Stream Consciousness with Cinemalaya 2020

by Matthew Escosia
SEA Wave Cinemalaya 2020
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By: Shaina Semaña


It’s the time of the year again! For local film buffs, August has always been something to look forward to because it’s the season to celebrate independent Filipino films with Cinemalaya. Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Festival, popularly known as Cinemalaya, is an annual film festival organized by the Cinemalaya Foundation to promote local independent films. Since its first run in 2005, the film festival is held in the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) and, in the recent year, participating films are also shown in selected cinemas across the country.

This year marks the festival’s 16th run. However, due to the pandemic, Cinemalaya 16 was almost cancelled. But, luckily, we are living in the digital age and not even a pandemic can stop Filipinos from celebrating local Filipino film culture. This year, Cinemalaya is up with its first-ever digital edition. Though there are no full-length films in competition this year, Cinemalaya sails with 10 short films in competition. Chosen from a pool over 240 entries, these 10 short films will compete for the Best Film Award.

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With the festival theme Stream Consciousness, happening on August 7 to 16, 2020, the 10 participating short films will be streamed on Vimeo. These 10 films are divided into two groups, Main Competition Shorts A and B, with stories varying from old records, an employee struggling to wake up from a nightmare, and a mockumentary about a family in the slums among others.

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Titles include Ang Gasgas na Plaka ni Lolo Bert, Pabasa Kan Pasyon, Fatigued, Tokwifi, and Quing Lalim Ning Aldo (Under the Sun) for Shorts A, and Ang Pagkalma sa Unos, Living Things, Utwas, Excuse Me, Miss Miss Miss, and The Slums for Shorts A. Aside from these shorts, other indie full-length films like Watch Me Kill, Circa and the award-winning Judy Ann Santos film, Mindanao, are also featured in this year’s festival.

SEA Wave Cinemalaya 2020 SEA Wave Cinemalaya 2020 SEA Wave Cinemalaya 2020 SEA Wave Cinemalaya 2020When Cinemalaya announced its first ever, a lot of Cinemalaya patrons were equally excited and confused, good thing they released very helpful instructions on their Facebook page. The participating films can be rented on Vimeo, together with other documentaries and a master class on storytelling with Ricky Lee . These are grouped in bundles and can be rented for the whole duration of the festival. You can buy your tickets at the Cinemalaya website, where you’ll also get more information about the different bundles and its inclusions.

SEA Wave Cinemalaya 2020

It’s true that this pandemic has really impacted all of our lives and even our arts and culture, but this won’t stop Filipino movie lovers to celebrate Philippine Cinema. This isn’t the first time that Cinemalaya has challenges—for one, Cinemalaya week has always been embraced with heavy rains—but even so, the film festival always continues to be true to its aim of celebrating Philippine Cinema and imparting social awareness to its audience. And no heavy rain or even a pandemic will ever spoil that. Para sa pelikulang Pilipino!


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