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Cinemalaya icon at the ramp of the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) (Photo Credit: Cinemalaya's Facebook)

What’s in store in the 15th Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival?

One of the most anticipated film events in the Philippines is the Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival which will be held in August at the various screening venues of the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) and some commercial movie houses like theaters in malls in the country.

One of the newest achievements of Cinemalaya this year is the showing of all its entries in the provinces.

Because the independent film event has been gaining momentum, film buffs and scholars, fans, industry leaders, show biz denizens etc have been waiting for the annual festival.

According to Chris Millado, CCP Vice President and Artistic Director, the 2019 Cinemalaya will be an important occasion not only because of the well-chosen projects, homegrown and overseas but also it will mark the fifteenth year of the movie feast.

Here are some of the entries in the full-length section of the fest provided CCP:

Theodore Boborol’s “Iska” which tells of a grandmother who wants to take her 10-year old autistic grandson into a special needs orphanage, is deemed an unfit guardian by the media and the government. Despite dealing with life’s blows one after the other, she never loses her tenacity to survive.

Arden Rod Condez’s “John Denver Trending” which is about John Denver Cabungcal, a Grade 8 student. All he really wants is to do well in school and bring good grades to his mother. But one day, a classmate accuses him of stealing a forty-five thousand peso worth of an IPAD. After the classmate’s persistent allegation, John Denver snaps and assaults his classmate. Unluckily for him, someone records the incident and posts the viedo n social media. In just five days, this ordinary farmboy’s life is suddenly upended.

Kim Zuñiga and Sandro del Rosario’s “Ani” which forays in the Year 2050 Federal State of Bicol. A newly orphaned boy moves to a farm to live with his estranged grandfather. When Mauricio falls ill and as the crops in their farm seem to fall ill with him, Mithi embarks on a quest with his malfunctioning robot to search for magical grains that he believes will save the old man’s life.

Jojo V. Alonso’s “Belle Doulleur (A Beautiful Pain)” which is about Elizabeth, a self-made woman in her late 40s, is bent on living on her own for the rest of her days. After her mother passes from years of suffering from a lingering illness, she meets Jon, a man 20 years her junior, who convinces her that love knows no age and that there are no limits to life’s starts. They embark on a May-December affair that is very promising until Liz realizes that Jon has dreams that she cannot be part of.

Danica Sta. Lucia and Leilani Chavez’s “Malamaya” which is about Nora Simeon who at 50 is beginning to feel…passe. She only has unsatisfactory sex, wrinkles, and opposing views on art and creativity with the younger lot. As she recaptures her prime, she finds spark with Migs, an aspiring photographer who reignited forgotten passions and elicited bursts of inspiration. Besotted with her younger lover, Nora will fail to notice how he invades her space and senses, and eventually, her art and body.

Maricel Cariaga’s “Annak To Karayan (Children of the River)” which is about a coming-of-age story about Elias and his three friends who suddenly need to grow up and take on the responsibility their fathers left as they went away in a battle they can’t surely win. As Elias tries his best to lead the group, circumstances arise that challenges his resolve. Will Elias be able to protect his friends for what’s about to come if he himself questions his true nature?

Thop Nazareno’s “Ward” which discusses life happens wherever it may find and this is the case for Jojo who has been forced to live under the hospital bed of an ailing father but has somehow managed to live with some semblance of normalcy including all the mischief that a teenager is expected to create and the inevitable heartbreak of a first love; but at what point does this normalcy become an escape instead of just a refuge for what he must face if he is to become a man?

Sheryl Rose M. Andes’ “Pandanggo sa Hukay” which says that amidst poverty and violence surrounding her, Elena, a young midwife and a single mother keeps a positive outlook in life. As she seeks to work abroad to better her family, we will follow her as she prepares for her upcoming job interview.

Xian Lim’s “Tabon” which is about a man’s belief in reality which is tested when suspects are accused of a crime they believe to not have committed.

Eduardo Roy, Jr.’s “FUCC Bois” which says that fame is a constant effort.

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