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Cinemalaya 2013 releases film synopses

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UPDATED, June 25, 2013–The Cinemalaya Foundation, Inc. invites the public to a 10-day showcase of independent films on July 26 to August 4, 2013 in CCP theaters, Trinoma, Greenbelt, and Alabang Town Center Cinemas. Now on its 9th year, the festival features a total of 15 full-length films with 10 on the New Breed category and five on the Directors’ Showcase category, and 10 short films.

Schedule of films to be posted soon.

DIRECTORS’ SHOWCASE

AMOR Y MUERTE
Director: Cesar Evangelista
Writer: Jerry Gracio
Cast: Althea Vega, Markki Stroem, Adrian Sebastian, and Ama Quiambao. Also starring: Mico Palanca, Kuya Manzano, Amante Pulido.

Set in 16th century, “Amor Y Muerte” (means “love and death”) is an examination of the initial encounter between the Indios (natives) and their colonizers (Spaniards) and their conflicting views on love, passion, religion, and sexuality.

LIARS
Directed by: Gil Portes
Written by: Senedy Que
Cast: Alessandra de Rossi, Jan Harley Hicana, John Michael Bonapos, Cris Villanueva, Richard Quan, Jim Rocky Tangco, Sue Prado, Dax Alejandro, and Arnold Reyes

Based on a real-life sports scandal, “The Liars” traces the incredible rise and the humiliating fall of a humble Filipino baseball team of young boys in an international baseball competition in 1990s.

SANA DATI
Written and Directed by: Jerrold Tarog
Cast: Paulo Avelino, Lovi Poe, Benjamin Alves, Ria Garcia, and TJ Trinidad

“Sana Dati” is a love story about a woman whose wedding is thrown into disarray when a mysterious person arrives and reminds her of the man she really loves. It is the third part of Jerrold Tarog’s Camera Trilogy after Confessional (Cinema One Originals 2007) and Mangatyanan (Cinemalaya 2009).

PORNO
Directed by: Adolfo Alix, Jr.
Written by: Ralston Jover
Cast: Carlo Aquino, Yul Servo, and Angel Aquino

“Porno” is a powerful story about individuals linked by pornography. Three souls, one explicit illusion. To find the ultimate joy in their empty lives. A safe haven, where passion and love mean humanity, ecstasy means enlightenment; and the soul is the ultimate arbiter of the truth.

EKSTRA (THE BIT PLAYER)
Directed by: Jeffrey Jeturian
Written by: Jeffrey Jeturian, Antoinette Jadaone, and Zig Dulay
Cast: Ms. Vilma Santos, Marlon Rivera, Vincent de Jesus, Ruby Ruiz, Tart Carlo, with the special participation of Piolo Pascual, Pilar Pilapil, Cherie Gil, Cherry Pie Picache, Richard Yap, and Marian Rivera

A socio-realist drama-comedy film, which follows a seemingly usual day in the life of Loida Malabanan as she embarks on yet another shooting day of a soap opera as an extra. As the shoot goes on, we get a glimpse of the truth in the ruling system of the production as well as the exploitation on the marginalized laborers like her.

NEW BREED CATEGORY

THE DIPLOMAT HOTEL
Written and Directed by Christopher Ad Castillo
Cast: Gretchen Barretto, Art Acuña, Mon Confiado, Joel Torre, Sue Prado, Nico Antonio, Abe Pagtama, and introducing Sarah Gaugler

A disgraced reporter seeks redemption by leading his documentary crew to spend one night and tell the story of what really happened at the haunted and infamous The Diplomat Hotel (Baguio City).

TRANSIT
Directed by Hannah Espia
Written by Hannah Espia and Giancarlo Lauro Abrahan V
Cast: Jasmine Curtis Smith, Ping Medina, Irma Adlawan, Mercedes Cabral, and Marc Justine Alvarez

“Transit” begins and ends in an airport during a father and son’s transit flight from Tel Aviv to Manila. It tells the story of Moises, a Filipino single-dad working as a caregiver in Herzliya, Israel, who comes home to his son Joshua’s 4th birthday. It was on that day that Moises, together with their Filipino neighbors, Janet and her daughter Yael, find out that the Israeli government is going to deport children of foreign workers. Afraid of the new law, Moises and Janet decide to hide their children from the immigration police by making them stay inside the house.

NUWEBE
Written and Directed by Joseph Israel Laban
Cast: Nadine Samonte, Jake Cuenca, Anita Linda, Manny Castañeda, Mikael Liwag, and Barbara Miguel

Inspired by the actual story of one of the youngest mothers in Philippine history, “Nuwebe” follows the story of Krista who at the tender age of 9 got pregnant from the sexual abuse perpetrated by her own father… Her story is complex. Krista refuses to see herself as a victim. With an almost documentary style, “Siyam” follows Krista’s story as she demonstrates a level of resilience uncommon to her age. Her mother on the other hand is torn between her love for her child and her love for her husband.

REKORDER
Directed by Mikhail Red
Written by Mikhail Red and Ian Victoriano
Cast: Ronnie Quizon, Suzette Ranillo, Earl Ignacio, Mike Lloren, Joe Gruta, and Belinda Mariano

“Rekorder” tells the story of a former 1980’s film cameraman who now currently works as a movie pirate operating in present day Manila. He routinely smuggles a digital camcorder into movie theaters in order to illegally record films. One night he records something else… And the footage goes viral.

BABAGWA (THE SPIDER’S LAIR)
Written and Directed by Jason Paul Laxamana
Cast: Alex Vincent Medina, Joey Paras, Alma Concepcion, and introducing Kiko Matos.
Starring: Nico Antonio, Chanel Latorre, Garry Lim, Raqs Regalado, Marx Topacio, and Sunshine Teodoro

An internet scammer falls in love with a rich old maid while trying to swindle her using a fake Facebook profile.

QUICK CHANGE
Written and Directed by Eduardo Roy, Jr.
Cast: Mimi Juareza, Junjun Quintana, Migs Cuaderno, Natashia Yumi, Felipe Martinez, John Relucio, Giggle Esmeralda, Francine Garcia, and Rolando Inocencio

Dorina believes she is a lady incarcerated inside a male body. She’s got herself a flourishing career, albeit in an illegal cosmetic surgery business. She is a mother figure to Hero, her eight year old nephew. She acts as a devoted wife to Uno. Between her job and her family, Dorina feels that she is one lucky woman. Until Uno falls in love with another tranny (transvestite).

PUROK 7
Written and Directed by Carlo Obispo
Cast: Arnold Reyes, Angeli Bayani, Julian Trono, Miggs Cuaderno, Krystel Valentino, Jean Judith Javier, Carlon Matobato, Olive Nieto, Karen Haniel, Max Celada, Aaron Ching, and Sheenly Gener

A countryside dramedy (drama-comedy) that follows 14-year-old Diana and her younger brother who live by themselves after their mother went abroad and their father lived with another woman. Set in a remote purok, where people display positive outlook in life despite daily struggles, the film features the light side of country lifestyle as the main characters take advantage of the fun and thrills of the town festival to take hold of their sweet childhood.

DAVID F.
Director: Emmanuel Quindo Palo
Written by: Liza Magtoto and Emmanuel Quindo Palo
Cast: Quester Hannah (American theater actor), Sid Lucero, Art Acuña, Rocky Salumbides, Mitch Valdez, Jess Mendoza, Mariella Castillo, Dax Martin, and Madeleine Nicolas

“David F” is written as a triptych with 3 short stories hinged together by the story of David Fagan, a real life historical character in the early 1900’s. He is a black American who was a member of the American regimen that was sent by the US government during the Philippine-American war. He became famous (or infamous) when he deserted the US troops and joined the sides of the Filipino revolutionaries. He was declared as a public enemy of the US government when he lead a series of battle with the Filipino revolutionaries against American soldiers. He was promoted as colonel of the Filipino troops under Emilio Aguinaldo and married a Filipina.

DEBOSYON
Written and Directed by Alvin Yapan
Cast: Paulo Avelino and Mara Lopez

Mando, a Bicolano devotee of Ina, Virgin of Peñafrancia, injures himself. He will be nursed back to health by a mysterious woman, Salome, living at the foot of Mount Mayon. They will fall in love with each other. Salome holds a secret that will devastate Mando’s love for her; while Mando relies on his devotion to the Virgin of Peñafrancia to lift a curse that involves his life.

INSTANT MOMMY
Written and directed by Leo Abaya
Cast: Eugene Domingo, Rico J. Puno, Luis Alandy, Archie Alemania, Shamaine Buencamino-Centenera, Tuesday Vargas, Matt Evans, Alchris Galura, and Yuki Matsuzaki (Japanese actor from Hollywood).

Story of a summer’s journey of Bechayda amidst a highly visualized world where the video screen reigns supreme. Bechayda is a wardrobe mistress in TV commercials who pretends to be pregnant to keep her Japanese fiance.

SHORT FILMS

Bakaw (Ron Segismundo) is a day in the life of a child who steals at the Navotas fishport.

Katapusang Labok (Aiess Athina E. Alonso) depicts the struggles of fishermen who must deal with environmental abuse and the effects of coral harvesting on their livelihood.

Missing (Zig Madamba Dulay) tackles the subject of forced disappearances.

Onang (Jann Eric S. Tiglao) is the classic tale of a young probinsyana who seeks her fortune in the big city.

Para kay Ama (Relyn A. Tan) is about a young Chinese-Filipino girl who discovers she has a half-brother when she meets him on the last day of her father’s wake.

Pukpok (Joaquin Adrian M. Pantaleon) is one adolescent’s transition to manhood as he hurdles a case characterized by excessive blood, superstition and a man with failing eyesight.

Sa Wakas (Ma. Veronica Santiago) is a reflection on the bond of a father and daughter tested by cultural, political and religious hypocrisy.

Taya (Philip Adrian Bontayam) is about a 12-year-old boy who learns to play the game of life with a new set of friends. The film highlights how traditional Filipino games reflect the realities and disparities of our society.

The Houseband’s Wife (Paulo P. O’Hara) is an essay about a typical OFW family, with the OFW wife as breadwinner and the husband left in the Philippines to care for the children. Technology and the internet bridges the physical distance but shatters domestic harmony when the wife, on a Skype video call, sees a bra, not hers, hanging in the marital closet.

Tutob (Kissza Mari V. Campano) begins when recent bombings in the region put authorities on alert. A mysterious, strange-looking native Maranao man dressed up in Muslim attire shows up. He is tasked to fetch a package from his boss’ contact. From a rural area in the mountains, he rides his motorcycle to the city to get the package. On his way back, he is stopped at an army checkpoint. Speaking Maranao, he says he doesn’t know what’s in the package, but the Visayan-speaking soldiers don’t understand him and insist on opening it.

From the Cinemalaya website:

The Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival is a film competition and festival that aims to encourage the creation of new cinematic works by Filipino filmmakers – works that boldly articulate and freely interpret the Filipino experience with fresh insight and artistic integrity. It also aims to invigorate the Philippine filmmaking by developing a new breed of Filipino filmmakers. Each year, ten fresh talents are given a seed grant in order to create the film of their dreams. These films in the New Breed Full Length Category are then featured in festival at the Cultural Center of the Philippines every July and compete for the coveted Balanghai Award. Awards are also given in the Short Feature Category and the Directors Showcase. Along with these competition films are an array of exhibitions that include Tributes to Past Indie Mavericks of Pinoy Cinema, a Cinemalaya Kids’ Treats, World Premieres of New Digital Works (the Cinemalaya/NETPAC Prize), and other modules.

Aside from the screenings are other exciting film-related events: the Cinemalaya Film Congress, a two-day conference that looks at all aspects of independent filmmaking and distribution; the Cinemalaya Sine Taktakan, a forum with the year’s batch of new Cinemalaya filmmakers; and a host of other events.

4 thoughts on “Cinemalaya 2013 releases film synopses

  1. Pingback: All About Ekstra 1/2 (News Links) | Star For All Seasons

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