MANILA, PHILIPPINES — Championing the best of local and international filmmaking, the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP), through the different programs under its Film, Broadcast and New Media Division (CCP FBNMD), will screen for free an exciting lineup of local and international films in the last quarter of 2023 in various venues nationwide.
The cinematic experience starts with CCP World Cinema: War Sailor and The Voyage of the Balangay on November 23, 6 pm, at the GSIS Theater. This is in partnership with the Royal Norwegian Embassy and the Government System Insurance Services (GSIS).
Directed by Gunnar Vikene, who is known for vibrant, warm stories in his previous films and awards at both international and Norwegian festivals, War Sailor is about a sailor named Alfred who is in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean when World War II breaks out. The film is considered one of the best Norwegian war films that has remarkable cinematography, costumes, and cast. One of the finest slow burners, War Sailor is a film about survival, to make it home to your loved ones, not about heroism in action. It tackles the consequences of war and what happens to families after the war.
Voyage of the Balangay is a documentary directed by Minda Monica Ponce-Rodriguez and produced by Kaya Ng Pinoy Foundation, Butuan Global Forum, TAO Corporation, and Petix Productions. It premiered during the Cinemalaya Film Festival in 2014. Voyage of the Balangay tells the story of a group of Filipino adventurers who embarked on a 17-month voyage, retracing our ancestors’ migration across oceans using the native Balangay. Faithfully built with ancient craftsmanship, they are navigated by the sun, stars, wind, clouds, waves, and bird migrations, covering the Philippine shores and seven Southeast Asian countries. The film showcased for the event will be the shortened version (seven minutes cut from 50 minutes).
Advocating gender empowerment, diversity, and equality, the CCP supports the 18-Day Campaign to End Violence Against Women with a special screening of Karnal on November 24, 1 pm, at the GSIS Theater. An anti-VAW workshop, dubbed “Eh Ano Kung Naiiba: A workshop on inclusivity, diversity in a safe workplace with #LoveYourself” will also take place at 11 am.
Part of the Cine Icons film program, CCP honors the late National Artist Marilou Diaz-Abaya with the screening of Karnal, restored by ABS CBN Sagip Pelikula. In the film, Narcing brings home his wife Puring to his hometown Mulawin, which sets a series of unfortunate events. Karnal examines how filial loyalty can also be a form of bondage that supports patriarchy and the subjugation of women. The film was selected as the Philippine entry for the 57th Academy Awards’s Best Foreign Language Film category. The restored version of Karnal premiered in the Digital Classics Section of the 11th Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival.
The next installment for CCP’s Cinema Under the Stars (CUTS) program presents Auraeus Solito’s PISAY and Mike Sandejas and Robert Seña’s Wat Floor Ma’am? on November 30, 6 pm, at the LYF hotel roofdeck in Malate, Manila. An outdoor, hybrid (drive-in, walk-in, bike-in) cinema experience, CUTS screens the best of Philippine independent films.
PISAY is about eight teenagers in the country’s premier science high school who discover themselves as they go through the joys and pains of adolescence amidst the chaos of the Marcos dictatorship in the 1980s. The film won awards for Best Director, Best Production Design, and Audience Choice Awards at the 2008 Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival. Internationally, it won the Audience Award and International Jury Prize at the 2008 Vesoul Asian Film Festival.
A Best Short Film nominee for the 2009 Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival, Wat Floor Ma’am? tells the story of a flamboyant former First Lady of the Philippines and a “Bad Boy” actor from a local cinema who find themselves trapped inside the elevator of an old government building. While waiting to be rescued, the First Lady emotionally reveals to the Bad Boy the shocking secret history of the Philippines.
The CCP Arthouse Cinema puts the spotlight on the fight for human rights with a special screening of Maria, Cinemalaya’s first documentary film in competition, on December 07, 1 pm, at the FEU Mini-Auditorium. This event celebrates the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
A year-round cinema program geared towards the cultivation of film literacy through screenings of films, videos, and new media complemented by discussions and lectures, CCP Arthouse Cinema aims to attract and nurture more film enthusiasts.
Directed by She Andes, the documentary follows three women named Maria after the bloodbath of Duterte’s drug war. A staunch supporter turned victim, a wife-mother fighting for their rights, and a woman who became a beacon of hope.
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