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17 Full-Length Films to Compete in Cinemalaya 17

DID you miss the full-length films in this year’s edition of Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival?  

No worries, the Main Competition for Full-length Films will make its comeback big time, with 17 films competing for the plum Best Film and other major awards in the 17th edition of the country’s biggest independent film festival. 

The competing films include the 2020 Cinemalaya full-length finalists who had to, unfortunately, put their film projects on hold due to the pandemic.  They 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; KALUSKOS by Roman Perez Jr.; KARGO by TM Malones; KATHOEY by Joris Fernandez, Paolo Valconcha; PAROLE by Briliant Juan; SEPERATE/SEPARATE by David Corpuz; and THE BASEBALL PLAYER by Carlo Gallen Obispo.

“Ang Halimaw” follows a group of underground activists who take a 10-year old boy under their wing while he waits to be reunited with his parents who are high-value targets by 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 deaf 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.” 

“Kaluskos” tells about a single mother who finds something underneath her daughter’s bed that will make her question her love for her child. 

“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 transwoman son 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. 

To lull his sorrow after being abandoned by his mother, a young boy joins the school spelling bee in “Seperate/Separate.” 

“The Baseball Player,” meanwhile, follows a Moro child soldier as he strives to become a baseball varsity player amidst an all-out war in 2003. 

Completing the list are the 2021 finalists: 12 WEEKS by Isabelle Matutina; BATSOY by Ronald Espinosa Batallones, RMT; BLUE ROOM by Ma-an L. Asuncion-Dagñalan; GINHAWA by Christian Paolo Lat; GUERRA by Joseph Israel Laban; L+B FOREVER by John Carlo Pacala; and RETIRADA by Cynthia Cruz-Paz and Milo Alto Paz. 

“12 Weeks” is the story of a 40-year-old single woman who has to deal with the thoughts of motherhood when she discovers she is pregnant a day after her lover breaks up with her. 

“Batsoy” answers what fate lies beneath the two siblings’ yearning for delectable soup dish.  A coming-of-age film, “Blue Room” follows the members of a college band who are hauled off to the police station. 

In “Ginhawa,” an impoverished aspiring boxer hopes to continue his brother’s legacy.  “Guerra” is about a reclusive teenager who is forced to look after a mysterious stranger with dangerous secrets. 

“L+B Forever” takes a non-chronological tale of modern juvenile relationship set amid the squalid world.  “Retirada,” on the other hand, is about a retired government employee who struggles to find meaning and purpose in her life.

Cinemalaya, this year, migrated to the digital platform Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and put the spotlight on short feature films.  It was held on the Vimeo platform from August 7-16. 

Cinemalaya will reach out to global audiences through TFC (The Filipino Channel), streaming consciousness from August 17 to 31.  Featured films can also be screened via iWanTV starting September 18 to October 2, 2020. 

For more information, check out the CCP website (www.culturalcenter.gov.ph), follow the CCP official account in Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.  You may also check out the official Cinemalaya Facebook page. 

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