Cinemalaya 2015: 11 Films, 1 Day

Annually, the Cultural Center of the Philippines holds the Cinemalaya Film Festival. Cinemalaya features independent films that tackle d...

Annually, the Cultural Center of the Philippines holds the Cinemalaya Film Festival. Cinemalaya features independent films that tackle different issues in the society. It is usually held during July and August. This year, Cinemalaya is on its eleventh year with the theme "Broadening Horizons." The first time that I was able to attend a Cinemalaya Film Festival was when I was in high school with my Teatro mates. During that time, I really had no idea where our Teatro moderator was bringing us haha! But after we attended and watched a lot of films, I totally fell in love with the event and I promised myself that I would come back. However, I got really busy with school and I somehow forgot about it so I never really got the chance to go again - until now. 
Since I was planning to spend the whole day at the event, I decided to get myself a daily pass instead of getting individual tickets per screening. It's actually much cheaper as compared if you buy individual tickets. With P500, I got to see one full-length movie and 10 short films! It was totally worth it even if I wasn't able to go to the fourth session since it's screening time was late. This year's Cinemalaya highlighted the short films which were also the films in competition. 
The short films were divided into two sessions, the shorts a and the shorts b. For the shorts a, the films were Apasol (Chasing Sun), Gatilyo ng Baril, Sanctissima, Kyel, and Nenok and for the shorts b, the films were Lisyun Qng Geografiya (Geography Lessons), Wawa, Mater, Pusong Bato (Stone Heart), and Papetir (Puppeteer). Some of the films are in a different dialect since the film directors came from different parts of the country. I'm actually amazed because some of the short films are done by film students for their thesis and it seems like it was done by someone with so much experience already. 

What I like about indie films is that they're not full of shit. Unlike some mainstream films that are out in the industry, indie films actually have a meaning. There are things that they are trying to say and these things actually make sense. Unlike some mainstream films, it actually makes you think about what you are watching and about the world that you are living in. It's not just for entertainment, but there always is something deeper going on behind it. 

Aside from having depth, the indie films that I got to watch actually have great cinematography which makes the film even more beautiful. The scenes are flawless and you could really differentiate it to most of mainstream films. 

I wrote about the films that I watched in the following: Shorts A Film Review link, Short B Film Review link, and Jay Film Review link.  
Aside from the films, I also got to look around CCP during the time in between sessions. There were a lot of artworks from Filipino artists hanging around the place which made the experience even more worth it. I wasn't just able to see films that are of really good quality, I was also able to see different artworks. Aside from that, I was able to see some of BenCab's work at the "Bencab in Multiples: A Print Retrospective. Apparently, the gallery on runs at the Bulwagang Juan Luna (Main Gallery) until August 16 which makes me really lucky since I was able to visit it before it's gone. 
Check out some of the artworks of BenCab below: 
My favorite in my Cinemalaya experience, aside from watching all the films, is that I was able to attend that Q&A with some of the short film directors. Even though it was just really short, I was able to learn a lot from them. I guess the most important takeaway from this Cinemalaya experience is what one of the directors said,

Gawa lang ng gawa, pero dapat may puso. 

It was truly an inspiring experience for me. 
I consider myself really lucky to be able to attend such event. I was able to immerse myself on the wonderful works of Filipino artists. It makes me realize how much talent Filipinos have. It's just really sad how most of us don't appreciate our own. I really think that people, most especially the youth, should be exposed to Filipino artists in order for them to appreciate how talented Filipinos are. It was definitely a pleasure to be able to witness such talent from Filipino artists that are very passionate with what they do. I mean, these films are the future of the local film scene. If only movies like these are the ones that people watch and the ones that people actually patronize, then we might as well build our own Hollywood here. 

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