What we missed in Cinemalaya’s synergy of the senses
LIVE FEED - Bibsy M. Carballo (The Philippine Star) - August 7, 2013 - 12:00am

The recent ninth Cinemalaya Cinesthesia has been dubbed a Synergy of the Senses. The dictionary describes synergy as the interaction of multiple elements working together, while Cinesthesia in the arts is the simultaneous perception of multiple stimuli in one single experience. Both synergia and synesthesia originated from the Greeks.

What a brilliant idea it was, we thought, to dub the ninth Cinemalaya in 2013 as Synergy of the Senses. It speaks of the changes that have occurred during the past nine years, how filmmakers and audiences have matured, and learned to work together.

As the prime leader of the independent movement in the Philippines, Cinemalaya the past nine years has witnessed both tears and misunderstandings, as well as successes and triumphs. Yearly, it has added new sections which now included Opening and Closing Film, New Breed Full-Length, Short Films, Directors Showcase, Cinemalaya Documentaries, Urian Best Films, Special Screenings, Exhibition films, and Tributes to Three Stalwarts in the film Industry who have left us — Marilou Diaz-Abaya, Celso Ad Castillo, National Artist Eddie Romero. There were also the Forum Series, and the growth of venues outside the Cultural Center of the Philippines to include Greenbelt 3, Trinoma and Alabang Town Center.

But naturally, all our recitation of happenings during the 10 days of the Festival was meant in particular to point out that while Cinemalaya has been adding venues and more and more sections, it has yet to go beyond the 10-day exhibition and competition period. 2014 marks the 10th year of Cinemalaya and perhaps the occasion would warrant at least a 15-day festival period. Happily, at the awarding ceremonies last Sunday at the CCP, Cinemalaya chairman Antonio Cojuangco spoke of the same problem, sharing possible solutions of extending screenings to even the viability of utilizing a TV timeslot to broaden the audience’s scope. 

 We have been told that this year’s attendance has reached the 75,000-mark, compared to 66,000 of 2012. With next year being Cinemalaya’s 10th anniversary, Chairman Cojuangco revealed some changes like moving the Cinemalaya date from Aug. 1 to 10. This year, a friend who watched at Trinoma reported that the line on the queue was breaking records. Similar reports at other satellite venues told the same story. The profile of the audience has also changed. We have never seen as many elderly with grandchildren in tow at CCP. Two of them who had bought season passes told us they couldn’t watch everything, so they asked what would we recommend. All we could say was not to bring the apos to the “adults only” films which were plentiful. Entertainment columnist Mario Bautista counted 10 in what was called the “Masturbation Festival.” We had watched only three out of which two were uncalled for.

We managed to watch big winner Transit, Liars which discovered new child stars, Ekstra starring Best Actress awardee Vilma Santos, Babagwa, Porno, Amor Y Muerte, Instant Mommy, second biggest winner Sana Dati, Chris Ad Castillo’s first full-length film in the horror The Diplomat Hotel, Debosyon, David F, Rekorder, Purok 7, half of Urian’s Best Ang Pagdadalaga ni Maximo Oliveros, Shorts A, half of Urian’s Batang West Side, most of Eddie Romero’s Aguila with FPJ in the Tribute category, and the tail-end of Gender Construction in Indie Film with Joey Reyes and Jade Castro from the Forum Series. It was absolutely frustrating. We should have done the entire forum instead of some of the entries we watched. We missed Burgos since our ride was threatening to go home. So please give us more days to make the most of the offerings. Or give us midnight screenings.

  As a last word, Joey Reyes was telling his audience that an indie film simply meant not going through the studio system. It could be a commercial film like Instant Mommy by Leo Abaya with Eugene Domingo, replete with comedy but was still an indie film since it wasn’t studio made. One must remember that commercial films follow the current trend of the times. Indie films are counter-culture. Another interesting point Joey was telling his audience is that everyone today is a product of television. The gender roles you see in film, you also see on TV. That was when we had to leave to watch another film. Grrr!

(E-mail your thoughts to bibsyfotos@yahoo.com.)


  • Latest
  • Trending
Are you sure you want to log out?

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

or sign in with