MANILA, PHILIPPINES — Delikado by Karl Malakunas, and We Don’t Dance For Nothing by Stefanos Tai are the documentary films chosen to close the 18th Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival. The films will be screened at the Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo (CCP Main Theater) on August 13, at 3:30 pm, and 7:00 pm, respectively.
After making rounds in film festivals abroad, Delikado will have its Philippine premiere as one of the closing films of Cinemalaya 2022. Telling a narrative beyond the paradisiacal image of Palawan, Karl Malakunas delved into the plight of environmental crusaders as they faced corporations and the government to protect the “last ecological frontier” of the Philippines.
Karl, a journalist turned filmmaker, placed the spotlight on Atty. Robert “Bobby” Chan, Nieves Rosento, and Efren “Tata” Balladeres as they risk their lives tracking down illegal loggers, to raise awareness about the pressing social and environmental issues in Palawan.
Delikado garnered awards abroad namely the Sustainable Future Award at the Sydney Film Festival 2022, and Special Jury Prize for Best Documentary Feature from the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival. According to Luciana Tellez-Chavez from Humans Right Watch, “Delikado is an important and powerful film. The tension is palpable throughout… but so is the incredible courage of the environmental defenders portrayed.”
We Don’t Dance For Nothing by Stefanos Tai captures the contrast of being trapped and being free through a photo-montage as it follows the story of Filipina domestic workers in the midst of rallies in Hong Kong while tackling LGBTQ+ themes, issues of Workers’ Rights, and Hong Kong’s changing political landscape.
Miles Sible, a Filipina performer in Hong Kong, plays the role of H: a young domestic worker who plans to run away for the sake of love. Tai ensured genuine representation by casting Filipino performers in this documentary film.
DOXA Documentary Festival in Vancouver regarded We Don’t Dance For Nothing with the sole Honorable Mention last May.
The 18th Cinemalaya opened at the CCP on August 5. Awarding ceremonies are set on August 14 at the Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo (CCP Main Theater).