CineFilipino 2020 finalists announced | Inquirer Entertainment

CineFilipino 2020 finalists announced

/ 12:30 AM November 26, 2019
CineFilipino 2020 finalists announced

Cignal FVP Guido Zaballero (left) and festival director Madonna Tarrayo —ARMIN P. ADINA

For its fourth installment, the CineFilipino Film Festival is adopting the theme “Buhay ang Kuwento,” which could be translated as “The Story is Alive” and “Life is the Story,” according to festival director Madonna Tarrayo.

“We continue to give promising and established filmmakers a new home, a new voice, for all their stories, to express their narratives that resonate not only in the Philippines but globally,” Tarrayo said at the festival’s launch held at Cities Events Place in Quezon City last Thursday afternoon.


“It has been our aspiration all the time, to be big in our own country and be known overseas,” she added.

Competition head Jose Javier “Joey” Reyes said the festival’s criteria were “simple.”


“We want a modern film that carries the spirit of being Filipino,” he explained, saying filmmakers should produce content for the Filipino audience.

“We do not make films for international film festivals,” the director-writer continued.

He also hopes that through the festival, the local film industry would evolve and adapt with the times by providing an outlet for “new voices, new visions and new dreams for our filmmakers.”

During its first installment, the festival produced the remarkable Therese Malvar, who beat “superstar” Nora Aunor in the acting category via the film “Ang Huling Cha-cha ni Anita.”

The sleeper hit “Gusto Kita with All My Hypothalamus” by Dwein Baltazar from the festival’s second edition is vying for multiple awards in the Film Academy of Philippines’ Luna Awards later this month.

This year, the festival accepted entries for three categories—shorts, feature-length and series.

CineFilipino did away with series in the last edition, but brought it back this year “because we acknowledge the different screens where we can enjoy watching,” Tarrayo said.


“We recognize how young audiences consume content. We acknowledge that the series is also a good format for everyone to watch,” she continued.

Ten finalists in the series category were announced, as follows: Jeremy Luke Bolatag’s “B124,” Christian Mark Vidallo’s “Balete: The Animated Series,” Rob Jara’s “Delikado,” Kris Ulrich and Maze Mirada’s “Life After College,” Ronald Van Angelo A. Dulatre’s “Manila Encounters,” Dustin Celestino’s “Philippine Gothic: Habang Buhay,” Ronald Batallones’ “Raket,” Efren P. Malabanan’s “Sa Pusod ng Dagat,” Carlo Obispo’s “The Junkyard Hippies” and Jelani Maniago’s “Tindero.”


They will pitch their stories to a panel composed of SM Lifestyle Entertainment SAVP for Ad and Corporate Sales Isabelle Santillan, filmmaker/producer Perci Intalan, Viva Communications producer and AVP for TV Production Tess Fuentes, and screenwriter/filmmaker Wanggo Gallaga.

Five of the 10 finalists will be chosen to start production.

As in the previous years, the short film category amassed the biggest number of applicants at over 140.

CineFilipino 2020 finalists announced

CineFilipino Competition head Jose Javier Reyes

Nine finalists were chosen, namely: Dolly Dulu’s “7-Year Itch,” Dexter Paul de Jesus’ “Alex and Aki,” Claudia Fernando’s “Ang Alamat ng Sari-Saring Sari Store,” Zsarina P. Lacumba’s “Ang’gulo (Unclear),” Eluigi Macalintal and James Garcia’s “Delta,” Lorys Plaza and James Hermoso’s “Kita (nalng) Duha,” Noel Tonga Jr’s “Memento Mori,” Ronald Dulatre and Elaiza Rivera’s “Tayo (Stand Up)” and Reeden Fajardo’s “Quing Lalam Ning Aldo (Under the Sun).”

Eight feature-length finalists were chosen from over 100 entries and shall each receive a P2-million grant for production, as follows: Jopy Arnaldo’s “27 EXP,” Charlson Ong and Angelo R. Lacuesta’s “Cargo,” Sue Aspiras’ ”Homecoming,” Christopher Gozum’s “Ilikdem Mo So Matam,” Steven Paul Evangelio’s “Maya-maya Paparito Na,” JP Habac’s “Olsen’s Day,” Rob Jara’s “Ouroboros” and Dolly Dulu’s “The Boy Foretold by the Stars.”

“This is the best batch of scripts we have received. We had difficulty selecting the eight,” Direk Joey shared.

The CineFilipino Film Festival’s fourth edition will have its theatrical run in May 2020.

Festival partner Cignal will eventually make them available via the service’s on-demand platform “Cignal Play,” according to its First Vice President Guido Zaballero. The entries will later be seen on its pay TV arm.

Direk Joey said he hoped the festival would encourage more Filipinos to produce films because “the future of Filipino films does not belong to the theater owners but to the filmmakers.”

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