Still no feature films at Cinemalaya 2021, 13 shorts in competition

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“Children on fire” by Kyle Nievas

This year’s edition of the Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival will still exclude the competition category for feature films due to the pandemic. However, there will be 13 short films that will compete for the best film award.

Instead of having a three-week online race, the annual independent party will run for four weeks, from August 6 to September 6, and will be broadcast on ktx.ph. However, Cinemalaya will have a “hybrid setup” this year, which means it will attempt to broadcast live at one of the outdoor venues of its former home, the Cultural Center of the Philippines in Pasay City.

Cinemalaya officials made the announcements on Wednesday afternoon at a virtual press conference, where the directors of the short film’s 13 finalists were also presented.

The contestants for the best film are: “An Sadit na Planeta” by Arjanmar H. Rebeta, “Ang mga Nawalang Pag-Asa at Panlasa by Kevin Jay Ayson”, “Ang Pagdadalaga ni Lola Mayumi” by Shiri de Leon, “Ate OG, by Kevin Mayuga”, “The Beauty Queen by Myra Aquino”, “Crossing” by Marc Misa, “Kawatan sa Salog” by Alphie Velasco, “Kids on Fire” by Kyle Nieva, “Looking for Rafflesias and Other Fleeting Things “by James Fajardo,” Maski Papano “by Che Tagyamon and Glenn Barit”, “Namnama En Lolang” by Jonnie Lyn P. Dasalla, “Out of Body” by Enrico Po and “The Dust in your Place” by David Olson.

“Namnama En Lolang” by Jonnie Lyn Dasalla

According to Cinemalaya’s main competition and monitoring official, Jose Javier Reyes, the short film’s finalists were chosen from 200 nominations after spending “a great number of hours deliberating on what should be included in the lineup” .

“Personally, it inspired me because I see the passion of these young filmmakers, as well as the changes in the language of cinema caused by the pandemic. I realized it’s all about perspective, how you look at the process of making a movie in this day and age, ”Reyes pointed out.

In 2020, it was announced that the eight feature films scheduled to compete will join the other 10 finalists for the 2021 edition. However, that will not pass this year.

Laurice Guillen, President of Cinemalaya Foundation Inc. explained, “At first we didn’t know when we would have the vaccines, but then luckily we had the guidelines and protocols, which meant to observe them and shoot those movies. , there must be an increase of about 30 percent in the budget. Of course, that was almost impossible at the time. As you know, even without this problem, filmmakers are still on a very tight budget. To get around this problem, we decided to delay their shooting until they were able to raise the necessary funds from their co-financiers.

“Out of the body” of Enrico Po

Guillen added that the festival’s experience with the pandemic has given its organizers the opportunity to assess what they have been doing in recent years. “In addition to thinking about ways to solve this pandemic problem while turning into the new normal, there was also the assessment of maybe we could make some changes even if our vision for Cinemalaya remains the same. We also decided to allow changes, for example by allowing commercial film producers to participate as co-financiers. In the past, it was purely independent. Now we have accepted this as long as we have stayed true to our vision. “

Festival director Chris Millado agreed there were a lot of lessons learned from last year’s race. “One of them is that our viewers in 2020 wanted more time to have the chance to watch the movies. This is why we have decided this year to extend the race from three to four weeks, ”he explained. “Last year we were on a learning curve in terms of online streaming. We were one of the first to do this, so there was a little challenge, especially for our viewers, to go online and sign up. This year, we partnered with ktx.ph. Hopefully these concerns will be resolved. “

Guillen added that while these are short-term solutions, the Cinemalaya Film Institute has also offered long-term solutions with five new training programs aimed at preparing new filmmakers to shoot in the new normal.

“Kawatan sa Salog” by Alphie Velasco

“There are two scriptwriting programs, one for production and one for assistant director,” Guillen said. “However, the biggest thing we are doing this year is creating a film lab, which will be part of the process of competing in the 2023 edition.”

The Cinemalaya Film Lab is a three-month film lab mentoring program that runs from September to November 2021. “Those who make it to the semi-finals will attend the lab, where experts and experienced professionals can lecture and frame them. on the artistic, creative, technological and commercial aspect of cinema.

“By the time they are done with the film lab, we are confident that they have already come up with a filmable script and already know what to expect, not only in terms of exposure but also distribution,” added Guillen. .

For more updates, visit the CCP and Cinemalaya websites, as well as follow their official social media accounts. INQ

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