From left: “Tabon,” directed by Xian Lim, is among this year's 10 full-length films in competition; Watch three of Manoy's best films - "Rainbow’s Sunset," "Hintayan ng Langit," and "ML," where the late veteran actor picked up his 3rd Cinemalaya Best Actor award.
LIST: 10 things to expect from Cinemalaya 2019
Ma. Glaiza Lee ( - July 18, 2019 - 5:54pm

MANILA, Philippines — What makes this year's Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival different? 

Let us count the ways.

1. 10 full-length films competing for Best Film 

The 10 full-length films in competition include: “ANi (The Harvest),” directed By Kim Zuniga and Sandro Del Rosario; “Belle Douleur (Beautiful Pain),” directed by Joji V. Alonso; “Children of the River,” directed by Maricel Cabrera–Cariaga; “Edward,” directed by Thop Nazareno; “Fuccbois,” directed by Eduardo Roy Jr; “Iska,” directed by Theodore Boborol; “John Denver Trending,” directed by Arden Rod Condez; “Malamaya (The Color of Ash),” directed by Danica Sta. Lucia and Leilani Chavez; “Pandanggo Sa Hukay,” directed by Sheryl Rose M. Andes; and “Tabon,” directed by Xian Lim. 

2. 10 new short feature films 

For the short feature main competition, the finalists are: “Disconnection Notice,” directed by Glenn Lowell Forneste Averia; “Gatilyo (Trigger),” directed by Harold Lance Pialdal; “Heist School,” directed by Julius Renomeron Jr; “Hele ng Maharlika (Lullaby of the Free),” directed by  Norvin De Los Santos; Kontrolado Ni Girly Ang Buhay N’ya (Girly Is In Control of His Life)” directed by Gilb Baldoza; “Sa Among Agwat (In Between Spaces),” directed by Don Senoc; “Sa Gabing Tanging Liwanag Ay Paniniwala (Belief As The Light In Darkness),” directed by  Francis Guillermo; “Tembong (Connecting),” directed by Shaira Advincula; “The Shoemaker,” directed by Sheron Dayoc; and “‘Wag Mo ‘Kong  Kausapin (Please Stop Talking),” directed by  Josef Gacutan.

3. Strong female power

Noticeably, five of the 10 films are directed by female directors, namely Kim Zuñiga, Joji Alonso, Maricel Cariaga, Danica Sta. Lucia, Leilani Chavez, and Sheryl Rose M. Andes. 

Last year, there were two full-length films which made by women, "Mamang” directed by Denise O’Hara and "Pan De Salawal” by Che Espiritu.

4. Longer opening film

For the first time in the film festival's history, Cinemalaya will screen a four-hour-and-30-minute film to kick-start the most anticipated cinematic event in the country. 

Cinemalaya makes a striking move when it decides to open the film festival with Lav Diaz's “Ang Hupa (The Halt)” on August 2, 6 p.m. at CCP Main Theater lobby.

5. Reaching the regions

The 15th edition of the country's biggest independent film festival goes nationwide as it will be simultaneously screened on August 7 to 13, at selected Ayala Cinemas and Vista Malls in Manila, Pampanga, Naga and Legaspi in Bicol, Bacolod, Iloilo and Davao.

6. Screen debuts and retrospectives

This year, Cinemalaya brings back the Premiere section, where newly-made films will make their screen debut. 

The Retrospective section, meanwhile, will feature not only the 2018 Cinemalaya Best Film, Audience Choice and Special Jury Prize winners, but also the best films of Cinemalaya from its inception in 2005.

7. Tributes to legends

Cinemalaya will pay tribute to actor Eddie Garcia, actress Armida Siguion-Reyna, and production designer Cesar Hernando – all of them have made significant contributions to the Philippine film industry. 

Watch three of Manoy's best films - "Rainbow’s Sunset," "Hintayan ng Langit," and "ML" where the late veteran actor picked up his 3rd Cinemalaya Best Actor award.

8. Microcinema participation

Cinemalaya 2019 partners with microcinemas in Metro Manila and in the regions for “Kinse sa Sandaan: Cinemalaya Wave at the Microcinemas.” 

9. Cinemalaya campus goes regional

The Cinemalaya Campus, a major component of Cinemalaya, expands its reach to the regions. The Regional Cinemalaya Campus kicks off a one-minute filmmaking competition for students. 

Dubbed Short Shorts Competition, it aims to discover, encourage and honor cinematic works of young Filipino talents from Bicol, Western Visayas and Davao City. The top 10 Shorts Shorts finalists will be screened in Legazpi, Naga, Bacolod, Iloilo and Davao City. 

10. A different, fun way of learning about filmmaking

The Mini-Versity will be the newest thing to spur interest on filmmaking among the youth. From August 2 to 11, at the Silangan Hall, those who are interested can have engaging conversations on various aspects of filmmaking with industry practitioners. 

Of course, film enthusiasts can still enjoy the festival's mainstays: Dokyu, the documentary section; Best of the Festivals, which showcases the best films from local festivals; Indie Nation, a special section featuring independent films; Visions of Asia, featuring award-winning Asian and Netpac films, and Digital Classics, featuring digitally remastered classic Filipino films. 

Cinemalaya runs from on August 2 to 11 at various venues of the CCP. The Awards Night will be on August 11, 7 .m., at the Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo (CCP Main Theater).

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