IN PHOTOS: The 10 Full-Length Films at the Cinemalaya 2018

(From the Cultural Center of the Philippines)

THE Cultural Center of the Philippines and the Cinemalaya Foundation are set to roll out the red carpet for the 14th edition of the country’s biggest independent film festival.

Themed “Wings of Vision,” the Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival runs from August 3 to 12 at various venues of the CCP and selected Ayala Cinemas. It promises to deliver the best visual storytelling to every film enthusiast with its line-up of full-length films and short features.

​There is surely a film that captures every audience’s imagination among these 10 competing full-length entries.

“Distance”

Director: Percival Intalan
Starring: Iza Calzado, Nonie Buencamino, Therse Malvar
Liza is still drowning in grief from losing the love of her life when she receives a visit from the most unlikely person—her husband who she left five years ago. With no questions asked and no conditions, Anton invites her back to his and their two children’s lives.

“Kuya Wes”

Director: James Robin Mayo
Starring: Ogie Alcasid, Ina Raymundo, Moi Bien
Kuya Wes, a timid remittance clerk, feels like he does not exist, except when he is working at the remittance center. He is mostly ignored by his younger brother Raf and his family. His days are only brightened when his customer Erika comes in every month. One day, his life changes as Erika’s overseas husband leaves her. Wes decides to help her from his own pocket. His “relationship” with Erika and his friction with Raf starts to change him. 

“Liway”

Director: Kip Oebanda
Starring: Glaiza de Castro, Dominic Rocco
Dakip lives with his parents Day and Ric inside Camp Delgado, a makeshift prison inside a military camp for both rebels and criminals. Given their circumstances, Day does her best to shelter the child from the harsh realities of their life. She uses storytelling about an enchantress named Liway, as well as songs and imagination, to help ensure that her boy is free from trauma. 

At the tail end of the Martial Law, Day’s own dark past catches up on her and the lives of the detainees become increasingly difficult. She is confronted with the cruel possibility that the best interest of her child means never seeing her again. This is based on a true story. 

“Kung Paano Hinihintay ang Dapithapon” (Waiting for Sunset)

Director: Carlo Enciso Catu
Starring: Dante Rivero, Menggie Cobarrubias, Perla Bautista
Unmarried couple Teresa and Celso try survive their mundane elderly life. On the night of their anniversary, they receive a phone call from Benedicto, Teresa’s estranged husband who is quite ill and needs someone to look after him. Going out of their way to take care of Benedicto, they encourage him to seek treatment and live the remaining days of his life. However, their son Chito can’t forgive. On the twilight of their days, how do they wait for the sun to set?

“Mamang”

Director: Denise O’Hara
Starring: Celeste Legaspi, Ketchup Eusebio, Peewee O’Hara, Alex Medina
Already in the twilight of her life, Mamang struggles to fight senility and dementia so she can live with her only living son Ferdie. But the more she struggles, the more her condition worsens until she is literally haunted by the ghosts of her past. She battles to drive them away from her house, and in her mind, and starts re-living her past – her marriage, her childhood, and everything else in between. In the end, she is forced to make a decision between staying sane or letting her mind go.

“ML”

Director: Benedicto Mique Jr.
Starring: Eddie Garcia, Tony Labrusca
Confronted by a frustrated History professor, Carlo sets out to prove that Martial Law wasn’t all that bad and looks for someone who lived through that period to tell the tale. He meets Colonel, an old recluse living alone in a ramshackle house in Carlo’s neighborhood.

​With his best friend Jaze and girlfriend Pats, Carlo visits the old man to interview him about what truly happened during the Marcos regime – a visit that may put the lives of the three teenagers in danger. To truly learn about the horrors of Martial Law, do teenagers today have to pay the ultimate price?

“Musmos na Sumibol sa Gubat ng Digma” (Unless the Water is Safer than the Land)

Director: Iar Lionel Arondaing
Starring: Junayka Sigrid Santarin, JM Salvado, Star Orjaliza
Amid the conflict between their families and the chaos in Mindanao, two young Muslims cross paths and find love, happiness and friendship when they spend seven days in the middle of the forest. 

“Pan De Salawal” (The Sweet Taste of Salter Bread and Undies)

Director: Che Espiritu
Starring: Bodjie Pascua, Miel Espinoza
Aguy, a 10-year old palaboy, arrives in an ill-stricken neighborhood beside the Manila Railroad, where she meets a lonely panadero suffering from chronic kidney stones and wants nothing but to die, a barber with severe pasma, a Carinosa folk-dancer paralyzed by stroke, and a macho meat vendor with tumor in his breast.

With her gift of healing, the the whole neighborhood begins to experience life again. While Aguy is able to heal the sick neighbors, for some reason, she cannot heal Sal. To heal him, she must inflict the most agoizing pain.  

“School Service”

Director: Luisito Lagdameo Ignacio
Starring:  Ai ai delas Alas, Joel Lamangan, Celine Juan, Therese Malvar
Maya, an eight-year old student from a remote province, is walking home from school when the school service stops to her to ask for directions. In return for Maya’s help, the woman in the school service offers to take her home, and Maya agrees. To Maya’s horror, the service doesn’t stop at her place. Maya finds herself hours and hours away from home. She becomes the latest victim of the “school service.”

“The Lookout”

Director: Afi Africa
Starring: Andres Vasquez, Jay Garcia, Elle Ramirez, Yayo Aguila, Rez Cortez
​Lester Quiambao is a gay hired killer, whose abusive relationships in childhood propels him into a life of crime and depravity, and compels him to betray Travis Concepcion, the man he loves, in order to exact his revenge. ​

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