Cinemalaya celebrates 10 years as top indie patron

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Cinemalaya Foundation officials led by festival director Chris Millado (left) pose with the directors of the 25 films to be featured in this year’s Cinemalaya Film Festival. Photo By Edwin Muli

Cinemalaya Foundation officials led by festival director Chris Millado (left) pose with the directors of the 25 films to be featured in this year’s Cinemalaya Film Festival. Photo By Edwin Muli

THE Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival celebrates its 10th year in August as local independent filmmaking continues to enter the mainstream scene and earn recognition from award-giving bodies.

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On Wednesday, the festival’s 10th edition aptly dubbed “Cinemalaya X” was officially launched at the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) and Cinemalaya Foundation officials shared major achievements of the film festival.

Nestor Jardin, the foundation’s president who was the CCP president when he started Cinemalaya along with then-CCP Chairman of the Board Antonio “Tony Boy” Cojuangco, said the film festival had gone a long way.

“We started Cinemalaya in 2004 because we wanted to help the film industry then because it was floundering. Only 50 movies were produced that year,” he recalled.

The first festival was staged at the CCP in 2005. According to Jardin, Cinemalaya’s mission became clear—to produce stories by a new breed filmmakers that those in mainstream cinema cannot.

Proof of the festival’s growth is the increase in the number of people who watch the movies that it shows. Jardin said from 8,000 people who trooped to the festival on its first year, over 80,000 watched Cinemalaya last year.

But the hopes of Cinemalaya evolving into a nationwide festival will not yet happen on its 10th anniversary.

“We hope to simultaneously open Cinemalaya in Cebu next year,” Jardin said.

Meanwhile, festival director Chris Millado, also the artistic director of CCP, presented 10 reasons to celebrate Cinemalaya X.

First among the list was Cinemalaya X’s theme, “A Decade of Connecting Dimensions,” which acknowledges the festival’s flourishing network of individuals, groups and institutions with a common goal of developing and promoting independent filmmaking.

Cinemalaya will also have its new opening billboard (OBB) animation from the competition it opened early this year. Also, the festival now has a digital cinema package that allows directors to create crystal-clear films.

Moreover, a Cinemalaya X lounge will be opened at the CCP Main Gallery where the exhibit Cinemalaya @ 10: In Retrospect will be shown. There will be 25 new digital films to be premiered at Cinemalaya. Headlining this year’s roster are five films under the Directors’ Showcase category, which includes the much-awaited Joel Lamangan film, “Hustisya,” starring Nora Aunor. It will be Aunor’s first time to join Cinemalaya.

Competing against “Hustiya” are “Asintado” by Louie Ignacio, “Hari ng Tondo” by Carlitos Siguion-Reyna, “Kasal” by Joselito Altarejos and “The Janitor” by Michael Tuviera.
For the complete list of 2014 films, visit www.cinemalaya.org.

Cinemalaya X is slated from August 1 to 10 and will run at CCP and satellite venues located at Greenbelt Makati, Alabang Town Center, TriNoma and Fairview Terraces.

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