Manila opens 2009 Cinemalaya
() - July 8, 2009 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Manila, directed by prize-winning directors Adolfo B. Alix Jr. and Raya Martin, will open the 2009 Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival and Competition on July 17, 7:30 p.m. at Cultural Center of the Philippines Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo (Main Theater).

This will be the film’s Philippine premiere after its successful screenings in the 62nd Festival de Cannes and the 31st Moscow International Film Festival. Piolo Pascual co-produces and stars in this film which pays tribute to Lino Brocka and Ishmael Bernal.

Piolo plays two different roles. In the first episode, he plays William, a drug addict, who tries to reconnect with people close to him — a fair-weathered girlfriend, an unforgiving mother with a secret past, and a comatose matron lover he wants nothing to do with. Slowly, as night falls, he learns there is no one left to trust, not even himself. In the second part, he plays Philip, a bodyguard for the mayor’s son. He thinks his boss considers him family but after a shooting incident discovers his real worth to his boss.

Manila stars Rosanna Roces, Jay Manalo, Alessandra de Rossi, Baron Geisler, Iza Calzado, Angelica Panganiban, Jiro Manio, William Martinez, Anita Linda, Marissa Delgado, Menggie Cobarrubias, John Lapus, Katherine Luna, Aleck Bovick and Jon Avila. The screenplay is written by Ramon Sarmiento and Alix, who opened last year‘s Cinemalaya with Adela. Alix‘s first film, Donsol, and Kadin were both past Cinemalaya finalists. Raya Martin, whose other film Independencia was also screened in this year‘s Cannes Film Festival, is also honored as one of the 13 artists of the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP).

The Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival and Competition, now on its fifth year and billed Cinemalaya Cinco, will unveil 20 new digital films that will compete on July 17 to 26 at CCP.  Competing in the full-length category are 24K by Ana Agabin; Ang Panggagahasa Kay Fe, Alvin Yapan; Astig, GB Sampedro; Colorum, Jon Steffan Ballesteros; Dinig Sana Kita, Mike Sandejas; Engkwentro, Pepe Diokno; Last Supper No. 3, Veronica Velasco and Jinky Laurel; Mangatyanan, Jerrold Tarug; Nerseri, Vic Acedillo Jr.; and Sanglaan, Milo Sogueco. Competing in the short film category are Behind Closed Doors by Mark Philipp Espina; Blogog, Rommel Tolentino; Bonsai, Alfonso Torre III; Hulagpos, Maita Lirra Lupac; Latus, John Paul Seniel; Musa, Dexter Cayanes; Si Bok at Ang Trumpo, Hubert Tibi; Tatang, Jean Paolo Hernandez; Ugat sa Lupa, Ariel Reyes; and Wat Floor Ma‘am, Mike Sandejas and Robert Seña.

Cinemalaya, in addition to the Competition films, will feature the following sections — World Premieres and NetPac films, Lino Brocka Retrospective, Kids’ Treats, Gay/Lesbian films, The City in Focus, Women in Indies, Off Center, Documentary and Ani: Best of Last Year. The Festival also includes the Cinemalaya Congress on July 21 to 22.

Cinemalaya is presented by the Cinemalaya Foundation, Cultural Center of the Philippines, the Film Development Council of the Philippines and Econolink Investments, Inc. Cinemalaya is an all-digital film competition aimed at discovering new Filipino filmmakers.

ADOLFO B ALECK BOVICK AND JON AVILA ALFONSO TORRE ALIX JR. AND RAYA MARTIN ALVIN YAPAN ANA AGABIN ANG PANGGAGAHASA KAY FE CINEMALAYA CINEMALAYA INDEPENDENT FILM FESTIVAL AND COMPETITION CULTURAL CENTER OF THE PHILIPPINES FILM
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