LIST: Films competing at Cinemalaya Film Festival 2022

Kristofer Purnell - Philstar.com
LIST: Films competing at Cinemalaya Film Festival 2022
Scene from "Bakit Di Mo Sabihin? (Tell Her)," directed by Real S. Florido and starring Janine Gutierrez and JC De Vera
Real S. Florido, CCP / Cinemalaya

MANILA, Philippines — The Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival will return to live screenings for the first time in two years, with a total of 23 films competing for the 2022 edition.

The 16th and 17th editions of Cinemalaya were held online due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and only short films were in competition due to production constraints.

But with restrictions gradually loosening and people already heading back to cinemas, Cinemalaya is prepared to welcome back lovers of Filipino films to theaters.

Short films

A total of 12 short films will be competing at this year's Cinemalaya, which Executive Committee member and director Joey Reyes said passed an "exceptionally difficult selection process."

Reyes also pointed out that the entire Philippines is represented through the short film finalists, with only two originating from "Imperial" Manila.

Here are the competing short films in alphabetical order:

  • "Ampangabagat Nin Talakba Ha Likol (It's Raining Frogs Outside)," directed by Maria Estela Paiso
  • "Black Rainbow," directed by Zig Dulay
  • "City of Flowers," directed by Xeph Suarez
  • "Dikit," directed by Gabriela Serrano
  • "Distance," directed by Dexter Paul de Jesus
  • "Duwa-Duwa," directed by Nena Jane Achacoso
  • "Mga Handum Nga Nasulat sa Barras (The Dreams That Are Written in the Sand)," directed by Arlie Sweet Sumagaysay and Ricard Jeroui Salvadico
  • "Mata Kang Busay (Vision of the Falls)," directed by Niño Maldecir and Cyphor John Gayorgor
  • "Kwits," directed by Raz de la Torre
  • "Roundtrip to Happiness," directed by Claudia Fernando
  • "See You, George!," directed by Mark Moneda
  • "Si Oddie," directed by Maria Kydylee Torato

Related: LIST: Cinemalaya 2021 winners; films now available for streaming

The 2021 Best Short Film award went to "Beauty Queen" while "An Sadit Na Planeta (The Little Planet)" won Audience Choice, Special Jury Prize and the NetPac Jury Award. "Kids On Fire," meanwhile, won Kyle Nieva Best Screenplay and Best Direction.

Feature films

Reyes called the 11 films competing in this category "nuclear survivors" since they were what remained of an original 20 finalists, which whittled down to 13 and finally 11.

These 11 movies were initially supposed to compete at the past two editions of Cinemalaya. Reyes commended the films' directors as true passionate filmmakers for making sure "their voices [would] be brought to the Cultural Center of the Philippines."

"Hindi katawa-tawa, hindi kataka-taka," said Reyes about the finalists, all of them which were produced and shot during the height of the pandemic.

Here are the competing feature-length films in alphabetical order:

  • "12 Weeks," directed by Anna Isabelle Matutina and starring Max Eigenmann, Bing Pimentel, and Vance Larena
    • A 40-year-old woman, after ending a toxic relationship, discovers that she is pregnant.
  • "Angkas (The Backride)," directed by Rainerio C. Yamson II
    • A habal-habal driver and his estranged friend go on a dangerous journey to retrive the corpse of their deceased childhood companion.
  • "Bakit Di Mo Sabihin? (Tell Her)," directed by Real S. Florido and starring Janine Gutierrez and JC De Vera
    • A deaf couple struggle through their marriage and eventually move apart.
  • "Batsoy," directed by Ronald Espinosa Batallones and starring Sean Ethan Sotto, Karen Laurrie Mendoza, and Mariano Cambas
    • Two brothers go buy batsoy to satisfy the younger sibling's cravings.
  • "Blue Room," directed by Ma-An L. Asunscion-Dagñalan and starring Elijah Canlas and Juan Karlos Labajo
    • A woke indie rock band get their big break, but are suddenly arrested for drug possession and thrown into the titular VIP detention area.
  • "Bula sa Langit (Trigger)," directed by Sheenly Gener and starring Gio Gahol, Kate Alejandrino, and Air
    • A Marawi War veteran brings his girlfriend home to his family but struggles to reconnect with loved ones.
  • "Ginhawa (Solace)," directed by Christian Paolo Lat and starring Andrew Ramsay, Ruby Ruiz, Dido de la Paz, and Rolando Incocencio
    • An aspiring boxer goes against his mother's wishes to follow his brother's path only to realize the sport's ugly truth.
  • "Kaluskos (Rustles)," directed by Roman S. Perez Jr. and starring Coleen Garcia
    • A woman in the middle of a custody battle over her estranged daughter mysteriously experiences a different version of her child that she connects better with.
  • "Kargo (Cargo)," directed by TM Malones and starring Max Eigenmann, Jess Mendoza, Myles Robles, and Ronnie Lazaro
    • A woman searches for the man who killed her whole family in a highway motorcycle accident to find some closure.
  • "Retirada (The Retiree)," directed by Milo Alto Paz and Cynthia Cruz-Paz and starring PeeWee O'Hara
    • A newly retired woman finds solace in playing bingo, and after hitting the jackpot tries to repeat her luck.
  • "The Baseball Player," directed by Carlo Obispo and starring Tommy Alejandrino and JM San Jose
    • A Moro child soldier dreams of becoming a professional baseball player, but war gets in the way of him pursuing his passion.

Feature films last competed at Cinemalaya in 2019, when "John Denver Trending" won Best Film while the late Eduardo Roy Jr. won Best Director.

RELATED: Cinemalaya returns to in-person screenings for 2022 edition






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