Cinemalaya ‘navigates the current’s on 17th year

By Mheryll L. Alforte 

The Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival is re-thinking its direction and strategy to remain significant in the contemporary time, while continuing to fulfill its mission of discovering, encouraging, supporting, training and recognizing gifted Filipino independent filmmakers. 

Cinemalaya continues its concrete means to achieve its purpose to discover gifted filmmakers via its 17th edition.
Now on its 17th year, the now hybrid film fest -- having online and outdoor cinema which screenings -- runs from Aug. 6 to Sept. 5.

In a virtual media conference Wednesday, the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) announced that the curated film offerings will be screened through, Vimeo, and even CCP’s Facebook page.

Aside from the digital edition, CCP also innovated this year’s Cinemalaya with ‘Cinema Under the Stars,’ an outdoor screening at the CCP grounds where film viewers can relive the experience of watching movies despite the physical limitations of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

CCP director Chris Millado said they still haven’t reached out for possible collaborations with other theater venues to screen the film entries.

“We feel we have more chance of success with hybrid activities in our own spaces,” Millado said.

Cinemalaya 2021, with the theme “Navigating the Currents,” features 13 short films in competition. It also includes films in categories in Visions of Asia, IndieNation (documentaries), Gawad Alternatibo, Allied Screenings, and Winner's Retrospective. 

Initially, the 17th year of the film fest was supposed to feature full-length films for the main competition but concerns for the well-being of the filmmakers were raised due to the health protocols of the pandemic.

“Hindi natuloy yung full-length feature pero ang importante na we’re going up to the next level,” said Jose Javier Reyes, the Head of Cinemalaya competition and monitoring committee.

Out of over 250 submissions, only 13 short feature films have been curated for the main competition. These short films delve into different kinds of narratives but mostly about the realities of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Competing for the Best Film are: Ang Sadit ng Planeta (The Little Planet) by Arjanmar H. Rebeta, Ang mga Nawalang Pag-asa at Panlasa by Kevin Jay Ayson, Ang Pagdadalaga ni Lola Mayumi by Shiri De Leon, Ate O.G. by Kevin Mayuga, Beauty Queen by Myra Aquino, Crossing by Marc Misa, Kawatan sa Salog (Ang Laruan sa Ilog) by Alphie Velasco, Kids on Fire by Kyle Nieva, Looking for Rafflesias and Other Fleeting Things by James Fajardo, Maski Papano by Glenn Barit and Che Tagyamon, Namnama En Lolang (Grandmother’s Hope) by Jonnie Lyn Dasalla, Out of Body by Enrico Po, and The Dust in your Place by David Olson.

The ticket is offered in bundles and priced at P150. There will also be over 80 free screenings for Gawad Alternatibo and Visions of Asia, to name a few.

Topics: Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival , Cultural Center of the Philippines , Chris Millado
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