REVIEW: 15th Cinemalaya 2019 - Reasons Why Everyone Should Watch
Photo by Cinemalaya Facebook

This year’s Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival 2019 offers more than yet another set of heart-warming, thought-provoking, and socially-relevant films—both short and full-length ones; it has also taken the extra mile to pool together what can be dubbed as “true Filipino film legacies.” That is, Cinemalaya has, for one, decided to honor some of the late and legendary figures in Philippine cinema and gathered some of their famed works in filmmaking, which will be screened along with the present film finalists.

Moreover, the organization has also curated previous and past indie films that are worthy of being featured in the big screen again. And finally, it shall launch screenwriter and film giant Ricky Lee’s pioneering screenwriting workbook, along with his other books.

The best part? For the first time ever, all Cinemalaya films will be screened in other notable provinces in the country, which include Cavite, Pampanga, Naga, Legazpi, Bacolod, Iloilo, and Davao, aside from the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) and other venues such as the Ayala and Vista Cinemas.

The legacy of genuine Filipino filmmaking continues
Photo by Cinemalaya Facebook

10 finalists for Cinemalaya Year 15

Ten finalists have made it to the list for Cinemalaya Year 15, which includes Tabon, Malamaya, John Denver Trending, Fuccbois, Pandanggo sa Hukay, Ani, Iska, Edward, Belle Douleur (A Beautiful Pain), and Children of the River.

Notable films in this batch include Tabon, which is spearheaded by Xian Lim, actor and first-time director. Lim’s debut film is about a man whose reality will be shaken to the core when some people were accused of a crime they claim to not have committed.

Cinemalaya Year 15 celebrates Philippine films nationwide, Cinemalaya 2019
Photo by Cinemalaya Facebook

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Cinemalaya Year 15 celebrates Philippine films nationwide, Cinemalaya 2019
Debut Director Xian Lim: Photo by ABS-CBN News

Another is a socially-relevant film John Denver Trending, which is about a boy who was harshly bullied at school when an online video went viral where he was seen attacking his classmate for stealing a gadget. The movie, as director Arden Rod Condez revealed, was filmed using one of the languages in Panay island, Kinaray-a.

Cinemalaya Year 15 celebrates Philippine films nationwide, Cinemalaya 2019
Photo by Cinemalaya Facebook

Cinemalaya will also feature short films categorized into two.

Shorts A include the following titles: Gatilyo, Heist School, Sa Gabing Tanging Liwanag ay Paniniwala, Disconnection Notice, and ‘Wag Mo ‘Kong Kausapin. On the other hand, Shorts B pools the following titles: Hele Ng Maharlika, Sa Among Agwat, Tembong, Kontrolado ni Girly ang Buhay Niya, and The Shoemaker.

Cinemalaya Year 15 celebrates Philippine films nationwide, Cinemalaya 2019
Photo by Cinemalaya Facebook
The legacy of genuine Filipino filmmaking continues
Photo by Cinemalaya Facebook

Both the full-length feature and short films will be screened from August 2 to 11 at the CCP theaters and August 7 to 13 in other venues and provinces in the country. For more information about the synopses and schedules of the films, visit and follow the Facebook page of Cinemalaya at https://www.facebook.com/Cinemalaya/.

Tributes

Cinemalaya Year 15 has also decided to pay homage and honor to some of the most remarkable films and figures in the history of Philippine cinema. This includes the 1975 film Dung-aw directed by Lino Brocka. It is a historical-musical film that provides us with a lens on the 18th century revolutionary woman leader Gabriela Silang.

Cinemalaya Year 15 celebrates Philippine films nationwide, Cinemalaya 2019
Photo by Cinemalaya Facebook

The award-winning production designer and director Cesar Hernando will also be recognized and honored once again this year, as Cinemalaya will also feature some of his short films, which include Kagat ng Dilim (Pangs of Darkness), Kalawang (Rust), Motorsiklo, and Maalinsangan ang Gabi.

Cinemalaya Year 15 celebrates Philippine films nationwide, Cinemalaya 2019
Photo by Cinemalaya Facebook

Finally, for the late legendary icon Eddie Garcia, the Cinemalaya Film Fest will showcase three of his latest awarded films before his untimely demise. These films include ML, Hintayan ng Langit, and Rainbow’s Sunset, before his untimely demise.

Cinemalaya Year 15 celebrates Philippine films nationwide, Cinemalaya 2019
Photo by Cinemalaya Facebook
Cinemalaya Year 15 celebrates Philippine films nationwide, Cinemalaya 2019
Photo by Cinemalaya Facebook
The legacy of genuine Filipino filmmaking continues
Photo by Cinemalaya Facebook

Indie Nation: Exhibition Films

Sometimes there are films that we simply love to watch over and over again. And so Cinemalaya Year 15 introduces Indie Nation, where it will also feature four of the best and awarded film titles released in 2018 and 2019: 1) Never Not Love You; 2) Signal Rock; 3) Dog Days; and 4) Never Tear Us Apart.

The legacy of genuine Filipino filmmaking continues
Photo by Cinemalaya Facebook

Ricky Lee’s Screenwriting Workbook Launch

To top it all off, Cinemalaya 15 has collaborated with Lifetime Achievement Awardee and renowned screenwriter Ricky Lee and shall hold a book launching and signing on August 3 for his Film Scriptwriting Workbook at the Cultural Center of the Philippines. It is for sale for only P250. Some of his books, which includes Para Kay B, Kung Alam N’yo Lang, Sa Puso ng Himala, Si Amapola sa 65 na Kabanata, and Si Tatang at mga Himala ng Ating Panahon, will all be showcased during the event as well.

The legacy of genuine Filipino filmmaking continues
Photo by Cinemalaya Facebook
The legacy of genuine Filipino filmmaking continues
Lifetime Achievement Awardee Ricky Lee
Photo by PSR.PH

Cinemalaya 2019 opens today, August 2 and will feature its opening film ANG HUPA at CCP. The film is directed by famed filmmaker Lav Diaz and stars Piolo Pascual, Joel Lamangan, and Shaina Magdayao.

The legacy of genuine Filipino filmmaking continues
Photo by Cinemalaya Facebook

Cinemalaya 2019 – Schedule of Film Screenings

The Cinemalaya Film Festival returns for its fifteenth iteration on August 2-13, 2019 See Full Schedule.

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