FilmPress Release

Film: At this year’s festival, Cinemalaya pays tribute to outstanding artists

MANILA, PHILIPPINES — Cinemalaya 2022 will honor the legacy of the late artists Benji Garcia, Flor Salanga, Sigfreid Barros-Sanchez, Joseph Israel Laban, and Eduardo Roy Jr. at the Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival from August 05 to 14.

The works of the filmmakers, BATAD: Sa Paang Palay, JAY, Lasponggols, Cuchera, and Pamilya Ordinaryo will be screened respectively from August 09 to August 13 at 12:45 pm at CCP’s Tanghalang Manuel Conde (TMC) for free.

Benji Garcia

Benji Garcia was known for traversing the worlds of theater and film production, on stage, backstage, on camera, and off camera. He completed his Communication Arts degree at Ateneo de Manila University in 1979 and then took a film course at the London International Film School in 1980.


His feature film, BATAD: Sa Paang Palay won four Cinemalaya awards in 2006 for Best Actor, Best Screenplay, Best Production Design, and Special Jury Prize. It also won the Golden Screen Awards with Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role, Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role, Best Production Design, and Best Musical Score.

Flor Salanga

Flor Salanga, Best Actress in a Supporting Role Golden Screen 2009 awards and nominated for Best Supporting Actress in Gawad Urian 2009, was an audition master of Cinemalaya Film Festival from 2005 to 2019. She completed her Master’s Thesis for her MA degree in Theater Arts at the University of the Philippines.

She played the role of Luzviminda Mercado in the featured film, JAY, which was directed by the late Francis Xavier Pasion. Jay won Best Film, Best Actor, and Best Editing in Cinemalaya and the Special Mention award at Bangkok International Film Festival in 2008. It also received the Audience Award at the 2009 Black Movie Film Festival.

Sigfreid Barros-Sanchez

Sigfreid Barros-Sanchez, 2016 Best Director at the Madrid International Film Festival and 2012 FDCP Grand Festival Prize awardee, was known as a pioneer of sorts in local film festivals. He came from a family of writers – both from the father’s and mother’s side. In 1999, he got a slot in the 11th Scriptwriting Workshop given by National Artist for Film and Broadcast Arts Ricardo Lee, who then became his primary mentor.

He was among the 1st batch of filmmakers in the first Cinemalaya in 2005 wherein he submitted Lasponggols, the featured film. It was his directorial film debut, a black comedy that showcases the oft-ignored people in a mainstream movie set. Lasponggols was screened at the 2005 Fribourg International Film Festival in Switzerland and in the 2006 New York Imaginasian Film Festival.

Joseph Israel Laban

Joseph Israel Laban was a filmmaker, documentarist, and Creative Consultant for GMA Network’s Front Row and Reporter’s Notebook. He finished his Creative Writing degree from the University of the Philippines Diliman and studied at New York University (NYU) under a Fullbright Scholarship for his master’s in Journalism with a focus on News and Documentary.

His feature film, Cuchera won Best Film in the New Breed category in Cinemalaya 2011. It was screened in international film festivals in Toronto, Stockholm, Belgrade, and Cleveland in 2011 and 2012.

Eduardo Roy Jr.

Eduardo Roy Jr. started as a soap opera writer in ABS-CBN until his persistence paid off as a director with his film, Bahay Bata being named as Best Film in the New Breed category in Cinemalaya 2011. He was a mass communication student from New Era University in Quezon City.

Eduardo’s featured film, Pamilya Ordinaryo won Best Film, Best Director, Best Actress, Best Editing, and NETPAC Award in Cinemalaya 2016. It received the Asia Pacific Screen Award, Special Mention award in New Asian Cinema at the Five Flavours Asian Film Festival, and Best Director award from the Hanoi festival. The film was then added on Netflix to its Filipino Movies & TV list in 2020 which garnered the number one spot for weeks.

Since 2005, Cinemalaya has supported and promoted the production of Filipino full feature independent films and short films. Many of these films have won awards in local and international competitions and festivals. Through the annual festival, Cinemalaya has showcased over 1,000 works by independent filmmakers including full feature films, shorts, documentaries, Filipino film classics, and art films.

For more information on the 18th Cinemalaya Film Festival screening schedules and other offerings, check out the CCP website and Cinemalaya social media sites on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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