Over a Hundred Free Screenings to Catch at 1st Digital Edition of Cinemalaya

THE Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival has officially opened yesterday, albeit a digital edition in response to the ongoing global health crisis we are all facing. While we’ll be missing the sense of community we get from going to the Cultural Center of the Philippines, catching online screenings, on the hand, gives another good thing: accessibility.

Imagine, you can watch a set of films for only P75? This is for the Regular Bundle featuring Main Competition Shorts A and B (five films per program); Indie Nation full-length: Mindanao; Cinemalaya Retro full-length Jay and Ang Babae Sa Septic Tank (Double Feature A); and Cinemalaya Retro full-lengths Amok and Ekstra (Double Feature B).

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Giving Back to Cinemalaya Film Festival: Let’s Watch at Home!

By Euden Valdez; Photos Courtesy of CCP

BRIGHT lights everywhere. Above, three magnificent chandeliers hang, its dangling crystals illuminating the already grand hall with glamour. Spotlights bring the eyes to the exhibits along the wall. And at the second floor balcony, multi-colored light bulbs spell Cinemalaya.

This is the scene that has been engraved in my memory in the last decade of covering the country’s premiere and leading independent film festival, held annually at the Cultural Center of the Philippines.

This is also the scene that I will surely miss this year, as the 16th edition of Cinemalaya will be officially be held virtually—the as a result of the pandemic that we all still grapple with in our own ways.

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‘Respeto’ Wins Respect, Top Awards at Cinemalaya 2017

(From the Cultural Center of the Philippines)

AFTER receiving rave reviews from Cinemalaya audiences—who are film aficionados and festival newbies alike—“Respeto” by Alberto “Treb” Monteras 2nd also won the coveted Best Film in this year’s edition of the independent film festival.

An exploration of the Philippine hip-hop underground world where a young aspiring rapper and a Martial Law poet cross paths, “Respeto” emerged as the biggest winner at the awards night held on August 13 at the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) Main Theater. Besides being recognized as Best Film, it also won Best Supporting Actor for Dido de la Paz, Best Sound for Corinne De San Jose, Best Editing for Lawrence Ang, the 2017 NETPAC (Network for the Promotion of Asia Pacific Cinema) Award and the Audience Choice Award.

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REVIEW: ‘Respeto’ Deserves Every Viewer’s Respect

Text and Photos by Euden Valdez

DIRECTED by veteran music video director Treb Monteras 2nd, scored by South Border frontman Jay Durias, and topbilled by today’s most in-demand hip-hop artist Abra.

One would easily think that “Respeto” is film about music, particularly the fliptop scene and how the underdog rapper makes his way to the top of the underground world—as is said in its synopsis. But watching it proved otherwise because all those were secondary to the film’s bigger picture, deeper message and powerful portrayals.

This was what Monteras succeeded doing in his first-ever movie, no less than a full-length entry at the Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival 2017. It held its gala screening on August 6 at the main theater of the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP), home of Cinemalaya.

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REVIEW: ‘Requited’ Will Test Your Endurance Watching

Text and Photos by Euden Valdez

TO be fair, “Requited”—a full-length entry at the Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival 2017—had potential. Its theme was never before seen at the Cultural Center of the Philippines main theater: cycling and then finding love along the way.

Directed, written and produced by Nerissa Picadizo, “Requited” stars actor Jake Cuena alongside newcomer Anna Luna. Cuenca portrays Matt, a cyclist on a journey from Manila to Mt. Pinatubo via Tarlac in what appeared to be his epilogue to life. He is, after all, suffering from Parkinson’s Disease. Then comes Luna as Sandy, his best friend who joins him along the way.

They had good times on the road, and they had bad times—mostly bad times. Because despite their obvious feelings, they can’t love each other. They have too many complications.

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