The cinema is now online: The first deets on Cinemalaya 2020’s virtual theater setup


Though the pandemic may have stopped cinemas from opening again, it’s not stopping the country’s biggest independent film festival. The Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival pushes through despite quarantine. However, there’s going to be a few temporary changes to accommodate the current situation.

“This year’s festival will focus on Short Films in Competition, Gawad CCP Para sa Alternatibong Pelikula at Video, Cinemalaya Retrospectives, Short Films in Exhibition and many more,” Cinemalaya announced.

On Aug. 7 to 16, the film fest will hold its Cinemalaya Online Short Film Festival and Competition. It will also be purely digital as all the entries will be released on the video streaming platform Vimeo. According to the festival director Chris Millado in a virtual press conference today, July 15, the main entries can be rented in bundles online. Additionally, viewers will be able purchase and stream over 100 short films and 20 full-length features, as well as over 20 webinars for as low as P75.


Of the 244 entries submitted to the Short Films category, ten finalists will vie for the award of Best Short Film.

  • Ang Gasgas na Plaka ni Lolo Bert by Janina Gacosta and Cheska Marfori
  • Ang Pagpakalma sa Unos (To Calm the Pig Inside) by Joanna Vasquez Arong
  • Excuse Me Miss Miss, Miss by Sonny Calvento
  • Fatigued by James Robin M. Mayo
  • Living Things by Martika Ramirez Escobar
  • Quing Lalam ning Aldo (Under the Sun) by Reeden Fajardo
  • Pabasa Kan Pasyon by Hubert Tibi
  • Tokwifi by Carla Pulido Ocampo
  • Utwas by Richard Jeroui Salvadico and Arlie Sweet Sumagaysay
  • The Slums by Jan Andrei Cobey

Meanwhile, the Short Films in Exhibition section will feature the following 20 specially-curated short films:

  • Ang Nawalang Haligi (Pillar) by Sarah Mya Regacho
  • Ang Meron Sa Wala (Beyond Nothing) by Arby and Christine Larano
  • Dama De Noche by Lawrence Sibug
  • Displaced by Aedrian Araojo
  • 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
  • Mata by Bryan Kenette Padilla
  • 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
  • Tahanan by Mick Quito
  • Tarang (Life’s Pedal) by Arvin Alindogan Belarmino
  • The Rooftop by Avirup Biswas

More information on Gawad CCP Para sa Alternatibong Pelikula at Video, the longest-running independent film and video competition in Asia, as well as Cinema Retrospectives which will showcase past Cinemalaya films, are yet to be released. 

This year’s Cinemalaya will also feature Visions of Asia, a section that will screen award-winning indie films from various Asian countries, as well as a scriptwriting masterclass by Ricky Lee. The festival will also pay tribute to director Peque Gallaga and actress Anita Linda, both of whom passed away this year. 

For more information on the short films, visit Cinemalaya’s website.



Header photo courtesy of Cinemalaya Film Festival

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Writer: THEA TORRES © 2020. Hinge Inquirer Publications, Inc.


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