Cinemalaya 2013: Challenging the viewer and the indie mold

Cinemalaya 2013's theme, "Cinesthesia: Synergy of the Senses." Patricia Denise ChiuThe stage was set, and the audience sat with bated breath.

Then, darkness.

First came the music, then images.

This is Cinemalaya 2013's "Cinesthesia: Synergy of the Senses," the 9th edition of the all-digital independent film festival and competition that has its roots at the Cultural Center of the Philippines.

Trippy, one might call it.

Cinemalaya 2013 formally opened Friday night at the CCP lobby, with a vision and sound scape by multimedia artist Tad Ermitaño setting the stage for a week-long exhibit of new independent films fresh for the picking.

Chris Millado, festival director and artistic director of the CCP, explained the year’s theme as a homage to the senses and to cinema.

Derived from synesthesia, a neurological condition where one experiences mixed sensations, as when one stimulated sense elicits a sensation in another, this year’s Cinemalaya theme is meant to evoke feelings other than the mundane.

“Cinemalaya has changed the way the international community has looked at Philippine Cinema, through the lens of independent filmmaking. This synesthesia is the feeling you get after watching a Cinemalaya film,” Millado said.

This year, Millado challenged the film watching public to put a new spin to how they view Philippine Cinema.

"Cinemalaya is never boring, never predictable. This defines the Cinesthetic Cinemalaya. You can chart your way through numerous films with a whole new retrospective," he said.

Other than the call for viewers to pick up something more from the festival, Millado also acknowledged the big names involved in this year’s festival. Any newcomer to the world of Cinemalaya will be greeted by familiar mainstream faces, as many of the films star actors that have made names for themselves in mainstream cinema.

"We’re evolving into what I like to call 'maindie,'" Millado explained, noting how the previous successes of Cinemalaya has paved the way for mainstream names to try a hand at the fearless story telling characteristic of Philippine indie cinema.

Not a tourism ad

Acknowledging that this year’s Cinemalaya (and indeed those that have come before) does not shy away from sensitive topics like sex, drugs and abuse, former Cultural Center of the Philippines President Nestor Jardin noted that the film festival is not a Department of Tourism (DOT) fest.

Rather, Jardin lauded the courage that indie filmmakers have to tell the stories that ring true for those who watch them.

"Indie has gained popularity, in that it truthfully and boldly proclaims what is true in our society. Some people tell me, they think indie is so negative. I always say that [Cinemalaya] is not a DOT film fest. It shows both sides [of the country and of our society,]" Jardin said.

Learn more about this year’s films in competition.

‘Jazz in Love’

After the opening ceremonies, the audience was treated to a bittersweet film. For the first time, the Cinemalaya film fest was ushered in by a documentary called "Jazz in Love".

Directed by Baby Ruth Villarama, the documentary, "Jazz in Love", features Ernesto, called Jazz, an engaging young Mindanao man studying German in preparation for his marriage to his German fiancé.

A visibly moved Villarama introduced the film before it was shown, calling on the audience to look past conventions when thinking about love and acceptance. She also acknowledged the victory of documentaries, which rarely see wide-scale public screenings in the Philippines.

"Tonight we celebrate documentaries. I hope it serves as a small contribution to the LGBT community, I hope it shows people acceptance. And if [my film] can do that, I'll be the happiest storyteller," she said.

A total of 70 films, including the 25 in competition categories, will be shown in various sections of the festival—"Ani," Cinemalaya Documentaries, Cinemalaya Premieres, Retrospective: Urian’s Best, and tributes to the late directors Marilou Diaz-Abaya, Celso Ad. Castillo, and National Artist Eddie Romero.

Cinemalaya runs from July 27-August 4, with screenings at the Cultural Center of the Philippines, Greenbelt 3 (Cinemas 3 and 5), Trinoma (Cinemas 1 and 2), and Alabang Town Center (Cinema 4).

As Millado said in his opening speech, "In the spirit of Cinemalaya, happy trip!"

Full schedule on the Cinemalaya Facebook page. — VC, GMA News

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Lupita Nyong'o's $150,000 Oscars dress stolen from hotel
    Lupita Nyong'o's $150,000 Oscars dress stolen from hotel

    The $150,000 pearl-studded, custom-made Calvin Klein dress worn by Oscar-winning actress Lupita Nyong'o at this year's Academy Awards has been stolen, police said on Thursday. The gown, embellished with 6,000 natural white pearls, was stolen from Nyong'o's room at the London Hotel in West Hollywood, during the day on Wednesday, a spokesman for the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department in West Hollywood said. "Ms Nyong'o was not in the room at the time of the theft," Deputy John Mitchell …

  • US-led strikes on IS after group seizes 220 Christians
    US-led strikes on IS after group seizes 220 Christians

    The US-led coalition has carried out air strikes against the Islamic State group in northeastern Syria, where the jihadists have launched a new offensive and kidnapped 220 Assyrian Christians. The raids on Thursday struck areas around the town of Tal Tamr in Hasakeh province, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said, without giving information on possible casualties. The town remains under the control of Kurdish forces, but at least 10 surrounding villages have been seized by IS, along …

  • Militants abduct more Christians, smash ancient artifacts
    Militants abduct more Christians, smash ancient artifacts

    BEIRUT (AP) — Islamic State militants seized more Christians from their homes in northeastern Syria in the past three days, bringing the total number abducted by the extremist group to over 220, activists said Thursday. …

  • 13 of 15 SAF survivors to leave PNP hospital
    13 of 15 SAF survivors to leave PNP hospital

    Thirteen of the 15 Special Action Force (SAF) policemen who survived the bloody firefight with Muslim rebels in Mamasapano last month are ready to go home after a month of medical treatment, a police official said yesterday. Philippine National Police (PNP) spokesman Chief Superintendent Generoso Cerbo Jr. said the two remaining survivors will have to stay in hospital for further treatment, one of whom has shrapnel embedded near his spine. One of the two SAF commando survivors is still …

  • U.S. flies most advanced surveillance plane from Philippines

    By Manuel Mogato MANILA (Reuters) - The United States has begun flying its most advanced surveillance aircraft, the P-8A Poseidon, out of the Philippines for patrols over the South China Sea, the U.S. Navy said on Thursday, acknowledging the flights for the first time. The United States, the Philippines' oldest and closest ally, has promised to share "real time" information on what is happening in Philippine waters as China steps up its activities in the South China Sea. China claims most of …

  • Review: SKK Mobile V2, a P3,999 watered-down LG G2
    Review: SKK Mobile V2, a P3,999 watered-down LG G2

    How well does this P3,999 offering from an underdog in the local mobile industry stack up against the competition? Let's find out. …

  • 3 Pinays on Forbes power women list
    3 Pinays on Forbes power women list

    Three Filipina executives, who are all daughters of known business tycoons in the country, made it to Forbes’ list of the 50 most powerful businesswomen in Asia. Teresita Sy-Coson, vice chairman of SM Investments and chairman of BDO Universal Bank, was included in the list for the fourth year in a row since its inception. “Under her (Sy-Coson) lead SMIC became the largest listed company on the Philippine Stock Exchange by market cap. Also in the 2015 list is 70-year-old Helen Yuchengco-Dee, …

  • US sends spy plane to patrol disputed sea
    US sends spy plane to patrol disputed sea

    The United States has deployed its newest and most advanced surveillance aircraft for patrols over the West Philippine Sea and South China Sea. The P-8A Poseidon aircraft completed more than 180 flight hours from Feb. 1 to 21 from Clark Air Base, according to the US Navy’s 7th Fleet. …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options