The Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival is back again this August.
From August 2-13, fans of local independent cinema can get a chance to catch the 10 films being shown for Cinemalaya 2019, which is celebrating its 15th anniversary this year.
Unlike in years past, Cinemalaya is expanding the amount of theaters where its films are being shown. Aside from the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP), Greenbelt, Glorietta, Trinoma, and Market! Market!, you can also catch the films in microcinemas such as Cinema Centenario, Cinema ’76, and Black Maria Cinema as well as other locations around the country including Cavite, Pampanga, Bacolod, Iloilo, and Davao.
Tickets will cost Php 200 per screening for regular audiences while students pay Php 150. If you want to experience the whole festival and watch every film, you can get an all-access pass that will cost Php 4000.
Here are the 10 feature-length films to watch out for in Cinemalaya 2019.
1. ANI (THE HARVEST)
Directed by Kim Zuniga and Sandro Del Rosario
Cinemalaya’s first-ever feature-length science fiction film, the movie is set in the year 2050 and follows an orphaned boy and his malfunctioning robot as they search for a magical grain that will save the life of his dying grandfather.
CAST: Zyren dela Cruz, Ricky Davao, Miguel Valdes, Marc Felix, Anna Luna, JM Canlas, Rolando Inocencio, Rap Robles, Victor Medina, Mio Maranan, Chryssta Cordoves, Jermaine Choa Peck
2. BELLE DOULEUR (A Beautiful Pain)
Directed by Joji V. Alonso
The film stars Mylene Dizon as a single woman in her 40s whose love-free life turns upside down when she meets and falls in love with an antique collector (Kit Thompson) who so happens to be in his 20s.
CAST: Kit Thompson, Mylene Dizon, Marlon Rivera, Jenny Jamora, Hannah Ledesma
3. CHILDREN OF THE RIVER
Directed by Maricel Cariaga
Elias and his friends are very close with each other. They live a blissfully simple life but when Ted, an outsider, takes a vacation in their community, it sets off a change within Elias. His life takes an unexpected turn when he gets a phone call one morning that affects him greatly.
CAST: Noel Comia, Jr., Ricky Oriarte, Dave Justin Francis, Junyka Santarin, JR Custodio, Juancho Triviño, Jay Manalo, Rich Asuncion, Kareen Oriarte, Jennifer Acosta, Ma. Luisa Herrera
Directed by Thop Nazareno
A film that highlights the injustices of the public health care system in the country, Edward follows a young boy is stuck to take care of his sick father in a public hospital which forces him to live under the hospital bed of his father. The boy tries to live a normal life in the hospital and treats the place as his playground.
CAST: Louise Abuel, Dido dela Paz, Elijah Canlas, Manuel Chua, Ella Cruz
Directed by Eduardo Roy, Jr.
From the director of the award-winning Pamilya Ordinaryo (2016), this movie is about Ace and Miko, two male pageant contestants who desperately want to become famous actors. However, life has other plans for them after a scandal breaks out.
CAST: Royce Cabrera, Kokoy de Santos, Ricky Davao
Directed by Theodore Boborol
Set in UP Diliman, the movie is about a grandmother as she raises her grandson who has autism. Even though her main source of income is being a photocopier in UP, her love for her grandson is unconditional. Things turn for the worse though after a news story about her grandson paints her in a bad light and soon is made the bad guy in the eyes of the people.
CAST: Soliman Cruz, Ruby Ruiz, Ricky Rivero, Jonic Magno, Jomari Angeles, RK Bagatsing, Pryle Gura, Angie Castrence, Ana Abad Santos, Jade Lopez, Elora Españo, Cherry Malvar, Sunshine Teodoro, Divine Acuna, Beauty Gonzales
7. JOHN DENVER TRENDING
Directed by Arden Rod Condez
A 14-year-old boy is suddenly thrust into the public spotlight after a video of him attacking a classmate who accused him of stealing an iPad goes viral on social media. Based on true events, the film shows the effects social media can have on one’s life.
CAST: Jansen Magpusao, Meryll Soriano, Glenn Mas, Sammy Rubido, Vince Philip Alegre, Jofranz Ambubuyog, Christian Alarcon, Zandro Leo Canlog, Andy Yuarata, Ricky Perez, Renato Sagot, Enrique Sanchez, Bert Briones, Elmer Yuarata, Eldin Labris, Sunshine Teodoro, Luz Venus, Estela Patino, Joerlyn Samulde, Akia Buenaflor, Shan Estoya, Jinalyn Tandoy
8. MALAMAYA (THE COLOR OF ASH)
Directed by Danica Sta. Lucia and Leilani Chavez
The film follows Nora S. (Sunshine Cruz), an uninspired and pessimistic middle-aged artist who meets a millennial photographer and soon start a relationship together. Their encounter leads Nora down a journey of self-discovery and artistic reawakening.
In a caption to an Instagram post on July 8, 2019, Sunshine Cruz asked people to “… not focus on just my love scene with a younger actor. I accepted this movie because it is beautiful, it is challenging and different.”
CAST: Enzo Pineda, Sunshine Cruz, Raymond Bagatsing, Bernadette Allyson
9. PANDANGGO SA HUKAY
Directed by Sheryl Rose Andes
Elena is a single mother and midwife who tries to see the brighter side of things despite the poverty and violence that is around her. As she prepares for a job interview for an overseas job, a series of unfortunate events disrupts her life.
CAST: Iza Calzado, Ybes Bagadiong, Acey Aguilar, Diva Montelaba, Charlie Dizon, Star Orjaliza, Mercedes Cabral, Sarah Pagcaliwagan-Brakensiek
Directed by Xian Lim
Xian Lim’s directorial debut, Tabon is a psychological thriller about a man who questions reality after suspects are accused of a crime they say they did not commit.
CAST: Christopher Roxas, Ynna Asistio, Dexter Doria, Bapbap Reyes, Menggie Cobarrubias, Leon Miguel, Benjie Felipe, Lao Rodriguez, Richard Manabat