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.

  • US renews travel warning to Mindanao
    US renews travel warning to Mindanao

    The US State Department renewed its warning about the risks of travel to the Philippines, in particular to the Sulu archipelago, certain regions and cities of Mindanao and the southern Sulu Sea area. In an update on Wednesday of a travel warning it issued Nov. 20, 2014, the State Department said US citizens should continue to defer non-essential travel to the Sulu archipelago due to the high threat of kidnapping of international travelers and violence linked to insurgency and terrorism there. …

  • Phl gains support for APEC Action Agenda
    Phl gains support for APEC Action Agenda

    The Philippine initiative to put the interests of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) front and center in global and regional trade has made significant progress following the conclusion on Thursday of the 2nd APEC Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM2) and Related Meetings in Boracay, Aklan. Called “The Boracay Action Agenda to Globalize MSMEs,” the Philippine proposal calls for a host of specific, concrete and practical interventions that APEC economies can implement to provide MSMEs wider …

  • Phl to join Bangkok meet on Rohingya crisis next week
    Phl to join Bangkok meet on Rohingya crisis next week

    The Philippines will join a 15-nation meeting in Bangkok, Thailand next week to address the migration crisis involving thousands of Rohingyas who escaped persecution in Myanmar and Bangladesh. Justice Secretary Leila de Lima bared this yesterday after meeting with United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) representative to the Philippines Bernard Kerblat. In an interview, De Lima said the Philippine government has been invited to the meeting. …

  • Magnitude 4.2 quake jolts Sorsogon
    Magnitude 4.2 quake jolts Sorsogon

    LEGAZPI CITY—A magnitude 4.2 earthquake hit Prieto Diaz town in Sorsogon before dawn yesterday, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said. …

  • Drought-resistant rice breeds bared
    Drought-resistant rice breeds bared

    SCIENCE CITY OF MUÑOZ, Nueva Ecija – Amid the searing heat, the Philippine Rice Research Institute central experiment station here has identified nine rice breeds which have been proven to be drought-resistant and produce high yields in temperatures as high as 38°C based on a recent study. Thelma Padolina, lead researcher of the study titled “Screening of rice-induced mutants for heat and drought tolerance,” identified the breeding lines as the Ballatinaw lines, PSB Rc72H and Azucena lines. …

  • Phl, US assert rights, ignore China warning
    Phl, US assert rights, ignore China warning

    The United States military will continue air and sea patrols in international waters even after the Chinese navy repeatedly warned a US surveillance plane to leave the airspace over artificial islands China is creating in the disputed South China Sea. The Philippine government also declared it would continue activities in the region, calling on China to respect freedom of navigation and aviation. “Our position on the importance of letting freedom of navigation, freedom of aviation and …

  • MM shutdown eyed for quake drill; 6 schools warned
    MM shutdown eyed for quake drill; 6 schools warned

    Electricity and mobile phone services would be cut throughout Metro Manila, and all private and government offices and businesses, including shopping malls, would be closed. The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) has warned that an earthquake of that magnitude could occur and kill at least 33,500 people and injure at least 113,600 others following a movement in the West Valley Fault. The West Valley Fault has moved four times in the past 1,400 years at an interval …

  • Subaru XV now priced among sedans
    Subaru XV now priced among sedans

    Motor Image Philipinas (MIP), the authorized distributor of Subaru in the country, has positioned its brand new crossover SUV, the Subaru XV, well within the sedan segment’s price range. This move, according to MIP, was made to give the public an opportunity to experience the brand’s unique automotive technologies by lowering its price. Buyers of […] The post Subaru XV now priced among sedans appeared first on Carmudi Philippines. …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options