Cinemalaya head Nestor Jardin says annual Pinoy indie filmfest is now known all over the world

"Modesty aside, I'm very proud to say that Cinemalaya has accomplished a tremendous slot for the film industry in the Philippines during its six years of existence," says Cinemalaya Foundation chairman Nestor Jardin. (CLICK HERE to learn more about this year's entries)


Sa Biyernes, July 9, na ang pinakaaabangang simula ng 6th Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival. Tulad ng nakaraang limang taon, gaganapin ang Pinoy indie film festival na ito sa iba't ibang teatro ng Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) sa Roxas Blvd., Pasay City. Tatakbo ito ng siyam na araw. (CLICK HERE to read the synopsis of this year's Cinemalaya entries)

Opening film ng Cinemalaya filmfest this year (July 9, 7:30 PM sa CCP Main Theater) ang Ganap Na Babae, starring Mercedes Cabral, 2010 Urian Best Supporting Actress Sue Prado, Jam Perez, and Ms Boots Anson-Roa. It's a film for women made by three women directors: Rica Arevalo, Ellen Ramos, and Sarah Roxas.

Ayon sa synopsis ng Ganap Na Babae: "A prostitute, two sisters, and a widow come together to tell their stories about womanhood." Ito ay produced by Will Fredo, para sa Hubo Productions.

Ang taunang film festival ay tinatampukan ng piling-piling short films at full-length films. Simula ngayong taon, inilulunsad ang Directors' Showcase, film entries ng mga batikan at award-winning filmmakers na sina Joel Lamangan, Gil Portes, Mark Meily, Joselito Altarejos, at Mario O'Hara.

JARDIN'S SPEECH. Sa press launch ng Cinemalaya 6 kamakailan sa CCP, tampok ang speech ng Chairman ng Cinemalaya Foundation na si Mr. Nestor O. Jardin, a former CCP President himself.

Ang Cinemalaya Foundation ang siyang nagpo-produce ng taunang film entries na ito at siyang namamahala sa lahat ng activities sa nasabing exciting event ng movie industry. Katuwang nito ang individual filmmakers producers na nananalo sa kanilang pa-contest sa pagandahan ng scripts na isina-submit nila sa Screening Committee ng Cinemalaya several months before.

Bago nagsalita sa harap ng media si Mr. Jardin, nauna nang nag-speech— for the first time sa six-year existence ng Cinemalaya— si Mr. Tonyboy Cojuangco, ang sinasabing "Godfather of Cinemalaya" sa matinding suportang pampinansiyal na ibinibigay nito sa proyekto taun-taon.

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"I congratulated Tonyboy for his speech," simula ni Mr. Jardin. "This is the first time that we've heard him deliver a speech in any Cinemalaya event. It's good to surprise him. 'Coz I just told him that he has to deliver a speech about two hours ago.

"This is also my way of thanking Tonyboy who has been the Godfather of Cinemalaya since its inception in 2004, although the first festival was held in 2005.

"I'm very sorry that Laurice Guillen is not with us here this afternoon. She has been invited to become a member of a jury in an international film festival in Spain, and she won't be back until next week. But Robbie Tan would be here to assume her role in this press conference later on."

Nagpahayag ng kanyang kasiyahan si Mr Jardin dahil sa tagumpay ng filmfest na ito taun-taon. Dagsa ang film enthusiasts, at sinasabing may sarili na itong audience—ang lovers ng quality Pinoy indie movies.

"I'm very happy that we're now on our 6th year. Modesty aside, I'm very proud to say that Cinemalaya has accomplished a tremendous slot for the film industry in the Philippines during its six years of existence.

"One of the many accomplishments is what Tonyboy mentioned—to bridge the gap between the indie film sector and the mainstream film industry, so that we can help each other in many ways.

"Similarly, I'm very proud to say that the output of Cinemalaya, to date, excluding this year's batch, we've produced 55 full length films and 56 short films. And this year's batch, we have nine full-length films for the New Breed (of Filmmakers), five for the Directors' Showcase, and another 10 for the shorts. This adds to the number of films that Cinemalaya has produced.

"In terms of awards, I'm very happy to say that many Cinemalaya films have won awards all over the world—in Toronto, in Pusan, in Venice... And I'm sure, with this year's batch, we'll also reap awards internationally."

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Pagdating naman daw sa viewership or audience, patok na patok ang Cinemalaya films. Katunayan, tuwing season ng nasabing filmfest yearly, may record ang CCP ng pinakamaraming tao ang dumaragsa sa nasabing venue, kumpara sa iba pang events nito all year round.

"In terms of audienceship, I'm very proud to say that we have a good average of 54% increase in audienceship every year.

"In 2005, we were viewed by only 5,000 people here at the CCP. The following year, it went up to 15,000, and then 24,000, and then 30,000, and last year, we were surprised ourselves that it was 42,000 people who came here at the CCP for the nine-day run of Cinemalaya.

"This year, following the exponential growth of the figures, we're targeting 50,000 audience for Cinemalaya.

"Outside of the fact that Cinemalaya films will move to U.P. (Cine Adarna of University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City), the week after, and hopefully also, to Robinsons Galleria the week after, if the PIFC (Philippine Independent Filmmakers Cooperative) works out a deal with the filmmakers."

Ngayong taon, sinasabing mas exciting ang Cinemalaya dahil sa iba't ibang mga activities, bukod pa sa malaki at magagandang lineup of new films na dito unang mapapanood ng publiko, ang NETPAC Award, etc.

"This year's Cinemalaya is very exciting indeed," sabi ni Jardin. "We have about 123 films in competition and exhibition, including about 58 full-length films and 63 short films, both in competition and exhibition.

"Ed Cabagnot (Head of the CCP Media Arts Department) and I have been viewing all the exhibition films and I think, we will come up with an exciting lineup as well outside the competition because we'll also have this year the Philippine premiere of the NETPAC Awards for indie films that will premiere at the Cinemalaya, which will be judged by a separate set of jury.

"In terms of venues, we will occupy five venues. We have taken out Silangan (Theater) as a venue and convert it to a multi-purpose hall for the other events of the festival."

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Malugod ding ibinalita ni Mr. Jardin ang kumpirmadong pagdalo ng foreign delegates mula sa iba't ibang international film festivals, na interesadong panoorin ang mga bagong obra ng Cinemalaya film entries ngayong taon.

"We're also expecting many foreign film festival directors and programmers who have been emailing myself about their desire to come to this year's festival.

"Definitely, the Pusan International Film Festival, representatives of the Toronto International Film Festival, the Venice Film Festival, the Tokyo International Film Festival, they're all coming to watch our films. "

Bukod sa exciting competition sa films (with a culminating Awards Night sa July 17 sa CCP Main Theatre), ang isa pang major event sa festival ay ang Cinemalaya Congress.

Naka-schedule sa July 13 at 14 sa CCP Little Theater, isa itong malaya at makabuluhang talakayan tungkol sa Pinoy indie cinema, kunsaan ang audience ay maaariing mag-participate.

Nasa lineup bilang speakers at reactors ng Cinemalaya Congress sina Clodualdo "Doy" Del Mundo, Jeffrey Jeturian, Raymond Red, National Artist for Literature Bienvenido Lumbrera, Lito Zulueta, among others.

Pagpapatuloy ni Mr. Jardin: "Dr. Nicanor Tiongson (of the Manunuri ng Pelikulang Pilipino), who unfortunately is still in Japan and could not be with us today, but will be here for Cinemalaya to supervise this year's Congress, have outlined very exciting topics. Topics that will discuss current issues and concerns about the independent film sector in the Philippines.

"Panel 1 will have a topic called 'Portraits of Poverty.' Panel 2 will feature the topic 'Gallery of Gays', because we've noticed that there's a proliferation of gay films right now, gay indie films. So, relevant topics will be discussed regarding that. Panel 3 will be called 'The Vicious and The Violent' which is also a major topic of indie films.

"And the images of the marginalized (Panel 4) - our cultural communities, the physically-challenged sectors, these will be discussed. Panel 5 will have filmic styles from neo-realism and revised genre. And the last topic (Panel 6) will be artistic vision, viz-a-viz market demand, which is a major issue of independent filmmakers now."

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Ganoon na lamang ang pasasalamat ni Mr. Jardin sa lahat ng mga tagasuporta ng Cinemalaya. Inamin nitong noong nag-resign siya bilang CCP President a couple of years ago, nangamba itong baka hindi na suportahan ng CCP ang Cinemalaya.

"This year's set of activities promises to be exciting and I hope all of you could come and participate. This would not have happened without the full support of the Cultural Center of the Philippines. Thanks to Dr. Raul Sunico [current CCP President].

"I was kinda worried when I left CCP as President, if the CCP would still continue to support Cinemalaya, and I'm very grateful to Dr. Sunico who took over as President of the CCP for his full support. After all, this is, I think, the biggest CCP event in terms of audienceship and activities.

"I also would like to thank Econolink Investments headed by Mr. Tonyboy Cojuangco for their full support since Day 1, the Film Development Council who gave additional prizes to the filmmakers, and gave us logistical and financial support.

"This year's theme is called, The World Will Be Watching. In reference to the fact that Cinemalaya films now are known all over the world. And my friend Max here can attest to that....

"Many international film festivals and audiences abroad have taken notice of Cinemalaya films. In fact, the last time I was in Pusan International Film Festival, when I told them that I'm the festival director of Cinemalaya, they immediately know that these are quality Filipino films," pagtatapos ni Mr. Nestor Jardin.

LIST OF FILMS. Ang finalists para sa full-length films na tinatawag na "The New Breed" (of filmmakers) ay ang mga sumusunod:

  1. Halaw by Sheron Dayoc
  2. Limbunan by Gutierrez Mangansakan II
  3. Magkakapatid by Kim Homer C. Garcia,
  4. Mayohan by Dan Villegas and Paul Sta. Ana
  5. Rekrut by Danny Añonuevo
  6. Sampaguita by Francis Xavier Pasion,
  7. Si Techie, Si Teknoboy at si JuanaB by Art Katipunan
  8. The Leaving by Ian-Dean S. Loreños
  9. Vox Populi by Dennis Marasigan

Ang sampung short film finalists naman ay ang mga sumusunod:

  1. Boca by Zurich Chan
  2. Breakfast with Lolo by Steven Flor
  3. Dalaw by Janus Victoria
  4. Despedida by Borgy Torre
  5. Faculty by Jerrold Tarog
  6. Harang by Mikhail Red
  7. Hay Pinhod Oh Ya Scooter by Hubert Tibi
  8. Lola by Joey Agbayani
  9. P by Milo Tolentino
  10. Wag Kang Titingin by Pam Miras

At ang limang pelikula under Directors' Showcase ay ang mga sumusunod:

  1. Ang Paglilitis ni Bonifacio by Mario O' Hara
  2. Donor by Mark Meily
  3. Pink Halo-Halo by Joselito Altarejos
  4. Sigwa by Joel Lamangan
  5. Two Funerals by Gil Portes

Narito ang brief round down ng festival activities ngayong taon:

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July 9, 6 p.m. Opening Ceremonies, CCP Main Theatre Lobby. Susundan ng Opening Film (to be announced soon) at 7:30 p.m.

July 10. Cinemalaya exhibits/ paintings on the competition films

July 12. Simula ng LVN Retrospetive

July 14. Book launching ng isang libro ng mga Manunuri ng Pelikulang Pilpino, pinamagatang Philippine Films of the '90s, to be officiated by Dr. Nick Tiongson.

July 15. Simula ng Sine-Taktakan, isang dialogue ng this year's batch of filmmakers with students as audience, supervised by Mr. Ed Cabagnot.

July 17. Independent Filmmakers Cooperative Forum (discussion of issues relevant sa indie film sector). Sa parehong araw, ang Anvil Publications ay maglulunsad rin ng libro tungkol sa film industry, authored by Ms. Bibsy Carballo

July 18, 7 p.m. Ang much-awaited na Cinemalaya 6 Awards Night (CCP Main Theatre).

Para sa iba pang impormasyon, bisitahin ang CCP website - http://culturalcenter.gov.ph, at ang mismong website ng Cinemalaya na http://www.cinemalaya.org/.


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