Real People, Real Lives in Cinemalaya’s Documentary Section

Seven documentary films will elucidate and illuminate the lives of real people — the son of a rebel mother, parents devastated by the loss of all their children to super typhoon Haiyan, leading filmmakers of Southeast Asia, a Philippine folk dance troupe trying to make it internationally, a Philippine national artist, a young and idealistic teacher grappling with the Philippine public school system and a bipolar young man who sells books on the sidewalk to raise money for his college education — in the Documentary Section of the 11th Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival and Competition on August 7-15, 2015 at the CCP and Greenbelt 3.

Cinemalaya Documentaries will feature the following films:

PosterDocu-My Revolutionary Mother

MY REVOLUTIONARY MOTHER (2013) by Jethro Patalinghug is the filmmaker’s own story. Even at the age of 36, the filmmaker had never quite gotten over the gaping hole in his childhood: the perpetual absence of his mother as he grew up. His mother Virginia was an activist in the People’s Power Revolution of the 1980s, and constantly away from home. Fearing for her life, she eventually had little choice but to leave her family behind and flee to the United States. Twenty years after their separation, Jethro confronts Virginia about his sense of abandonment. It’s not a perfect reconciliation, but it’s an honest conversation between a mother and son that helps them move on.

PosterDocu-SAYAW by Cecilio Asuncion

SAYAW (2014) by Cecilio Asuncion explores the culture of ethnic dance communities through the journey of Jay Loyola Dance Company and its pursuit of a coveted spot in the venerable San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival. The film follows renowned Filipino choreographer, Jay Loyola, as he endeavors to cast, rehearse, and audition his troupe for the festival.

PosterDocu-Nick & Chai

NICK & CHAI (2014) by Cha Escada and Wena Sanchez steps into the the home of Nick and Chai Quieta four months after Super Typhoon Haiyan claimed the lives of all their four children. They have nothing but each other and a house torn to pieces. This film observes how they cope with their loss and what it is really like to lose all their children in one instant.

PosterDocu-SalamatSaAlaala by Dik Trofeo (Gerry De Leon)

SALAMAT SA ALAALA (Thank you for the Memories) by Dik Trofeo is a tribute to National Artist for Cinema Gerardo de Leon in celebration of his Centennial Year. “Salamat sa Alaala” is inspired by the music composed by the late film director when he was a teenager playing background music for silent movies in Manila theatres. The video opens up with a capsulated history of the birth of the Filipino movies followed by a series of shots of veteran actresses, the academe and the young generation of filmmakers affirming his unique qualities as a world-class film figure. The film also unravels his private life as a family man.


SOUTHEAST ASIAN CINEMA: WHEN THE ROOSTER CROWS (2014) by Leonardo Lombrosio has four subjects: Brillante Mendoza – ultra neo-realist and pioneer in the regionalisation of Philippine Cinema; Pen-Ek Ratanaruang – American-educated “isolated man” and improvisational Thai New Wave auteur; Eric Khoo – an icon of Singaporean filmmaking and a food-loving, heat-hating lover of country and cinema; and Garin Nugroho –multicultural political filmmaker and magical realist extraordinaire.

PosterDocu-The Boy Who Cried Books

THE BOY WHO CRIED BOOKS (GMA “Reel Time”) 2015 is about a young man, with bipolar disorder, decides to sell books on the sidewalk to save money for a college education.


TITSER (ANC “Mukha”) 2015 spotlights Sabrina Ongkiko or Sab who never aspired to be a public school teacher. A B.S. Biology graduate of the Ateneo de Manila University, she finds herself conspicuously out of place at Culiat Elementary School, a public school set at the heart of one of the most depressed areas in Quezon City. Sab soon learned about the challenges of the public school system and, in her own little way, did her best to service the people who needed her the most—her students.

Cinemalaya is a project of the Cinemalaya Foundation, Inc. and the Cultural Center of the Philippines. Established in 2005, Cinemalaya is an all-digital film festival and competition that aims to discover, encourage and honor cinematic works of Filipino filmmakers.

To date, Cinemalaya has supported and promoted the production of 118 full feature independent films and 96 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 screening schedules, please visit and or call the CCP Box Office at tel. no. 832-3704.


Press release from the Cultural Center of the Philippines

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