An optimistic opening

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(Left) Cinemalaya president Laurice Guillen describes the 11th Cinemalaya as a ‘more mature festival’ and (right) Cinemalaya Festival Director and CCP vice president Chris Millado

(Left) Cinemalaya president Laurice Guillen describes the 11th Cinemalaya as a ‘more mature festival’ and (right) Cinemalaya Festival Director and CCP vice president Chris Millado

WITH this year’s theme of “Broadening Horizons,” the 11th Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival and Competition held a very fitting opening night on August 7 at the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP).

According to Cinemalaya president Laurice Guillen, this year’s competition promises a “more mature festival” that will serve to broaden horizons for filmmakers by opening doors in other film cultures in the coming years.

Guillen unveiled a look back at the last decade of Cinemalaya to show how the independent film industry continues develop year by year with the creative imagination and talent of Filipino filmmakers. Lawrence Fajardo edited the montage, while the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra performed a medley of award-winning themes and scores from past Cinemalaya entries, conceptualized by Cinemalaya festival director and CCP Vice President Christ Millado.

Short films’ directors take center stage during at the opening ceremony PHOTOS BY ABBY PALMONES

Short films’ directors take center stage during at the opening ceremony PHOTOS BY ABBY PALMONES

Following the inaugural ceremonies, award-winning film director Brillante Mendoza’s Taklub, starring highly-acclaimed actress Nora Aunor, was featured as the opening film. Taklub, a metaphor for Tacloban meaning “cover,” presents the tragedy left behind by Super Typhoon Yolanda in 2013.


To date, Cinemalaya has supported and promoted the production of 118 full feature independent films and 96 short films. Many of these films have won awards in local and international competitions and festivals.

For this year, the independent film festival showcases 10 short films in competition (see related article, Tough battle at Cinemalaya 11’s short film competition), whose winner at Saturday night’s award ceremonies will receive a P150,000 cash prize.

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