Manila (CNN Philippines Life) – Last March, less than a week after Metro Manila was put under enhanced community quarantine due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Cinemalaya Foundation announced the postponement of its regular festival programming.
In a statement, the body expressed that they were looking for alternatives to deliver content to the public via online platforms.
Four months after, we now have near-complete details to the festival’s pivot to digital. Now in its 16th year, the Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival will be screened on Vimeo from August 7 to 16, 2020.
“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 in a press release.
Similar to what happened to the film festival 2015 — albeit under different circumstances — no feature-length films will be in competition. Instead, 10 short films will be vying for the Best Film award.
Out of 244 entries submitted, the following have been selected as the 10 finalists:
1. “Ang Gasgas na Plaka ni Lolo Bert” (The Broken Vinyl Record) by Janina Gacosta and Cheska Marfori
2. “Ang Pagpakalma sa Unos” (To Calm the Pig Inside) by Joanna Vasquez Arong
3. “Excuse Me Miss, Miss, Miss” by Sonny Calvento
4. “Fatigued” by James Mayo
5. “Living Things” by Martika Ramirez Escobar
6. “Pabasa Kan Pssyon” by Hubert Tibi
7. “Tokwifi” by Carla Pulido Ocampo
8. “Utwas” (Arise) by Richard Salvadico and Arlie Sweet Sumagaysay
9. “The Slums” by Jan Andrei Cobey
10. “Quing Lalam Ning Aldo” (Under the Sun) by Reeden Fajardo
20 more shorts films have also been selected for special exhibition. They are:
1. “Gulis” (Lines) by Kyle Francisco
2. “Igib” (Fetch) by Joey Paras
3. “Grand Gestures” by Cody Abad
4. “Himagsik ng Hiwaga” (Revolt of the Mystic) by Geoffrey Solidum
5. “Paon” (Bait) by Seb Valdez
6. “Tahanan” by Mick Quito
7. “Tarang” (Life’s Pedal) by Arvin Belarmino
8. “Sumasaiyo,” (Yours Truly,) by Jermaine Tulbo
9. “Ang Meron sa Wala” (Beyond Nothing) by Arby and Christine Laraño
10. “Displaced” by Aedrian Araojo
11. “Jepoy” by Avid Liongoren
12. “Kung Saan Patag ang Bundok” (Where the Horizon Meets the Mountain) by Dolliete Cristi Mari Echon
13. “Octogod” by Shievar Olegario
14. “Pinakanakapagpapabagabag” (Most Disturbing Feeling) by Jermaine Tulbo
15. “Habak” (Charm) by Christian Paolo Lat and Mia Salisbury
16. “Si Gloria at si Juan” by Galliano Salvador
17. “Ang Nawalang Haligi” (Pillar) by Sarah Mya Regacho
18. “Dama de Noche” by Lawrence Arvin Sibug
19. “Mata” by Bryan Kenette Padilla
20. The Rooftop” by Avirup Biswas
These main entries can be rented online in bundles. Viewers may also purchase over 100 short films and 20 full-length features and over 20 webinars for as low as ₱75 (which gives you access to five films). The whole experience will be priced at ₱350. After the two-week festival, competition films and select titles will be available locally, on iWant, and globally, via the TFC channel.
Cinemalaya 2020 is also set to feature an “Allied Festivals” section, which will gather titles from the Eigasai Japanese Film Festival and Cineuropa. A documentaries section will also be returning, which will have 5 shorts and 5 full-length films. The selection will be announced in full in the coming weeks.
Festival watchers may also expect at least 10 titles from the last 15 years of Cinemalaya with “Cinemalaya Retro.” Additionally, tributes in honor of the Philippine film industry greats who passed away earlier this year, director Peque Gallaga and actress Anita Linda, will be held.
Lastly, acclaimed screenwriter Ricky Lee is set to conduct a scriptwriting masterclass.
Cinemalaya festival director Chris Millado wants to assure longtime patrons that, though everything will be moving online this year, this doesn’t signal the“death” of the Cinemalaya theatrical experience.
He said, “This transition towards an online platform is essential because of our situation but, at the same time, we see this not only as a temporary thing but something that could enhance what we may do in the future when we get back to our actual venues.”
For more details, visit the Cinemalaya official website.