Cinemalaya reaffirms social relevance on 20th year

Cinemalaya reaffirms social relevance on 20th year, reveals finalists

/ 06:23 PM July 11, 2024

Cinemalaya reaffirms social relevance on 20th year, reveals finalists. Image: Facebook/Cinemalaya

Cinemalaya president Laurice Guillen. Image: Courtesy of Cultural Center of the Philippines

As the Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival marks its 20th year, it hopes to reaffirm its commitment to raising issues on social awareness through its full-length and short-list finalists.

Cinemalaya 2024, which will run from August 2 to 11 at the Ayala Malls Manila Bay, follows the theme “Loob, Lalim, Lakas.” Like its previous editions, Cinemalaya president Laurice Guillen says the festival aims to showcase Filipino culture while turning the spotlight on social awareness, political issues, and inclusivity.


“We have a brilliant lineup of competing films, these full-length and short narratives will surely impress and inspire. The films will hope to defy the heart of every Filipino. These stories will give us a deeper understanding of our culture and identity,” Guillen said at a press conference at the Metropolitan Theater Ballroom.


Guillen said the annual festival persevered with its goal as it brought together a community of filmmakers and film enthusiasts. “Through the years, we have watched, reflected on, encouraged, and supported these films. Cinemalaya brought together a community whether it’s through volunteering, promoting, or simply enjoying the films.

Two hundred films will be screened, including 10 full-length features and 10 short film finalists. Also part of the lineup is the opening film Sheron Dayoc’s “The Gospel of the Beast” while the Lino Brocka-helmed “Bona” will close the festival.

The full-length finalists include:

The directors of Cinemalaya 2024's full-length film finalists at a press conference. Image: Courtesy of Cultural Center of the Philippines

The directors of Cinemalaya 2024’s full-length film finalists at a press conference. Image: Courtesy of Cultural Center of the Philippines

  • “Alipato at Muog” by JL Burgos – The documentary reawakens the “family’s nightmare” after the disappearance of activist Jonas Burgos.
  • “An Errand” by Sarge Lacuesta and Dominic Bekaert – Starring Sid Lucero and Art Acuña, it tells the story of a driver driving from Baguio to Manila to fulfill an “absurd” errand.
  • “Balota” by Kip Oebanda – With Marian Rivera, Will Ashley, and Sassa Gurl, Oebanda said the film sheds light on how “corruption of our electoral system is a timeless tale.”
  • “Gulay Lang, Manong” by BC Amparado – The Cedrick Juan-starrer centers around a farmer who joins forces with the police to take down a marijuana cartel.
  • “Kantil” by Joshua Caesar Medroso – The romance of star-crossed lovers will be tested by discovering a mysterious alien.
  • “Kono Basho” by Jaime Pacena II – Two estranged half-sisters cross paths at their father’s funeral.
  • “Love Child” by Jonathan Jurilla – RK Bagatsing and Jane Oineza star as a couple struggling to raise their autistic child.
  • “The Hearing” by Lawrence Fajardo – Mylene Dizon, Ina Feleo, and Ruby Ruiz bring to life a story of parents who seek the help of a sign language interpreter to defend their deaf child in court.
  • “The Wedding Dance” by Julis Lumiqued – A Kalinga couple’s romance is jeopardized when a patriarchal warrior tribe questions the woman’s infertility.
  • “Tumandok” by Richard Jeroui Salvadico and Arlie Sweet Sumagaysay – The Ati, a Negrito ethnic group, battle to defend their ancestral lands.

Here are the short-length film finalists:

The directors of Cinemalaya 2024's short film finalists at a press conference. Image: Courtesy of Cultural Center of the Philippines

The directors of Cinemalaya 2024’s short film finalists at a press conference. Image: Courtesy of Cultural Center of the Philippines

  • “Abogbaybay” by P.R. Montecillo Patindol – Three brothers learn to come to terms with their mother’s death as COVID-19 wreaks havoc globally.
  • “All This Wasted Space” by Cris Bringas – A woman returns to an abandoned house in search of her mother’s burial token.
  • “Ambot Wa Ko Kabalo Unsay I-Title Ani” by Rey Anthony Villaverde – A filmmaker’s creativity is tested as he struggles to produce his zero-budget film.
  • “An Baga sa Dalan” by Mariel Ritchie Jolejole and Roniño Dolim – A young boy finds himself in a mythical city in hopes of bringing his dead parents back to life.
  • “Cross My Heart and Hope To Die” by Sam Manasca – An unpaid office assistant finds comfort and love with a mysterious caller.
  • “I was walking on the streets of chinatown” by Ryan Capili – A film director discovers how much his hometown has changed as he returns to shoot his new project.
  • “Mama” by Alexandra Brizuela – Two mothers are determined to move forward after their children were killed by the deadly war on drugs.
  • “Mariposa” by Melanie Faye – A sixteen-year-old girl is forced to confront her uncle, who sexually abused her two years ago.
  • “Pamalandong Sa Danow” by Breech Asher Harani – Three childhood friends affirm their dedication to preserving their ancestral lands despite the social and environmental challenges.
  • “Primetime Mother” by Sonny Calvento – Meryl Soriano stars as the titular mother who auditions for an exploitative game show.
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TAGS: Cinemalaya, Laurice Guillen

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