Events: Redefining Philippine Cinema – The .giff Judges Share Their Insights on the Upcoming Festival

As an adobo magazine exclusive, we were given the privilege of speaking to the judges of this year’s .giff Festival of New Cinema a celebration of innovators who push the boundaries of content creation. The festival will feature various film screenings, competitions, video installations, talks by members of the industry, and musical performances.

A “Festival of New Cinema” may lead one to beg the question, what exactly is new cinema? Producer and CEO of Epicmedia Productions Inc. Bianca Balbuena and esteemed film critic Richard Bolisay express their thoughts on the matter:

Bolisay shared, “I think New Cinema is being brave and experimenting on a familiar form. Because the audience now, they want something familiar but something very different. So, I think it’s the future.”


“For me,” Balbuena added,“new cinema is a confluence of two important things that offer possibilities and new directions for the art form. So films that constitute new cinema, are those that respond to present conditions. So it doesn’t necessarily have to talk about present issues, but those who have an impact on our society at present.”

Director Carlo Manatad, whose film The Imminent Immanent’ will be shown during the festival, expressed his excitement, sharing “I’m most excited about the mix of selection this year…given enough time and also support from this festival, I think magiging maganda yung kalalabasan.”

The centerpiece of the festival is the Globe Studios Short Film Laba competition geared towards aspiring filmmakers wherein winners receive a ₱250,000 Film Grant, mentorship, and a chance to have their work produced by Globe Studios in 2020. 

Independent filmmaker John Torres also shared his excitement regarding the competition: “I’m really excited for Globe Studios for really having this initiative…I think we will have new voices, new approaches to storytelling, and fresh energy that will contribute in Philippine Cinema.”

I like the fact that Globe is pushing forth with the short form in filmmaking since for the longest time, [in the] Philippines, we’ve been pushing feature films.At least now may mga avenue for short films, chimed Manatad.

Bolisay also shared: “…they’re given time to develop their scripts to be mentored by professionals. That goes to show that freedom really contributes to making good films.” 

Filipino-American Director Eileen Cabiling shared her experience as a judge so far, expressing particular excitement regarding the diversity of entries the festival had to offer: “I was really, really moved and really, really impressed by so many voices here in the Philippines. It was really great to see the imagination and creativity behind a lot of the characters that were being created in these stories. And different kinds of films as well. From animation, to science fiction, to more realists.”

Bolisay also expressed his delight with the entries: “These are films that explore new ways of telling different ways of exploring the language, different ways of telling stories and pushing the boundaries of the language of cinema.”–

The .giff Festival of New Cinema is created by Globe Studios and sponsored by OPPO, and will be held at Illumination Studios, Black Market, and La Fuerza compound from November 30 to December 1, 2019.

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