UPDATE: Last January it was announced that CineFilipino will take place from June 26 to July 3, 2013.

However, during the September 10 press conference of CineFilipino, it was revealed that the 1st edition of this film fest will run from September 18-24, 2013. Venues this year are Newport Cinemas at Resorts World Manila, Lucky Chinatown Mall and Gateway Cineplex. Entries will also be screened at the Shang Cineplex, Shangri-la Plaza Mall from September 21-22.

CineFilipino is a new film festival that will show the works of its pioneer batch starting this 2013.

Its mission is “to seek out, support and develop new cinematic works of artistic merit by up‐and-­coming  and established filmmakers that help define the human experience through a  Filipino perspective.”

Spearheaded by the PLDT-Smart Foundation, MediaQuest, Studio 5 (the movie arm of TV5) and Unitel Entertainment, CineFilipino gives a production grant of P1.5 million each to the eight chosen filmmakers.

“We are at the threshold of producing eight new films that I believe have the potential to be future Filipino classics,” declared CineFilipino filmfest director Vincent Nebrida during the official press launch held at the Passion restaurant at the Maxim’s Hotel, Resorts World Manila.

Mr. Nebrida has high hopes for the pioneer batch of CineFilipino. He said, “Gusto namin na mapanood ito ng maraming tao at makarating sa maraming festivals. Gusto namin ma max out ang potential ng pelikula nila. Yung mga pinili namin, hindi namin sinasadya, but there is something for everyone. May dalawang coming-of-age love stories—yung isa straight, yung isa girl who falls in love with an older woman; may dalawang comedies; may psycho-thriller; may docu-drama; and there is a drama with music and a lot of youthful appeal.

“Gusto namin ang mga films na magugustuhan ng madla.”

Out of 146 submitted entries, the 8 finalists are as follows:

1. Miguel “Mike” Alcazaren — Puti (Achromatopsia) - a psycho-thriller about a forger who figures in a freak car accident that caused him to develop achromatopsia. This condition renders the person to see only the colors black/white/gray and nothing else) 
2. Ato Bautista – Mga Alaala Ng Tag-Ulan (a coming-of-age love story of a young man‘s first encounter with love, romance and heartbreak)
3. Sari Dalena and Kiri Dalena — The Guerilla Is A Poet (this narrative film has elements of a documentary in depicting an activist‘s journey during Martial Law until his capture in the mountains and the nine years of imprisonment that followed, leading to his birth as a poet)
4. Sigrid Andrea Bernardo – Ang Huling Cha-cha Ni Anita  (tells the story of a 12-year-old girl who falls in love with a 35-year-old woman; years later, a girlhood crush blossoms during the fiesta of Santa Clara in Obando, Bulacan)
5. Janice Perez — The Muses (singer Kitchie Nadal conceptualized the plot, which is inspired by the Biblical story of Martha and Mary; The Muses' vocalist, Marthe, discovers hidden truths about fame, music, family, and herself when her guitarist younger sister, Marie, does not show up at the all-important awards night of the music industry) 
6. Mes de Guzman — Ang Kwento Ni Mabuti  (features a healer named Mabuti who finds a bag containing P5 million)
7. Randolph Longjas — Ang Turkey Man Ay Pabo Rin  (a cross-cultural comedy about a Filipino-American couple who have to deal with superstitious in-laws, immigration laws, and an unexpected pregnancy)
8. Byron “Ron” Bryant — Bingoleras (a comedy about six single women whose lives intersect when a bingo marathon is launched in their church for the barangay fiesta)

Puti (Achromatopsia)
Director: Miguel “Mike” Alcazaren

Puti depicts the story of a forger who loses his sense of color because of a freak car accident. While recuperating, he starts seeing strange images.

The international title of the movie, Achromatopsia, refers to a rare hereditary vision disorder wherein the person can only see the colors black, white and gray.

Direk Mike explained the struggle to be faced by the lead character: “Since forger siya, hindi niya ma-distinguish ang colors. He also cannot differentiate reality from imagination.” He revealed that this movie can be considered his tribute to Mike de Leon’s suspense-drama Itim (1976). “Visually and yung style ng pelikula ay gagawin kong parang homage kay Mike De Leon, but the story is very different."

Puti, on the other hand, has horror elements since its underlying theme is about life and death.

Direk Mike is a freelance TV commercial director who has won several Ad Congress awards. He also won First Prize for a screenplay in Pilipino during the 2007 Carlos Palanca Awards for Literature.