The fourth year of independent film festival Sinag Maynila officially opened on Friday, March 9, following a launch led by its CEO and founder Wilson Tieng and internationally-acclaimed film director and co-founder Brillante Mendoza at The Block in SM City North Edsa.
The pair of movie pillars [Tieng is the moving force behind Solar Entertainment, while Mendoza, who also serves as festival director, is credited for bringing his titles around the world] expressed their gratitude for the unwavering support of the entertainment industry, the festival’s sponsors and the media since they first ventured to provide talented filmmakers the opportunity to bring their artistic storytelling to a wider audience, and ultimately, to the international stage in March 2015.
A joint project of Solar Entertainment, Centerstage Productions, and the SM Malls, Tieng and Mendoza reiterated that the festival further seeks to inspire, educate, and enlighten the viewing public by featuring films that reflect Filipino culture, while presenting social issues deserving of discussion among audiences here and abroad.
Ongoing until March 15 in selected SM Cinemas within Metro Manila [SM Mall of Asia, SM Megamall, SM City North EDSA, SM City Fairview, SM Southmall, SM City Bacoor, SM City Manila, and SM Sta. Mesa], the five finalists for the Full-length Category are “Abomination” by Yam Laranas, “Bomba” (The Bomb) by Ralston Jover, “El Peste” by Richard Somes, “Melodrama/Random/Melbourne” by Matthew Victor Pastor, and “Tale of the Lost Boys” by Joselito Altarejos.
For the Short Film Category, the finalists are “Cesar & Magda” by Pamela Barrios, “Firestarter” by Jill Urdaneta, “Halusinasyon” by John Agcalis, “Kalye FM” by Tom Nava, “Pompoms” by Angelo Amar and “Duwende” by Odin Fernandez.
Lastly, the finalists for the Documentary Category include “Am-amma” by Dexter Macaraeg, “Halaga” by Vandam Arambulo, “Journeyman” by Albert Almendralejo, “Mahal” by Janine Santos, “Tsuper” by Rina Abary and “Voltaire” by Jaimee Bernardo.
It was also announced at the launch that in celebration of 100 years of Philippine Cinema, Sinag Maynila Independent Film Festival 2018 has partnered with the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) and CineLokal. As such, special activities have been lined up within the festival dates, one of which was Saturday’s Sinag Maynila Forum, also at The Block, which gave film enthusiasts the opportunity to learn about the process of filmmaking, the promotion of French cinema, and cultural exchanges at international film festivals. The speakers were comprised of Unifrance Korea and South East Asia Representative Jeremy Segay, Tokyo Film Festival (TIFF) Festival Director Festival Takeo Hisamatsu, and world renowned filmmaker and Mendoza, who shared the story behind the making of his award-winning title, “Ma’ Rosa.”
As of press time, Sinag Maynila’s Gabi ng Parangal has been set for Sunday, March 11 at Conrad Hotel Manila, the winners of which will be uploaded today at The Manila Times website.