Miguel
Inspired by the actual story of one of the youngest mothers in Philippine history, “Nuwebe” follows the story of Krista who at the tender age of 9 got pregnant from the sexual abuse perpetrated by her own father… Her story is complex. Krista refuses to see herself as a victim. With an almost documentary style,
BABAGWA (THE SPIDER’S LAIR)
Written and Directed by Jason Paul C. Laxamana
Starring: Alex Vincent Medina, Joey Paras, Alma Concepcion, and introducing Kiko Matos.
An internet scammer falls in love with a rich old maid while trying to swindle her using a fake Facebook profile.
Written and Directed by Carlo Obispo
Starring: Arnold Reyes, Angeli Bayani, Julian Trono, Miggs Cuaderno, Krystel Valentino, Jean Judith Javier, Carlon Matobato, Olive Nieto, Karen Haniel, Max Celada, Aaron Ching, and Sheenly Gener
A countryside dramedy (drama-comedy) that follows 14-year-old Diana and her younger brother who live by themselves after their mother went abroad and their father lived with another woman. Set in a remote purok, where people display positive outlook in life despite daily struggles, the film features the light side of country lifestyle as the main characters take advantage of the fun and thrills of the town festival to take hold of their sweet childhood.
Directed by: Emmanuel Quindo Palo/Written by: Liza Magtoto and Emmanuel Quindo Palo
Starring: Quester Hannah (American theater actor), Sid Lucero, Art Acuña, Rocky Salumbides, Mitch Valdez, Jess Mendoza, Mariella Castillo, Dax Martin, and Madeleine Nicolas
“David F” is written as a triptych with 3 short stories hinged together by the story of David Fagan, a real life historical character in the early 1900′s. He is a black American who was a member of the American regimen that was sent by the US government during the Philippine-American war. He became famous (or infamous) when he deserted the US troops and joined the sides of the Filipino revolutionaries. He was declared as a public enemy of the US government when he lead a series of battle with the Filipino revolutionaries against American soldiers. He was promoted as colonel of the Filipino troops under Emilio Aguinaldo and married a Filipina.
Directed by Mikhail Red/Written by Mikhail Red and Ian Victoriano
Starring: Ronnie Quizon, Suzette Ranillo, Earl Ignacio, Mike Lloren, Joe Gruta, and Belinda Mariano
“Rekorder” tells the story of a former 1980′s film cameraman who now currently works as a movie pirate operating in present day Manila. He routinely smuggles a digital camcorder into movie theaters in order to illegally record films. One night he records something else… And the footage goes viral.
Written and Directed by Eduardo Roy, Jr.
Starring: Mimi Juareza, Junjun Quintana, Migs Cuaderno, Natashia Yumi, Felipe Martinez, John Relucio, Giggle Esmeralda, Francine Garcia, and Rolando Inocencio
Dorina believes she is a lady incarcerated inside a male body. She’s got herself a flourishing career, albeit in an illegal cosmetic surgery business. She is a mother figure to Hero, her eight year old nephew. She acts as a devoted wife to Uno. Between her job and her family, Dorina feels that she is one lucky woman. Until Uno falls in love with another tranny (transvestite).
Written and Directed by Alvin Yapan
Starring: Paulo Avelino and Mara Lopez
Mando, a Bicolano devotee of Ina, Virgin of Peñafrancia, injures himself. He will be nursed back to health by a mysterious woman, Salome, living at the foot of Mount Mayon. They will fall in love with each other. Salome holds a secret that will devastate Mando’s love for her; while Mando relies on his devotion to the Virgin of Peñafrancia to lift a curse that involves his life.
Written and directed by Leo Abaya
Starring: Eugene Domingo, Rico J. Puno, Luis Alandy, Archie Alemania, Shamaine Buencamino-Centenera, Tuesday Vargas, Matt Evans, Alchris Galura, and Yuki Matsuzaki (Japanese actor from Hollywood).
Story of a summer’s journey of Bechayda amidst a highly visualized world where the video screen reigns supreme. Bechayda is a wardrobe mistress in TV commercials who pretends to be pregnant to keep her Japanese fiance.
The Short Feature category will have 10 short films: Ron Segismundo’s “Bakaw”; Aiess Athina Alonso’s “Katapusang Labok”; Zig Dulay’s “Missing”;
JE Tiglao’s “Onang,”; Relyn Tan’s “Para kay Ama”; Joaquin Pantaleon’s “Pukpok”; Nica Santiago’s “Sa Wakas”; Adi Bontuyan’s “Taya”; Paolo O’Hara’s “The Houseband’s Wife”; and Kissza Mari Campano’s “Tutob.”
Cinemalaya 2013 will feature other sections during the festival: Ani; Cinemalaya Documentaries; Cinemalaya Premieres; Retrospective: Urian’s Best (The Gawad Urian Best Film 2000-2009); and tributes to Marilou Diaz-Abaya, Celso Ad. Castillo and Eddie Romero.
There will also be other film-related programs such as the Cinemalaya Film Congress, a two-day conference that looks at all aspects of independent filmmaking and distribution; the Cinemalaya Sine Taktakan, a forum with the year’s batch of new Cinemalaya filmmakers; and a host of other events like
the third Manila Film Financing Forum.
Festival director is Laurice Guillen. The screening committee that determined the finalists for the New Breed and Director’s Showcase is composed of film directors Mel Chionglo, Joey Reyes and Joel Ruiz; actress Ina Feleo, and Inquirer arts editor and Manunuri ng Pelikulang Pilipino critic Lito B. Zulueta.
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