Though much strength has been mustered to accept the fact that film festivals just aren’t a 2020 thing any more, Cinemalaya – the country’s premier independent film festival – is willing to give it a shot.
For its 16th year, Cinemalaya is porting its programs online, screening under the festival theme “Stream Consciousness.” This is the festival’s first digital-only year, but not its first year to experiment. In 2015, Cinemalaya held a shorts-only program, bringing shorts like “Lisyun qng Geografia” and “Sanctissima” to the fore.
This year, the program is similarly all short films, featuring ten short films vying for the Best Picture Award. There will also be an exhibition of 20 other short films, hand-picked by Cinemalaya. Staple sections of the festival – including Gawad CCP and Visions of Asia – continue this year as well.
Cinemalaya is also paying tribute to director Peque Gallaga and veteran actress Anita Linda, both of whom we had sadly lost this year.
Ricky Lee (“Himala”, “Karnal”, “Cain at Abel”) will be holding a virtual screenwriting masterclass.
Cinemalaya 2020 Entries: In-competition and Exhibition shorts
Here are the ten Cinemalaya entries competing this year:
Ang Gasgas na Plaka ni Lolo Bert
Direction: Janina Gacosta, Cheska Marfori
Writing: Janina Gacosta
Cast: Dido de la Paz, Soliman Cruz
A closeted gay man in his 60s has been living with HIV for 10 years. His monotonous life takes a sudden turn when he receives an old vinyl record from his dead ex-lover.
Ang Pagkakalma sa Unos
Direction: Joanna Vasquez Arong
Writing: Joanna Vasquez Arong
To Calm the Pig Inside is a contemplation on the effects a typhoon leaves on a seaside city. Myths are woven in to try to understand how people cope with the devastation and trauma. A girl’s voice divulges bits and pieces of her own memory of her grandmother and mother to tie in the experiences she felt visiting this ravaged port city.
Excuse Me, Miss Miss
Direction: Sonny Calvento
Writing: Arden Rod Condez
Cast: Angelina Kanapi, Bob Jbeili, Phyllis Grande
Vangie, a miserable contractual sales lady, is about to lose her job. But in her desperate attempt to convince her boss not to sack her, Vangie uncovers the ultimate jaw-dropping secret to regularization.
Direction: James Mayo
Writing: James Mayo
Cast: Matthew Lorenzo, Yayo Aguila, Putol (Dog)
One night, you overslept because of too much work, now, you must wake up before yournightmare becomes a reality.
Direction: Martika Ramirez Escobar
Writing: Martika Ramirez Escobar
Cast: Kints Kintana, Charles Aaron Salazar
Kints wakes up and discovers that her decade-long lover Charles has turned into a cardboard standee ofhimself.
Pabasa kan Pasyon
Direction: Hubert Tibi
Writing: Hubert Tibi
Cast: Buboy Aguay Jr., Isabel Pedrasa Bogoc, Rosalinda Brongos, Marife Nolasco, Charise Relayo, Jhon Paul Laban, Jhosua Laban, Augost Borella Jr.
Religion and economy take center stage in a Bicolano family’s story, set during the Lenten season. To make ends meet, one of them turns to religion, and pushes his mother to make a living off her faith.
Quing Lalam Nang Aldo
Direction: Reeden Fajardo
Writing: Reeden Fajardo
Cast: ‘Budang’, ‘Plyka’
A transgender sampaguita farmer decided to renovate their neglected kitchen as soon as she heard that her son is going home.
Direction: Jan Andrei Cobey
Writing: Jan Andrei Cobey
Cast: Sunshine Teodoro, Jorrybell Agoto, Dylan Ray Talon, DMs Boongaling, Kenken Nuyad
A documentary team 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 TV.
Direction: Carla Pulido Ocampo
Writing: Carla Pulido Ocampo
Cast: Adrienne Vergara, Kurt “Ayeo-eo” Lumbag Alalag
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.
Direction: Richard Salvadico, Arlie Sweet Sumagaysay
Writing: Arlie Sweet Sumagaysay
Cast: Rene Requiron, Joemel Bancayan
Toto discovers more of the ocean as he tries to learn how to dive and fish.
Here are the list of the twenty short films in exhibition this year.
- 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
- The Rooftop by Avirup Biswas
Cinemalaya 2020: Ticket information + how to watch
Because Cinemalaya 2020 films will be screened online, the process of procuring your tickets and the experience of watching will be different. Though gone (for now) are the staple moments one can only truly experience at CCP during the festival, Cinemalaya has put together a completely digital way to watch the movies.
In the live-streamed press conference on the Cinemalaya Facebook page, VP and Artistic Director for the Cultural Center of the Philippines, Chris Millado, shared the fest’s official digital platform, Cinemalaya Online. It is yet to be publicly launched, but Millado promises that they are making the process “as seamless as possible”.
In the press-con, we spotted that Cinemalaya will be using Vimeo to securely screen the films, where patrons will be able to rent/buy specific titles or pay for a one-time rate to get access to all content. Of which there are 100+ shorts, 20+full-length features, 20+ webinars, and more.
As for pricing, Millado tells us that rates go as low as PHP 75 up to PHP 350.
Cinemalaya 2020 will happen from August 7 to 15, 2020.