cinemalaya 2016
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All The Films You Need To Watch At Cinemalaya 2016

Every August, a tradition unlike any other is eagerly awaited by many film enthusiasts in the country. This much-awaited film festival is responsible for churning out quality local indie movies that have the ability to awaken the consciousness of its audience.

The Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival is a festival and competition that provides a venue for independent film makers to create new and fresh cinematic experiences for their audience while highlighting the true spirit of Filipino lives.

Each year since 2005, Cinemalaya Foundation Inc., along with their partners and sponsors, choose a maximum of 10 newly-bred filmmakers to be given a grant in order to create their own full-length cinematic masterpieces. These films are then showcased in the festival and those that stand out best are given awards in the culminating night. Moreover, awards are also given to films under the Short Feature Category and the Directors Showcase.

Cinemalaya has given much importance to the true craftsmanship and integrity in filmmaking. It is no surprise that the film festival has paved way for truly masterful films to garner the recognition they deserve even those that come from outside the realm of Cinemalaya. Some of the films that have been made known through Cinemalaya include Ang Pagdadalaga ni Maximo Oliveros (2005), Pisay (2007), Ang Babae Sa Septic Tank (2011), Kamera Obskura (2012), and Sana Dati (2013), among others.

This year’s list of films presents yet again a very promising group of finalists that are sure to render us brilliant and fresh Filipino masterpieces. Unlike the other years, however, this year’s Cinemalaya will be much bigger and will reach a wider audience. Ayala Malls will not only feature the films in Ayala Malls within Metro Manila, but in their malls in Nuvali Sta. Rosa and Cebu as well.

Here are Cinemalaya 2016’s full-length films:

1Ang Bagong Pamilya ni Ponching

Directors: Inna Salazar and Dos Ocampo
Janus Del Prado, Ketchup Eusebio, Odette Khan, Lollie Mara, Jojo Alejar, Joyce Burton-Titular, Jackie Lou Blanco, Alibreza Libre, Phynne Barnett, Richard Manabat, Mimi Juareza, Sam Thurman, Ria Garcia, Joanna Bago, Manuel Velasco, Ricky Sanchez

A religious man who does petty crimes, Ponching, gets into a new venture, text scamming, thinking it will not really hurt anyone. One day, his seemingly “innocent” text scam accidentally cons a recipient into thinking he is the bastard child of their late relative.


Director: Atom Magadia
Starring: Tommy Abuel, Lotlot De Leon, Benjamin Alves, Janine Gutierrez, Alex Diaz, Sue Prado, Marita Zobel, Rolando Inocencio, Yoshihiko Hara, Arpee Bautista

After surviving the Death March, Martial Law and the loss of his legs, Justino became an atheist. But when his wife dies, a part of him is yearning to believe in life beyond death; just for a chance to be with her again. Searching for parts of her he can still hold on to, he devours her diaries for information into their past. He ends up opening a Pandora’s Box of secrets.

3Hiblang Abo

Director: Ralston Jover
Starring: Lou Veloso, Jun Urbano, Leo Rialp, Nanding Josef, Matt Daclan, Lui Manansala, Flor Salanga, Cherry Malvar, Angela Cortez, Mike Liwag, Rommel Luna, Rener Concepcion, Anna Luna

Hiblang Abo speaks volumes of muted memories and infinite struggles among four men in their twilight years, confined in a hospice facility or home for the aged. Their gray hair grows and fades unnoticed, their lives enter the void of oblivion. Everything unfolds so naturally into their swan song until their body pains and heartaches yield the same intensity, when their hearing and their feelings become permanently impaired.  When their blurry vision and memories become “clear” signs that the inevitable state of death is as fleeting as the vibrancy of life itself.

4I America

Director: Ivan Andrew Payawal
Starring: Bela Padilla, Rob Rownd, Matt Evans, Thou Reyes, Sheena Ramos, Joe Vargas, Raflesia Bravo, Julz Savard, Lui Manansala, Ms. Elizabeth Oropesa, Kate Bautista, Rhyzza Kafilas

I America is a dramedy about a complex half-Pinay, half-Caucasian lady looking for an American living in Olongapo City (Philippines) who tries to get her passport and US visa in order to meet her father personally for the first time.


Directors: David Corpus and Cenon Palomares
Starring: Judy Ann Santos, Gloria Sevilla, Joem Bascon, Luis Alandy, Elora Españo, Mike Liwag, Bong Cabrera, Karen Gaerlan, Jane Biton, Isha Salic, Trina Legaspi, Lala Padilla, Czarina Yecla, Princess Ortiz

Kusina (The Kitchen) is the silent witness to the life and love of Juanita. It is her sanctuary, the place where she creates dishes for her family, her friends, even enemies and strangers. Through cooking, she gets to know the people around her, and in return, reveal herself to them.

6Lando at Bugoy

Director: Vic Acedillo, Jr.
Starring: Allen Dizon, Gold Azeron, Roger Gonzales, Rachel Anne Ang Rosello, Maricar Semitara, Carlos Penaloza, Benjie Criss Estrella, Reynald Mangao, Camilo Apugan

Disrespected by his teenage son, a 40-year-old high school dropout tries to solve this problem by returning to school which only makes his son hate him even more. Amidst the struggle between them, an unexpected event changes everything.

7Mercury Is Mine

Director: Jason Paul Laxamana
Starring: Pokwang, Bret Jackson, Vincent De Jesus, Lee O’Brian, Maey Bautista, Bea Vega, Mitzi Ong, Leo Sarmiento,  Justine Dizon, Waka Hasegawa, Uzziel Delamide, Kristof Garcia

Carmen, a middle-aged cook, is about to close down her eatery at the foot of Mt. Arayat when a white American teenage boy named Mercury approaches her, then begs for work in exchange of nothing but shelter.

8Pamilya Ordinaryo

Director: Eduardo Roy, Jr.
Starring: Ronwaldo Martin, Hasmine Killip, Maria Isabel Lopez, Sue Prado, Ruby Ruiz, Moira Lang, Karl Medina, Erlinda Villalobos, Domingo Cobarrubias, Paolo Rodriguez, John Bon Andrew Lentejas, John Vincent Servilla, Rian Magtaan, Myla Monido, Alora Sasam, Ruth Alferez

Jane and Aries are teenage parents. They make a living out of stealing on the streets… until fate hits back at them


Director: Derick Cabrido
Starring: Nora Aunor, Barbie Forteza, Flor Salanga, Ron Martin, Elora Españo, Ronnie Martinez, Al Bernard Garcia, Elora Españo, Casimira Cabilitasan

A woman chosen to keep an age-old tradition alive must now choose between her granddaughter’s life and a belief that shackled her in solitary confinement.

Cinemalaya 2016 also has a lineup of 10 short films competing in the festival. Know more about them through the festival’s website.

The festival will be running from August 5-14, 2016, at the Cultural Center of the Philippines and at Ayala Cinmeas in Greenbelt 3 (Makati), Glorietta (Makati), Trinoma (Quezon City), UP Town Center (Quezon City) and Nuvali (Sta. Rosa, Laguna). Cinemalaya will be in Cebu from August 9-14, 2016, at Ayala Mall.

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