Actor Xian Lim to debut as filmmaker
After its successful 14th edition, the Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival gears up for its 2019 run with 10 new full-length finalists who will compete for the coveted Balanghai trophies.
During the awards night last 12 August at the Cultural Center of the Philippines’ (CCP) Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo (Main Theater), the Philippines’ longest and biggest indie film festival announced the finalists, which include Iska by Theodore Boborol; John Denver Trending by Arden Rod Condez; Ani by Kim Zuñiga and Sandro del Rosario; Belle Douleur (A Beautiful Pain) by Joji V. Alonso; Malamaya by Danica Sta. Lucia and Leilani Chavez; Annak ti Karayan (Children of the River) by Maricel Cariaga; Ward by Thop Nazareno; Pandanggo by Sheryl Rose M. Andes; Tabon by Xian Lim and Fucc Bois by Eduardo Roy, Jr.
Written by Mary Rose Colindres, Iska by Theodore Boborol is about a loving but impoverished grandmother of an autistic child who loses everything and turns into someone society reckons her to be.
In John Denver Trending, director Arden Rod Condez bookmarks a period in people’s lives when they allow social media to reshape their mindset. Based on true events and will be shot entirely in Pandan, Antique, it narrates how the life of a young boy has changed when he was caught on a viral video brutally attacking a classmate.
Ani by Kim Zuñiga and Sandro del Rosario follows an orphaned boy and his malfunctioning robot embark on a quest to save his grandfather’s life.
Co-written by Carl Adrian Chavez and Kristin Barrameda, Belle Douleur (A Beautiful Pain) by Joji V. Alonso is story of a self-made woman in her late 40s who is bent on living on her own for the rest of her days and her journey of finding happiness in complete surrender and sacrifice.
Co-directors Danica Sta. Lucia and Leilani Chavez, with screenplay by Leilani Chavez and Liberty Trinidad, present Malamaya, a film about a pessimistic, uninspired middle-aged artist who finds spark with a millennial photographer who leads her on a path of creative and sexual reawakening.
In Annak ti Karayan (Children of the River), director Maricel Cariaga expounds how a young boy and his three friends try to live a normal life, while battling their own demons and taking care of their respective families while their fathers are away.
Director Thop Nazareno, who directed Kiko Boksingero in the 2017 Cinemalaya, returns to the film festival with Ward, a film about a teenage boy who has been forced to live under the hospital bed of an ailing father and tries to live with some semblance of normalcy.
Also returning to Cinemalaya is director Eduardo Roy Jr. with Fucc Bois. The director has won Best Director and Best Film for his film Pamilya Ordinaryo in 2016.
Pandanggo by Sheryl Rose M. Andes follows a small-town midwife as she prepared for a job interview abroad.
Actor Xian Lim wears the director’s hat in Tabon, a film how a man’s belief in reality is tested when suspects are accused of a crime they believe to not have committed.
Since 2005, Cinemalaya has continued to discover, encourage and support the cinematic works of upcoming and veteran Filipino filmmakers who boldly articulate and freely interpret the Philippine experience with fresh insight and artistic integrity.
To date, 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.