Last Friday, November 4, the press launch for this year’s Cinemanila International Film Festival was held at Dulcinea Restaurant in Quezon City.
Present were founding director Tikoy Aguiluz and Taguig City Mayor Lani Cayetano.
Mayor Cayetano attended the press conference to announce that the Cinemanila International Film Festival will be given a permanent home in Taguig City.
The announcement augurs well for local cinephiles who have bemoaned the fact that the festival—despite its crucial role in both local and international film circuits—never had a true home.
After its inception in 1999, Cinemanila always had to change venues annually—from Gateway Mall, to Bonifacio Global City, to Greenbelt, and even to the Marikina Riverbanks.
The difficulty has escalated so much that Direk Tikoy himself has called Cinemanila a "gypsy."
This year, Taguig City is drafting a resolution to adopt Cinemanila.
This latest development has Direk Tikoy feeling jubilant.
He says: "Ang film festival, kailangan kasi ng local government support.
"Most of the grand film festivals are sponsored by the local government.
"Pusan [in South Korea] is one, di ba?"
According to Mayor Cayetano, she couldn’t say no to Direk Tikoy when he asked for the city’s help.
How can she say no, she stated, when TV director Lino Cayetano is her brother-in-law?
Director Lino Cayetano is also the chairman of Barangay Fort Bonifacio in Taguig City.
Mayor Cayetano added, "Yung magandang programang katulad nito, I think walang city na dapat nagpapalampas.
"And I think, yung term ko sana, tuloy-tuloy ito.
"Ang commitment ko kay Direk Tikoy, as long as I am the mayor of Taguig, Cinemanila will stay in Taguig."
Direk Tikoy also pointed out that the city government is supporting more development in Taguig City, so more cinemas can be available in the next few years.
There are only eight cinemas in Taguig City at the moment, and all of them are in the Market! Market! Mall.
Aside from this, other projects coinciding with Cinemanila have also been lined up.
Mayor Cayetano explained, "Madami ho kaming project ni Direk Tikoy, meron ho kaming mga short-term, meron ho kaming mga long-term.
"Iyon nga po yun gusto kong i-explain sa inyo, that Taguig City is to be the venue of yung mga great films.
"Sabi ko nga, may incentive na ibibigay ang city sa mga pelikulang isu-shoot sa Taguig City.
"Direk Tikoy will, ano, help me with that."
DIGITAL LOKAL, NEW SECTION INTRODUCED. The 13th Cinemanila International Film Festival opens tomorrow, November 11, at Market! Market! Mall in Taguig City.
International films currently competing in other festivals abroad will be showcased, including:
Pina by Wim Wenders,
13 Assassins by Takashi Miike,
I Saw the Devil by Kim Jee-Won,
and Nightfishing by Park Chan-Wook.
This year, four films are competing in the Digital Lokal, Cinemanila’s section for Filipino full-length films in digital format. These are:
Sakay sa Hangin by Regiben Romana,
Señorita by Vincent Sandoval,
Sa Kanto ng Ulap at Lupa by Mes de Guzman,
and Lawas Kan Pinabli (Forever Loved) by Christopher Gozum.
For the main competition, the competing films are:
Century of Birthing (Siglo ng Pagluluwal) (2011) by Lav Diaz (Philippines),
Gangor (2010) by Italo Spinelli (Italy),
If I Want to Whistle, I Whistle (2010) by Florin Serban (Romania),
Once Upon a Time in Anatolia (2011) by Nuri Bilge Ceylan (Turkey),
Poetry (2010) by Chang-dong Lee (South Korea),
Sun-Beaten Path (2011) by Sonthar Gyal (China),
and Toomelah (2011) by Ivan Sen (Australia).
The entries competing in the Southeast Asian section are:
Boundary (2011) by Benito Bautista (Philippines),
Eternity (2010) by Sivaroj Kongsakul (Thailand),
Golden Slumbers (2011) by Davy Chou (Cambodia),
The Mirror Never Lies (2011) by Kamila Andini (Indonesia),
and Water Hands (2011) by Vladimir Todorovic (Singapore).
A new section will also be introduced in Cinemanila called "The Beautiful Game," which will feature movies related to football or soccer.
Superstar Nora Aunor and Italian film director Dario Argento will also be honored as Lifetime Achievement Awardees during the opening ceremony of Cinemanila to be held tomorrow, November 11, at Market! Market! in Taguig.
The 13th edition of Cinemanila will run from November 11 to 17, 2011.
Admission is free.