P2-million grant given to each feature film finalist
Celebrating movies that best represent the ever-evolving Filipino cinema, CineFilipino Film Festival presented on Wednesday the feature films for its second outing since 2013.
Organized and led by Unitel Productions, in partnership with the MVP Group of Companies, the biennial independent film festival promises cineastes with more moving stories and a more diverse mix of genres. An impressive P2-million grant was given each full-length feature, not including equally substantial seed money for documentaries and tv series.
The festival begins with the screening of sociopolitical drama/thriller Whistleblower, starring Nora Aunor anddirected by Adolf Alix Jr., on March 15, 6 p.m. at Newport Cinema 4, Resorts World Manila. The film festival will run from March 16 to 22 in select cinemas in Metro Manila, while the awards night will be held on March 19 at Teatrino Greenhills.
With the theme “Kwento pa rin ang Hari”, the second installment features more categories including, Feature-Length, Documentaries, TV Series and Shorts under which finalists will showcase works in Short Features, Mobile and Online. CineFilipino Film Festival attendees can choose from nine Feature-Length films, five Documentaries, five TV Series and 17 films under the Shorts category – 11 Short Features, 5 Online Content and 1 Mobile Content.
“The essence of the story will always be at the core of CineFilipino, and with this year’s various categories, moviegoers are offered a more enriching experience,” said Madonna Tarrayo, CineFilipino Film Director and Unitel Productions President and Group COO.
In the Feature-Length category alone, moviegoers can surely experience a wide array of emotions and stories. In 1st Sem, first-time film festival directors Dexter Hemedez and Allan Ibanez present an intensified love-hate relationship between a mother and son after the latter decides not to pursue college education in Manila. In Carla Baful’s A Lotto Like Love, moviegoers can expect a different kind of love story as two strangers are brought together in luck and love by a single winning lotto ticket.
Love in spite of weight issues takes center stage in Jason Paul Laxamana’s Ang Taba Ko Kasi, while Alvin Yapan’s Ang Tulay ng San Sebastian explores the richness (and reality) of Filipino superstitions. Meanwhile, Paolo Herras’ Buhay Habang Buhay takes on life after death and the importance of moving on and celebrating life despite seemingly bleak circumstances.
A lesbian woman’s dream of becoming a mother is the subject in Lemuel Lorca’s Ned’s Project, while Dave Fabros’ Straight to the Heart is filled with uniquely Filipino humor and hugot lines as it explores a situation that has surely crossed the minds of many: what happens when a gay hairdresser slips into a coma and wakes up a straight guy?
Ice Idanan’s Sakaling Hindi Makarating takes the beauty of the Philippines and uses it as a dramatic backdrop for a poignant story of heartbreak and moving on. And lastly, moviegoers get the privilege of witnessing a touching story about a child with Down’s Syndrome whose dream is to become an artista in Randolph Longjas’ Van Damme Stallone.
Jury deliberations will take place on March 16, 17 and 18; winners will be recognized in CineFilipino’s Awards Night on March 19 at Teatrino Greenhills, which will be attended by the finalists, executives and the film festival’s sponsors and partners.
The festival’s participating cinemas are Gateway Cineplex, Festival Cinemas, Eastwood Cinemas, Robinsons Galleria Movieworld, Robinsons Manila Movieworld, Robinsons Metro East Movieworld, Newport Cinemas in Resorts World, EDSA Shangri-La Cineplex and Greenhills Theater Mall Cinema.