Jun 21, 2018

We’re only a little over a month away from Cinemalaya, the much-awaited local independent film festival. It will be on Aug. 3 to 12.

What was once a relatively small film fest is now tremendous—it used to show competing and exhibiting films only in the theaters inside the Cultural Center of the Philippines in Pasay, but for the past few years, it has extended to select Ayala Cinemas.

For 14 years, Cinemalaya has been granting producers an avenue for their films and skills to be shown and recognized and enthusiasts different kinds of artworks in motion pictures in just one event.

Here are the full-length competing films in Cinemalaya’s lineup:


Director: Perci Intalan
Screenwriter: Keavy Eunice Vicente

Distance (formerly entitled as Sa Pagitan ng Dito at Doon) is The IdeaFirst Company’s entry to Cinemalaya. It’s a drama film about a wife (Iza Calzado) who comes home to be reunited with the husband and children that she turned her back on years before.

It’s also a reunion for Calzado with her Bliss cinematographer and director Perci Intalan with his Dementia cinematographer Mackie Galvez.



Director and writer: Benedict Mique

Yep, that ML (Martial Law, just in case). The story follows Carlo (Tony Labrusca), a college freshman who met Colonel (Eddie Garcia), an old resident in their village and a former soldier during the Marcos regime who cruelly tortured student activists. The young man’s life changes when he experienced all the Martial Law cruelties one night.



Director and writer: Denise O’Hara

The film, which was supposed to compete in Cinemalaya two years ago, revolves around the story of Mamang, an old woman who longs to be with her unmarried middle-aged son.



Director and writer: Kip Oebanda

The film directed by Kip Oebanda, director of Bar Boys, is a true story about a young mother with a mysterious past who uses storytelling to protect her child from the realities of growing up inside a prison camp during the Martial Law.


Kung Paano Hinihintay ang Dapithapon

Director: Carlo Enciso Catu

Teresa (Perla Bautista) is at the twilight of her life. She’s currently living with her longtime partner Celso when she receives a call from her estranged husband Benedicto (Dante Rivero). The latter is seeking forgiveness from her and their son.

It’s directed by Carlo Enciso Catu, a 22-year-old who has won various international awards for his Capampangan film ARI, My Life With a King.


Kuya Wes

Director: James Robin Mayo
Writers: Denise O’Hara and Heber O’Hara

Kuya Wes works in a money transfer company. One day, he finds himself “in a relationship” with a regular client, a married woman who suffers from marital woes.


Musmos na Sumibol sa Gubat ng Digma

Director and writer: Iar Arondaing

In the middle of chaos in Mindanao, children are being born in harsh conditions due to war and the root of the Muslim culture called “Rido” or the clash between clans.

Iar Arondaing also competed in Cinemalaya last year with his film Sa Gabing Nanahimik ang Mga Kuliglig starring Angel Aquino.


Pan de Salawal

Director: Che Espiritu

Pan de Salawal is about a lonely baker with a chronic kidney condition named Sal who wants to jump onto the incoming train and die. The baker’s neighbors along the Manila Railroad are also sick, but they get their dose of miracles from a wandering 10-year-old girl.



School Service

Director: Louie Ignacio

Another seasoned TV director, Louie Ignacio directs a docu-drama about batang hamog or street children in Manila who run after people, cars, buses, and jeeps to ask for money.


The Lookout

Director and writer: Afi Africa

The Lookout is Afi Africa’s second full-length film. It follows the life of seven-year-old George, a victim of child trafficking, who vows to return to his mother (who sold him and his sibling to a syndicate) and her boyfriend to make them pay for what they did.



Featured image courtesy of ML 

Read more:

Watch indie films past midnight at this new Maginhawa cinema
Micro-theater Cinema ’76 opens its new branch in QC
Lav Diaz on why he makes long films set in the past

TAGS: arts cinemalaya culture nolisoliph