Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Cinemalaya Cinco (Must-see films)

It’s that time of year again. Cinephiles and film buffs will trek once more to the far-away place called the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP). Derided as Cinemalayo festival, pilgrims still come in droves yearly to take part in the largest and most organized local film event, the Cinemalaya International Independent Film Festival.

The fifth edition of the festival promises to be the best of them all. There is a retrospective of films by National Artist for Film, Lino Brocka. The must-see films are Bona, Orapronobis, and Maynila: Sa Mga Kuko ng Liwanag.

Yearning for a more current crop of excellent films? Check out the Indie Ani section of the festival. This section features the best independent films released in 2008 until the first half of 2009. Imburnal, Best Picture winner at the Cinema One and Cinemanila competitions, will be screened along with Raya Martin's films (Manila, Independencia, and Next Attraction) and top-notch Sine Direk finalists (Bente and Ded Na Si Lolo). Other recommended films are Ditsi Carolino’s documentary Lupang Hinarang, Lav Diaz’s epic Melancholia and Francis Pasion’s Jay.

Also slated are Philippine (and world) premieres of Ralston Jover’s Baseco Bakal Boys, Auraeus Solito’s Boy, and Yeng Grande's Prince of Cockfighting. Of course, the 20 competing films will also make their debut at the competition. Pepe Diokno’s Engkwentro seems to be a hybrid of Imburnal and Tribu. I also look forward to viewing the Shorts A Program. Hmm, a short film based on poems by Huseng Batute and Amado Hernandez? Count me in.

Do you want to spend quality time with your family? Bring your kids to the festival during weekends. Notable treats for the whole family include Pepot Artista, Pisay, Boses, and Andong. Films included in the Kids Treats section are popular with moviegoers. So, better buy your tickets in advance.

Ticket sales info:

CCP Box Office
#832.1125 local 1406
# 891.9999

Screening schedules of must-see non-competing films:

MANILA (2009, Raya Martin & Adolf Alix Jr.)
6:00 pm, 17 July/Friday
- Special Screening, Cannes Film Festival
- This two-part film, dealing with the denizens living in the seedy underbelly of the city of Manila, will be the opening film of Cinemalaya Cinco. Free admission!!!

NEXT ATTRACTION (2008, Raya Martin)
3:30 pm, 18 July/Saturday
- Next Attraction is about a behind-the-scenes documentary of an ongoing short film production starring Jacklyn Jose, Coco Martin and Paolo Rivero

INDEPENDENCIA (2009, Raya Martin)
9:00 pm, 19 July/Sunday
- Un Certain Regard, Cannes Film Festival
- Synopsis: A dark-skinned mother and her son flee to the mountains to escape the wrath of the American troops. One day, her son brings home an abused young woman. Nine months later, the mysterious stranger gives birth to a fair-skinned baby boy.

LUPANG HINARANG (2009, Ditsi Carolino)
6:15 pm, 21 July/Tuesday
- Ditsi Carolino is the director of the excellent documentaries, Minsan Lang Sila Bata and Riles. Her latest documentary deals with the fierce and deadly battle raging between farmers and landowners in the continuing saga of agrarian reform in the Philippines.
*Film has same time slot with Maynila: Sa Mga Kuko ng Liwanag

6:15 pm, 21 July/Tuesday
- Lino Brocka's internationally acclaimed masterpiece is often cited as his best film
*Film has same time slot with Lupang Hinarang

BENTE (2009, Mel Chionglo)
9:00 pm, 21 July/Tuesday
- One of the best films of 2009, the Sine Direk film examines the culture of violence in our society

BONA (1980, Lino Brocka)
6:15 pm, 22 July/Wednesday
- Directors’ Fortnight, Cannes Film Festival
- It may be the definitive slum drama masterpiece of Lino Brocka

ORAPRONOBIS (1989, Lino Brocka)
3:30 pm, 24 July/Friday
- Directors’ Fortnight, Cannes Film Festival
- A courageous film showing human rights abuses under the administration of President Corazon Aquino

IMBURNAL (2008, Sherad Anthony Sanchez)
6:15 pm, 24 July/Friday
- Best Picture, Cinemanila 2008 and Cinema One Originals 2008
- My pick for best local film of 2008. An experimental look at the extra-judicial killings in the city of Davao
- Running time is 3 hours and 30 minutes

DED NA SI LOLO (2009, Soxie Topacio)
9:00 pm, 24 July/Friday
- Synopsis: A young boy named Bobet gets a glimpse on how a Filipino family grieves. He learns the significance of a pink chick atop the coffin, the reason why aunts faint, and the importance of following countless superstitions.

JAY (2008, Francis Pasion)
9:00 pm, 25 July/Saturday
- Best Picture, Cinemalaya 2008
- Synopsis: Channel 8 journalist Jay Santiago is making a docu-show on the death of gay teacher, Jay Mercado. He uses his coercive powers to convince people to talk in front of the television camera.

MELANCHOLIA (2008, Lav Diaz)
10:00 am, 26 July/Sunday
- Synopsis: Three relatives of desaparecidos meet yearly to participate in an experiment designed to cure them of sadness and pain. Julian, Alberta and Rina immerse themselves into different personalities for weeks. Then, one day, a member decided to break loose from the coping exercise.
- Running time is 540 minutes

How to get to CCP:

a) Alabang to CCP

At Metropolis, take the Pasay Rotonda PUJ
Alight at Edsa-Taft Rotonda, take the LRT
Alight at the Vito Cruz station, take the Orange jeepney bound for CCP

b) España to CCP

From España, take the jeepney bound for Vito Cruz or Baclaran
Alight at Vito Cruz, take the Orange jeepney bound for CCP

c) Ayala to CCP

From Ayala, take a bus going to Baclaran (this will pass Buendia/Gil Puyat). Get off at LRT Taft corner Buendia/Gil Puyat. Take a Blumentritt/Quiapo bound jeep, get off at Vito Cruz. Just a stone’s throw away, there are orange colored jeeps which will pass by CCP.

d) Baclaran to CCP

Take an FX bound to Lawton.
This FX will pass by CCP complex, get off at Vito Cruz (now P. Ocampo St.) intersection.
Cross the street to CCP.

e) Baclaran to CCP (via LRT)

Take the LRT to Vito Cruz. Ride the orange jeepney and alight at CCP

f) Monumento to CCP (via LRT)

Take the LRT to Vito Cruz. Ride the orange jeepney and alight at CCP

Cinemalaya ad tagline:

Whatever it takes

For the love of films

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