Cinemalaya 2021 attempts hybrid set-up, focuses on shorts

Kathleen A. Llemit - Philstar.com
Cinemalaya 2021 attempts hybrid set-up, focuses on shorts
Movie posters of "An Sadit Na Planeta" and "Ang Mga Nawalang Pag-asa at Panlasa."

MANILA, Philippines — The Cinemalaya Film Festival is counting on good weather and the easing of protocols come August to push through with its planned hybrid screening of some of its films for its 17th edition.

In addition, this year's in-competition short films are 13 of the finest out of the over 200 entries.

Competing for the Best Film are: "An Sadit Na Planeta" (The Little Planet) by Arjanmar H. Rebeta; "Ang Mga Nawalang Pag-asa at Panlasa" (The Lost Hopes of Flavors) by Kevin Jay Ayson; "Ang Pagdadalanga ni Lola Mayumi" by Shiri De Leon; "Ate O.G." by Kevin Mayuga; "Beauty Queen" by Myra Aquino; "Crossing" by Marc Misa; "Kawatan sa Salog" (A Toy in the River) by Alphie Velasco; "Kids on Fire" by Kyle Nieva; "Looking for Rafflesias and Other Fleeting Things" by James Fajardo; "Maski Papano" (I Mask Go On) by Che Tagyamon And Glenn Barit; "Namnama En Lolang" (Grandmother's Hope) by Jonnie Lyn P. Dasalla; "Out of Body" by Enrico Po; and "The Dust In Your Place" by David Olson.

The festival will also be introducing the Cinemalaya Film Lab mentorship program.

It will also be launching the "Riding The Waves: 15 Years of Cinemalaya" edited by Clodualdo "Doy" Del Mundo, Jr. It is the updated version of the 2015 book that will contain additional essays by known Philippine cinema writers and foreign observers of the festival.

Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) artistic director and festival director Chris B. Millado shared several good news at this year's festival, running from August 6 to September, a good four weeks, an extension of the usual three-week run.

Apart from streaming on ktx.ph and CCP Vimeo streams, the festival is introducing "Cinema Under the Stars".

"The idea is to bring out one, two or even more films to be screened in one of our outdoor spaces and people could walk in, bike in, lay out their picnics. Give or take, of course, the rainy season. It's the typhoon season. Hopefully, it doesn't rain on our screenings. Watch out. We'll be announcing the titles and the specific venue in the CCP," he replied to Philstar.com's question on the planned hybrid screening set-up. Liwasang Ullalim is one of the planned venues to host the drive-in cinema.

These are the other activities in the month-long film festival.

Free screenings of more than 80 titles

Millado said that the difference from last year's online festival to this year is the pay-per-view scheme compared to the subscription-based viewing. Ticket prices vary but competition films are priced at P150.

Apart from the must-see shorts in competition, there are free screenings of featured full-length films from the other festival showcases like Gawad Alternatibo, Visions of Asia and allied film screenings such as Eiga Sai and NetPac films.

Cinemalaya Film Lab

Cinemalaya Foundation Inc. president and film director Laurice Guillen explained about the three-month long film-laboratory mentorship program happening from September to November 2021.

"Those that make it to the semi-finals are going through to this three-month film lab where experts and experienced film industry professionals can lecture and mentor them on artistic, creative, technological as well as business aspects of filmmaking. By the end of the film lab, the stories and drafts will be 'shootable' scripts," she explained.  

Launch of the updated version of 'Riding The Waves'

Edited by Clodualdo "Doy" Del Mundo Jr., the upcoming over 560-page book will feature the reprint of the five essays in the 2015 edition. This edition will have eight more essays including the one written by film critic Lito Zulueta.

Apart from the essays, it also records all the events in the history of Cinemalaya, the festival histories and awards of each film featured as well as the evolution and growing audience impact of the festival. 

Tribute to Mel Chionglo

The festival had wanted to do a tribute for its former head of monitoring and competition committee after his passing in September 2019.

For this tribute, Millado said they chose three of his most important films, the first, middle and last films he did.

The films to be screened are "Playgirl" (1981), "Lagarista" (2000), and "Lauriana" (2013).

"He belonged to that whole generation of filmmakers which include Lino Brocka, Ishmael Bernal which practically forged the New Wave of Philippine cinema," Millado said.

Kumu parties with filmmakers and cast

Fans can catch up with featured filmmakers for this year's festivals and even in upcoming editions through the hosted parties on Kumu. They can get to answer questions and even witness excerpts of script readings.

Retrospective, talkbacks and poster exhibitions

Those who were not able to watch last year's winning entries can catch up at the Winner's Restrospective showcase. Talkbacks with participating filmmakers are also scheduled while an online exhibition of the portraits of all filmmakers and film posters over the years and the evolution of Cinemalaya filmfest posters will be featured.

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