5 full-length films, 25 shorts to get grants from 1st CinePanalo fest | Inquirer Entertainment

5 full-length films, 25 shorts to get grants from 1st CinePanalo fest

/ 12:20 AM August 14, 2023

Herlene Budol (left) and Joseph Marco in “Ang Babae sa Likodng Face Mask”

Herlene Budol (left) and Joseph Marco in “Ang Babae sa Likod ng Face Mask”

“We want to influence people to always have a positive outlook,” said Chris Cahilig, indie filmmaker and festival director of the 1st CinePanalo Film Festival, which promises to hand out a cash grant of P2.5 million to five amateur or professional directors and P100,000 to 25 student short filmmakers.

The festival, organized by the supermarket chain Puregold Price Club, will be held from March 8 to 10, 2024, at Gateway Cinemas in Cubao. The deadline for submission of applications is on Oct. 27. The shortlist of selected directors will be announced on Nov. 6.


The aim is to produce “inspirational, uplifting and heartwarming” films that conform to the festival’s official theme, “Mga kwentong panalo ng buhay,” said Puregold president Vincent Co. “We want CinePanalo to uplift the spirits of young and gifted filmmakers who are just waiting for a break,” he said. “We hope that the financial grant and the exposure they get will provide an important boost to their aspirations.”


“Filipinos love movies, particularly inspiring ones. These stories affect the lives of people. In fact, we are able to see their impact on the Puregold YouTube channel where we stream a lot of our series like ‘Ang Babae sa Likod ng Face Mask.’ People say they are able to relate, that they are able to cry and laugh while watching. It is clear to the brand that it is able to connect to its target market through films,” said Cahilig at a press conference organized by Cinema 76 Film Society on Aug. 8.

“People need films that the whole family can enjoy,” Cahilig said. “At a time when films marked by violence or worldly desires are increasingly made accessible to more people, the CinePanalo Film Festival’s focus will be on more heartfelt and hope-filled stories.”


Cahilig pointed out that finished short films would not be accepted at this time, “because we will be having product inclusions. Also, we also want to make sure that the messaging is clear and adheres to the theme. The filmmakers will be guided from writing the script up to the execution of the movie,” he said.

Cahilig also said the festival will welcome films about the LGBTQIA+ community, “because we do not discriminate against any narratives about the community. In fact, [Lem Lorca’s] ‘My Plantito,’ the first BL (boy’s love) series made only for TikTok, will start streaming on Aug. 23. But again, just like the other stories, they have to fall under the requirement,” he pointed out.

He added that festival organizers would also help filmmakers pitch the stories to actors appropriate for the roles, including Puregold’s current and past endorsers like brothers Tito and Vic Sotto, Joey de Leon (TVJ), as well as Maine Mendoza and Luis Manzano.

CinePanalo festival director Chris Cahilig (center) with Optima Digital producer Monique Baldemor and general manager Richard Co

CinePanalo festival director Chris Cahilig (center) with Optima Digital producer Monique Baldemor and general manager Richard Co

Cahilig noted, “We already have a community of artists that we can tap, those who have been part of our past series. When they heard about the festival, a lot of them showed interest. Since they enjoyed working with us in the past, they also want to get involved in our future projects.”


He said a selection committee composed of “people from different aspects of the industry” is now being formed.


Meanwhile, Optima Digital, one of the country’s top postproduction/digital services companies, will be sponsoring the color-grading services of all the entries, according to its general manager Richard Co.

“Tony Gloria, the founder of Optima, believes in uplifting the quality of films in the Philippines. He is involved in a number of film projects, including those that became part of Cinemalaya. When he learned about CinePanalo, he thought we could be a part of it to help out,” the executive said.

The short films will also be posted on Puregold’s official social media pages, said Cahilig. They will be featured next to Puregold’s successful “retailtainment series” such as “GV Boys,” “Ang Babae sa Likod ng Face Mask” and “Ang Lalaki sa Likod ng Profile.”

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