The cinematic energy is still high from the recently concluded 2019 Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival, but the Cultural Center of the Philippines and the Cinemalaya Foundation are already gearing towards its 16th edition with the announcement of the 10 full-length finalists who will compete and vie for the plum Best Film award.
As announced during the Cinemalaya Awards Night, the 10 finalists are: ANG HALIMAW by Emmanuel Q. Palo; ANGKAS by Rainerio Yamson II; BAKIT DI MO SABIHIN (Tell Her) by Real Florido; BULA SA LANGIT by Sheenly Gener; DALAGITA SA LIKOD NG PAWIKAN by Paul Sta. Ana; KARGO by TM Malones; KATHOEY by Joris Fernandez, Paolo Valconcha; PAROLE by Briliant Juan; RHINO GIRL by Jav Velasco; and SEPERATE/SEPARATE by David Corpuz.
“Ang Halimaw” follows a group of underground activists who take a 10-year old boy under their wing while the boy waits to be reunited with his parents who are high-value targets of the Marcos military.
“Angkas” is about two estranged friends who try to rebuild their embittered past as they travel dangerously together in a habal-habal and retrieve a dead pal.
In “Bakit Di Mo Sabihin (Tell Her),” while a mute couple decides on what to do with their marriage after they separated, they learned that it is not the disability to speak that tore them apart.
After a six-month siege in Marawi, a young soldier comes back home and faces a different war in “Bula Sa Langit.”
“Dalagita sa Likod ng Pawikan” follows an island girl’s quest to find meaning and hope in the midst of personal tragedy and environmental degradation.
“Kargo” is about a woman who carries with her a heavy burden from her past – an encumbrance what will only be relieved when she finally exacts revenge on the man who murdered her entire family.
“Kathoey” narrates how a conservative Filipino father searches for his estranged transdaughter and receives the most unexpected help from a Thai transgender prostitute.
In “Parole,” a paroled ex-convict tries to adjust back to society after being imprisoned for 30 long years for a crime he did not commit, while looking for his long lost friend.
“Rhino Girl” contains two stories of desire for beauty and perfection. It follows a waitress with an average Filipino nose who raises funds for her rhinoplasty through a GoFundMe page, and a struggling fashion model who gets addicted to plastic surgery and finds herself pushing her boundaries to what the price of beauty really is.
To lull his sorrow after being abandoned by his mother, Justine joins the school spelling bee in “Seperate/Separate.”
Established in 2005, Cinemalaya is an all-digital film festival and competition that aims to discover, encourage and honor cinematic works of Filipino filmmakers. Considered the country’s biggest indie film festival, it has supported and promoted the production of 156 full feature independent films and 138 short films; many of these films have won awards in local and international competitions and festivals.
Catch these full-length film finalists at the 16th edition of Cinemalaya Film Festival, slated on August 7 to 16, 2020.