Frontiers of the Philippine Cinema Resurgence

No superhero movies and eye-popping special effects. Nor Hollywood stars jumping over explosions; not even a freak doll spreading horror and heart attacks; just great, inspiring movies that present tricky premises, tackle social issues and touch the heart.

The Philippine Cinema is on the rise now, and is up for greater heights as it turns back the hands of time on its latest resurgence, thanks to the Film Development Council of the Philippines and the Cultural Center of the Philippines.

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August is no doubt the Christmas season for every Pinoy movie geek as two of the largest Film Festivals in the country show off their respective rosters of quality films; some were even renowned internationally.

Cinemalaya Film Festival continues its tradition on its 14th year of showcasing proudly Filipino-made independent films, which bring greater movie experiences to the audience through topnotch big screen artistry and impeccable storytelling.

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Cinemalaya is known to exhibit worldclass indie films that often tackle social issues and promote audiences to think through deep and rich storylines that typically revolve around realism, society, love, human experiences, and even the essence of life.

Here are the ten full-length films that will take the spotlight this August 3 – 12 at the CCP’s Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo and select malls:

Distance by Perci Intalan

Kung Paano Hinihintay Ang Dapithapon (Waiting for the Sunset) by Carlo Enciso Catu

Kuya Wes by James Robin Mayo

Liway by Kip Oebanda

Mamang by Denise O’Hara

ML by Benedict Mique, Jr.

Musmos na Sumibol sa Gubat ng Digma by Iar Lionel Arondaing

Pan de Salawal by Che Espiritu

School Service by Louie Ignacio

The Lookout by Afi Africa


The short films include:

Babylonby Keith Deligero

Jodilerks Dela Cruz, Employee of the Month by Carlo Francisco Manatad

Kikoby Jojo Driz

Logroby Kani Villaflor

Nangungupahanby Glenn Barit

Sa Saiyang Isla by Christian Candelaria

Si Astri maka Si Tambulah by Xeph Suarez

Siyudad sa Bulawan by Jarell Serencio

Yakap by Mika Fabella and Rafael Froilan Jr.

You, Me and Mr. Wriggles by Jav Velasco

After a successful first yearPista ng Pelikulang Pilipino is riding its momentum to get another notable year on the books as it parades eight great films on its year 2.

Just like last year, it will be a week-long celebration where all movie theaters will exclusively screen some of the best and award-winning films. The so-called “Pista” has become a major platform for some of the best films in the country to be available for public consumption and relay their intended and underlying messages to their audience.

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This year’s movie goers though will be up for a rollercoaster ride as this year’s roster is a perfect blend of art and entertainment, aimed to make its audience laugh, cry, be thrilled and be inspired. These films though didn’t lack the true purpose of a great film as these reflect reality, promote self love and realization, express stands on social issues and showcase the different sides of beliefs, love, and life.

Here are the eight films to watch out for this coming Pista, August 15 – 21.

Ang Babaeng Allergic sa Wifi by Jun Robles Lana

Bakwit Boys by Jason Paul Laxamana

Madilim Ang Gabi  by Adolfo Borinaga Alix Jr.

Pinay Beauty (She’s No White) by Jay Abello

Signal Rock by Chito S. Rono

The Day after the Valentine’s by Jason Paul Laxamana

Unli Life by Miko Livelo

We will Not Die Tonight by Richard Somes

Apart from these eight films, Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino will also showcase six other films under its Special Feature Section on select cinemas.

BALANGIGA: Howling Wilderness by Khavn dela Cruz

Gusto Kita With All My Hypothalamus by Dwein Baltazar

High Tide by Tara Illenberger

Kiko Boksingero by Thop Nazareno

Paki (Please Care) by Giancarlo Abrahan

Tu Pug Imatuy by Arnel Barbarona

Filipinos have a lot of stories to tell. There’s a ton of experiences, struggles and triumph where thousands of stories can be pulled off. It’s a matter of storytelling. These two Film Festivals are the frontiers of this resurgence of the Philippine Cinema. And with these two knocking on the doors, they are surely worth taking a look, and seeing how the film industry is climbing back again to its golden years.

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Again, no flashy visual effects or fancy explosion stunts; not even a star-studded cast. It’s just pure artistically and creatively done storytelling.

Reynald is a thinker by day and a storyteller by night. His stories are told through his lenses and pens.


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