(FROM THE CULTURAL CENTER OF THE PHILIPPINES)
BEYOND showcase of competing films in full-length and short categories, the 14th Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival is also giving its audiences a myriad of films in various genres, catering to different cinematic preferences and experiences.
Special section Indie Nation lets film enthusiasts cross out 10 current indie films, which they may have missed on their regular screening at the cinema.
Directed by Mike De Leon, “Citizen Jake” is a personal saga of a Filipino and his struggles with the contradictions within his own social class and the demands of a dysfunctional political family in a Third World nation. The film features actors Cherie Gil, Dina Bonnevie, Luis Alandy, Gabby Eigenmann, Max Collins, Teroy Guzman, and Nonie Buencamino, with journalist Atom Araullo as Citizen Jake.
“Chedeng & Apple,” which is co-directed by Rae Red and Fatrick Tabada, is a comic film about two friends who are both in their 60s. In the wake of her husband’s death, 66-yeard-old Chedeng decides to come out of the closet, while her 63-year-old best friend Apple beheads her live-in partner in a fit of rage. With a severed head placed inside a Louis Vuitton bag, the two elderly women together set off an adventure to find Chedeng’s ex-girlfriend. It stars Gloria Diaz, Elizabeth Oropesa and Anthony Falcon.
When she learns about her terminal illness, faded and forgotten actress Delia has to find family to take care and leave her difficult husband Sammy with, before she dies in comedy-drama film “Delia and Sammy.” Directed by Therese Cayaba, the film features Rosemarie Gil, Jaime Fabregas, and Nico Antonio.
In “Gusto Kita With All My Hypothalamus,” director Dwein Baltazar explores the intertwined fate of four men, who all long for a mysterious girl named Aileen. Actors Nicco Manalo, Dylan Ray Talon, Soliman Cruz and Anthony Falcon bring this romantic film to life.
“Mga Mister ni Rosario” by Alpha Habon is about Yogi Juan, the Philippine Showbiz’s Golden Boy who takes every role seriously, and his devoted housewife Sari who supports him and role-plays along. But what will happen when Yogi takes the role is a serial killer, can Sari revise the morbid fate that awaits her? he film stars Joross Gamboa, Kate Alejandrino, Kim Molina, Dax Carnay, Rap Robes, and Kiki Baento.
In “Smaller and Smaller Circles” by Raya Martin, a serial killer in Payatas leaves the bodies of young boys in the dump as two Jesuit priests try to solve the murders. Adapted from the award-winning novel of F.H. Batacan, it features Nonie Buencamino, Sid Lucero, Carla Humphries, Gladys Reyes, Raffy Tejada, Bembol Rocco, and TJ Trinidad.
Director Shireen Seno gives voice to eight-year-old Yael who prefers to be by herself, yet deeep down longs to be heard in “Nervous Translation.” In the film, the shy young girl prefers writing letters instead of performing dances. When she hears an advertisement for a pen that will give her a wonderful life, she decides to spend all her savings to buy it.
Directed by Kyle Fermindoza, “Manggagarab” tells about father Gabriel and daughter Celie who has been living peacefully in the mountains. Even though he struggles to provide for his daughter, everything seems normal until the past starts crawling in and devouring Gabriel.
In “Bomba,” actor Allen Dizon plays a deaf-mute in his 40s who is having an affair with a 16-year-old girl (played by Angeli Nicole Sanoy). Director Ralston Gonzales Jover captures the deafening silent existence that is dying to explode.
In Dokyu, its special documentary segment, the film festival curates six documentary films.
In “Call Her Ganda,” director PJ Raval documents the case of Jennifer Laude, the Filipino transwoman who was brutally murdered by a US Marine. Three women intimately invested in the case—Virgie Suarez who is an activist attorney, Meredith Talusan who is a transgender journalist, Julita Laude, the mother of the slain, galvanize a political uprising, pursuing justice and taking on hardened histories of US imperialism.
Directed by Jethro Cuenca Patalinghug, “50 Years of Fabulous” recounts the rich history of the Imperial Council, the oldest LGBT charity organization in the world. Founded in San Francisco by renown activist, drag queen and performer Jose Sarria, the Council has helped shaped LGBT life and social history in San Francisco and beyond throughout the last five decades
Director-producer Jhett Tolentino shares his humble beginning from the slums of Iloilo City, Philippines to the glittery life on Broadway in “Life Is What You Make It.” The 40-minute documentary follows Tolentino’s journey as he shares his triumphant immigrant story and captures the special moments of his homecoming that is full of surprises, love, hope and inspiration.
“A Piece of Paradise” by Patrick Alcedo follows the everyday life of Norlyn, Em-Em, and Betsy who navigate living and working in Toronto while hoping they can visit the Philippines again. Their struggles are real but the women are resilient, knowing that their faith, community and their sense of humor will help them through the challenges. When your heart is torn between two places you love, how do you find your piece of paradise?
“Yield” is an ethnographic inquiry done by Toshihiko Uriu and Victor Delotavo Tagaro over a period of five years, documenting the lives of nine children living in dire Third World conditions. It was named Best Documentary at the 2018 URIAN Awards, and the Best Documentary Feature Film and Best Editing for Victor Tagaro at the 2018 FAMAS.
Learn about the life and legacy of the greatest Filipino hero of World War II, Chief Justice Jose Abad Santos in “Honor, The Legacy of Jose Abad Santos.” Directed by Bani Logroño, the 70-minute documentary weaved his life story with interviews from his descendants, top World War 2 Philippine historians, official documents, and excerpts from articles written by Abad Santos’ son Pepito, who was with his father through his last days.
There will also be a special screening of “Journeyman Finds Home: The Simone Rota Story,” a documentary by Albert Almendralejo and Maricel Cariaga. The film chronicles the fascinating life of Philippine Azkal football player Simone Rota. It will be screened on August 8, 3:30pm at the Tanghalang Manuel Conde.
Catch these indie and documentary films at the Cinemalaya 2018, happening from August 3 to 12 at the CCP theaters.
For more information, visit http://www.cinemalaya.org or www.culturalcenter.gov.ph; call CCP Media Arts at 832-1125 local 1704 to 1705 and the CCP Box Office at 832-3704; or follow the Cinemalaya Facebook and Instagram accounts.