For film lovers like this writer, August rolls with it two things: pesky thunderstorms; and a film event that we can’t afford not to attend. The former, we’re all already familiar with. We’re hardwired to equip ourselves with umbrellas and to go about laborious tasks just so to stay dry. The latter, however, not everyone is familiar with. Which is strange, given its long history of effectively(?) showcasing local independent films to a nationwide, mainstream audience.
This film event is called Cinemalaya. And if you’ve nothing better to do in August, I recommend you spend a few days watching films in this festival. There’s plenty to go around for everybody, including of course but not limited to, Filipino independent films.
Take this post with you as a reference during the festival. We will update it complete with screening schedules, trailers, synopses, and more as details become available.
Ang Guro Kong Di Marunong Magbasa
(dir. Perry Escano)
“In this barrio, the number of child warrior grows when their illiterate teacher disappears and education is ignored.”
Ang Pamilyang Hindi Lumuluha
(dir. Mes De Guzman)
A woman is desperate to bring back her husband and her children, but only a popular “family without tears” can restore her hopes to rebuild her own family.
(dir. Joseph Israel Laban)
After a particularly strong squall, a sleepy fishing village in a tiny island in Southern Tagalog wakes up to an astonishing sight – their sea has turned red. Floating on their waters are thousands of apples. No one knows where it came from. Some see it as a bad omen from the baconaua – a creature of myth. A few think it’s a miracle from heaven. While others fear a more sinister source.
(dir. Zig Dulay)
An OFW escapes from her rapist boss and dumps her fetus at the comfort room of an airplane hoping to go back to the Philippines and be with her family.
(dir. Thop Nazareno)
Kiko, an 11-year-old boy left aimlessly alone with his nanny after the recent death of his mother, rekindles a long lost relationship with his father in an attempt to find a new lease on life.
(dir. Sonny Calvento)
Luna is missing. Jason Harper, her American husband, is alleged of killing her. As Jason intends to leave the country, circumstances conspire to avert his plan.
(dir. Nerissa Picadizo)
A dramatic biking love story with splashes of adventure. “Requited” is about a disease-stricken biker who wants to conquer a treacherous terrain on one final adventure that pitted him against nature and the woman he desires.
(dir. Treb Monteras II)
An amateur young hiphop rapper and a grumpy veteran poet cross paths during a stand-off between riot police and squatters. Both are compelled to interact and deal with each other’s problems, healing the wounds of the past and having a new perspective on writing their respective verses.
Sa Gabing Nanahimik Ang Mga Kuliglig
(dir. Iar Lionel Arondaing)
For nothing that is covered will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. What is uttered in the dark will find its way exalted in the light. For what you whisper, will be proclaimed in the housetops. And, do not fear what kills the body, because nothing can kill the soul. Rather, fear what can destroy in absolute.
(dir. Glenn Barit)
Two young brothers deal with the sudden loss of their father. Their overseas-filipino-worker mother goes back home for the funeral but will soon had to depart for work again. For kids, some things are hard to grasp that’s why they look at the sky for answers. Could it be aliens?
(dir. Juan Carlo Tarobal)
Caloy, a lone, apathetic plastic bottle collector, gets caught in the middle of two warring gangs which changes his disposition in life forever.
Sorry For The Inconvenience
(dir. Carl Arian Chavez)
Joshua, a timid teenager, comes home one night after he was beaten up by the school’s bully. Feeling the urge to avenge himself, he decides to take matters into his own hands. But things don’t go as planned. Now, he is left with no choice but to seek help from his policeman father.
(dir. Che Tagyamon)
A young woman goes back to her province in the countryside where she gets to once again meet her Grandmother Loleng – a distant relative and a senile parol (Christmas lantern) artisan. Together, they will explore Grandma Loleng’s landscape of memories, only to unearth her innermost secrets and wartime experiences. It is about memory and forgetting, both in the context of the personal and of the national consciousness.
Manong ng Pa Aling
(dir. E. del Mundo)
Manong ng Pa-Aling, directly translated as Man of Pa-Aling, is the incredible story of man’s natural relationship with the ocean. And amidst physical frailty, and of his age, Manong decides what he will do next after retiring from his only known profession, to be a fisherman.
Fatima Marie Torres and the Invasion Of Space Shuttle Pinas 25
(dir. Carlo Francis Manatad)
Set during the launch of the first space shuttle of the Philippines – an ordinary old couple living in the suburbs attempts to go about their life during this strange day.
Juana and Sacred Shoes
(dir. Antonne Santiago)
Juana is a beautiful maiden living peacefully in her island. While dancing in the middle of the sea, she sees how vast the waters are, and suddenly realizes that she is alone. To satisfy her longing, she does an animistic ritual and prays for a companion. A man arrives.
(dirs. Arvin Belarmino, Noel Escondo)
“Nakaw” tells the story of Bateng, a boy who triggered a series of life-changing events when he stole an old woman’s purse.
(dir. P.R. Patindol)
In a fishing village that’s been ravaged by a strong typhoon, the bond of twin brothers is disrupted by another young boy. Hilom follows the journey of the brothers, Andres and Gael, as they find healing against the harsh landscape of an island that’s also trying to recover.
(dir. T.M. Malones)
On the eve of her school’s annual Talent Show in a small rural village in the mountains of Iloilo, twelve-year-old Thirdy is worried she will not be able to perform because she could not afford to rent a traditional costume and pay the required contribution.
(dir. J.P. Habac)
When the whole family confronted her 14-year-old daughter of a suspected pregnancy, a 50-year-old woman gives birth to her 22nd child.
(dir. Marvin Cabangunay, Jaynus Olaivar)
A brave battle against grief, anger and injustice. “Nakauwi Na” follows Mang Jerry as he finds ways to earn enough money to get his son, a victim of extra judicial killings, out of the funeral home.
Visions Of Asia
(dir. Sunny Yu)
Eight-grader Bao-Li came to the rescue of Jia-Jia, whom he immediately falls in love with. But after a heated argument, Jia-Jia leaves him frustrated. Hoping to win her back, Bao-Li starts selling drugs to make money, realizing that the difficulties he must face have just started.
Ken and Kazu
(dir. Hiroshi Shoji)
Partners in crime Ken and Kazu use an auto repair shop to sell drugs and make money. But Kazu makes a dangerous move, and Ken is driven into a corner by the local Yakuza boss. Obsession, sense of indebtedness, connection and future is portrayed against the backdrop of drug dealings in the underworld.
(dir. Yosef Baraki)
12 year-old Mina cooks, sews, washes and works selling knick-knacks on the war-torn streets of Kabul to feed her neglectful father and senile grandfather. She spends her life walking without looking back or stopping. The film presents the lasting effects of the Taliban era and coalition war from the perspective of a shattered Afghan family.
(dir. Li Ruijun)
Yugur ethnic minority brothers, Adikeer and Bartel traverse the Silk Road to reunite with their parents. Towards the end of their travel, a chance encounter with an elderly Buddhist opens up possibilities for the beginning of a new journey that the brothers must undertake, one into unexplored territories from which they can never return to the home of their ancestral past.
(dir. Dalmira Tilepbergen)
Two brothers, rebellious Kerim and conscientious Aman, both fall for a local village girl, Saltanat, which ultimately leads to a bitter dispute and unforeseen and tragic consequences.
(dir. Shameera Rangana Naotunna)
A young aspiring musician buys his dream motor bicycle and takes his girlfriend on a joyride. The events that follow deprive him of not only the motorcycle, but also of so much else that’s valuable.
August in Tokyo
(dir. Ryutaro Nakagawa)
Until I Lose My Breath
(dir. Emine Emel Balci)
Serap works as a runner in a clothing workshop. She lives with her detached sister and abusive brother-in-law. Fed up, she hopes to move away with her father. But as the father is reluctant to her plans, Serap decides to take matters into her own hands.
Child Of Debt
(dir. Umashankar Swamy)
Ranga, a farm hand who works to clear his debt succumbs to an illness, and Subba his son must now work to pay the dues. The film gently leads into the emotional life of an idyllic community, as it shows how, despite the bounty of nature, a web of debt and feudal authority draws people into a deadly spiral.
(dir. Yermek Tursunov)
Orphaned by the brutal Soviet collectivization campaign of the 1930s, a young Kazakh boy Ilyas, takes to the mountains and lives amongst a pack of wolves.
We’ll post screening schedules as they become available.