PH Independent Film Festival ‘Cinemalaya’ Returns With New Set of Full-Length Films

by Dianne Curray
SEA Wave - Cinemalaya 2022
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The Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Festival has been supporting and showcasing Filipino independent films since 2005. And for this year (their 18th edition), they are coming back to the Cultural Center of the Philippines Complex and other cinemas for another round of cinematic masterpieces.

Steering away from the usual themes of mainstream movies, the film competition encourages Filipino filmmakers to boldly articulate and freely interpret the Filipino experience with fresh insight and artistic integrity.

On a Facebook post, Cinemalaya announced the 13 full-length film finalists that will be shown on the big screens this August.

The list of the finalists are as follows, together with a short synopsis of their storylines:

KARGO by TM Malones

SEA Wave - Cinemalaya 2022 - Kargo TM Malones

Synopsis: Sara carries with her a heavy burden from her past – an encumbrance that will only be relieved when she finally exacts revenge on the man who murdered her entire family.

GINHAWA by Christian Lat

SEA Wave - Cinemalaya 2022 - Ginhawa Christian Lat

Synopsis: Anton who lives in the slums of the Philippines had lost his brother from a recent amateur fight, but wants to continue his legacy but his mother is against anything that has to do with boxing.

BLUE ROOM by Ma-an L. Asuncion Dagñalan

SEA Wave - Cinemalaya 2022 - Blue Room Ma-An Asuncion

Synopsis: A progressive rock band composed of privileged teenagers get arrested for drug possession, and are brought into the “Blue Room” where they must make the difficult choice between freedom or standing up for what they believe in.

BATSOY by Ronald Espinosa Batallones

SEA Wave - Cinemalaya 2022 - Batsoy Ronald Batallones

“Batsoy” answers what fate lies beneath the two siblings’ yearning for delectable soup dish.

12 WEEKS by Anna Isabelle Matutina

SEA Wave - Cinemalaya 2022 - 12 Weeks Anna Isabelle Matutina

Synopsis: Torn between terminating or keeping her baby, 40-year-old Alice explores the first term of her pregnancy and learns what life truly means.

RETIRADA by Milo Alto Paz and Cynthia Cruz-Paz

SEA Wave - Cinemalaya 2022 - Retirada Milo Alto Paz Cynthia Cruz-Paz

Synopsis: Retirada is about a retired government employee seeking meaning and purpose for her life.


SEA Wave - Cinemalaya 2022 - The Baseball Player Carlo Obispo

Synopsis: The Baseball Player follows a Moro child soldier as he strives to become a baseball varsity player amidst the war in 2003.

BAKIT DI MO SABIHIN? by Real Florido

SEA Wave - Cinemalaya 2022 - Bakit Di Mo Sabihin Real Florido

Synopsis: A mute couple separated and as they decide on what to do with their marriage, they learned that it’s not the disability to speak that tore them apart.

ANGKAS by Rain Yamson II

SEA Wave - Cinemalaya 2022 - Angkas Rain Yamson

Synopsis: Two estranged friends rebuild their embittered past as they travel dangerously together in a habal-habal to retrieve a dead pal.

KALUSKOS by Roman Perez Jr.

SEA Wave - Cinemalaya 2022 - Kaluskos Roman Perez

Synopsis: Kaluskos tells the story of a single mother who finds something underneath her daughter’s bed that will make her question her love for her child.

ANG HALIMAW by Emmanuel Quindo Palo

SEA Wave - Cinemalaya 2022 - Ang Halimaw Emmanuel Quindo Palo

Synopsis: A group of underground activists takes a 10-year old boy under their wing, while he waits to be reunited with his parents who are high-value targets by Marcos’ military.

PAROLE by Briliant Juan

SEA Wave - Cinemalaya 2022 - Parole Briliant Juan

Synopsis: A paroled ex-convict tries to adjust back to society while looking for his long lost friend and his place outside the bars after being imprisoned for 30 long years for a crime he did not commit.

BULA SA LANGIT by Sheenly Gener

SEA Wave - Cinemalaya 2022 - Bula Sa Langit Sheenly Gener

Synopsis: After a 6-month siege in Marawi, a young soldier comes back home and faces a different war.


After a two-year wait of resuming the festival because of the pandemic, the 2022 Cinemalaya Film Festival will finally run from August 5 to August 14 at the Cultural Center of the Philippines in Pasay City and selected cinemas. 

What are your thoughts on Cinemalaya returning in the cinemas? Share your reactions in the comments section below!

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