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What to Watch at Cinemalaya 2022
by: The Beat Asia
August 04, 2022
After a two-year wait, Cinemalaya will return to the halls of the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) this week. This is the first on-site screening of the beloved indie film fest since the pandemic started. The 18th edition is dubbed “Breaking Through the Noise" and will run from Aug. 5 to 14 at the CCP, and from Aug. 10 to 16 in select cinemas nationwide. There will also be virtual screenings from Oct. 17 to 31. Eleven full-length and 12 short films have made it to the festival.
Ticket prices range from P230 (CCP, Ayala Malls NCR and Regional branches, SM NCR branches) to P250 (SM Regional branches). Festival passes for Cinemalaya 18 are also available for P2,500 on the CCP website, giving the holder access to the 11 full features and two sets of short films.
Martina Ramirez Escobar’s “Leonor Will Never Die,” a psychological comedy-drama film, will open this year’s Cinemalaya. Escobar’s feature film directorial debut was screened at the World Cinema Dramatic Competition of the 2022 Sundance Film Festival, becoming the only Filipino film to join aside from “Ang Pagdadalaga ni Maximo Oliveros” in 2006. “Leonor Will Never Die” bagged the Special Jury Prize for Innovative Spirit at the 2022 Sundance. Its screening on Aug. 5 is free on a first-come, first-served basis.
Meanwhile, check out the synopsis of each of the full-length films below:
’12 Weeks’ by Anna Isabelle Matutina
After ending her toxic relationship with her boyfriend Ben, 40-year-old Alice discovers she is pregnant. With her age and current relationship status, her first instinct is to have the pregnancy terminated. As her body undergoes dramatic changes, Alice struggles and needs to decide what to do. Will she slide back into the arms of Ben? What will this mean for the child growing inside her?
‘Angkas’ by Rainerio C. Yamson II
Leo is not just an ordinary habal-habal driver. He is the resident ambulance and delivery man in a remote village in Compostela Valley who is hired to transport the dead down the mountain. One day, his estranged friend Miguel appeared on his doorstep and insisted to join Leo in fetching the corpse of Ditas, their childhood friend who is a rebel pursued by the military. As Leo and Miguel embark on a dangerous journey in a habal-habal, their fragile friendship will be tested, and they will encounter danger only to be saved by an unlikely hero.
‘Batsoy’ by Ronald Espinosa Batallones
After selling firewood for their basic needs, siblings Toto and Nonoy go and buy batsoy, the food that the younger brother has been craving the most. Mt. Manaphag, which faces the town of San Dionisio, becomes the silent witness to their journey to satisfy their craving. Their adventure will ultimately bring viewers to a world of magic, fantasy, and reality.
‘Bula sa Langit’ by Sheenly Gener
Acting as if coming home from a vacation, young Marawi war veteran Wesley is excited to bring his girlfriend Ritz home to meet his family. Showered with unsolicited hero worship upon his homecoming, Wesley struggles to reconnect his present relationships with his family and lover all while celebrating the town fiesta. Overwhelmed and alienated, the young soldier finds himself haunted by one of his traumatic kills, and in this internal war he is alone. Compounded and triggered, his frustration shoots up in one of his conversations with Ritz. He impulsively goes to the carnival to confront his trauma.
‘Bakit ‘Di Mo Sabihin’ by Real S. Florido
Deaf couple Miguel and Nat have been struggling to keep their marriage. After a huge fight, Miguel leaves his wife alone in Manila and decides to live in Baler with their kids. As he starts a new life, Miguel is reminded about the reasons why he married Nat by his family’s relentless stories about how modern a woman Nat is, and how he failed in so many ways to recognize that he fell in love with a younger deaf woman. One Christmas Eve, Miguel finally makes a move to tell Nat everything she needed to know.
‘Blue Room’ by Ma-an L. Asuncion-Dagñalan
Rebel Rebel, an indie rock band composed of woke albeit sheltered teens, gets its biggest break at a prestigious local music festival. But after their celebratory night at the local bar, they are arrested for drug possession. Instead of the standard procedures, they were hauled to the Blue Room, a VIP detention area where they can bribe their way out through rogue cops. The band members have to decide whether to use their privilege to go on with their lives or to own up to what they had been preaching.
‘Ginhawa’ by Christian Paolo Lat
Anton is an aspiring boxer. He hopes to continue the legacy of his older brother Saul who was given a chance to escape poverty by joining a competition in the city but later faced tragedy. Against his mother’s wishes, Anton leaves their small fishing town to pursue boxing in Manila where he unravels the ugly truth of the brutal sport.
‘Kaluskos’ by Roman S. Perez Jr.
Rebekah files for sole custody for her young daughter Amaya. But this doesn’t sit well with her estranged husband Jay. Amid the custody battle, Rebekah finds another “Amaya” under the bed. When the other Amaya emerges, Rebekah feels the motherly connection that she lost with her daughter. The other Amaya insists that she is the real Amaya trapped under the bed because of a curse, and the other one is the impostor. Wanting to start a new life with the other Amaya, Rebekah seeks to set her free. But to do that, she needs to kill the impostor.
‘Kargo’ by TM Malones
When her entire family perished in a motorcycle accident at a rough highway in Maasin, Iloilo, Sara crashed into a deep depression, which was gradually replaced with an overpowering need to avenge them. Believing that her husband and daughter were murdered, she searches for the man who killed her entire family to find some closure. But at the end of her journey, she untangles something she did not quite expect – a discovery that could profoundly change her entire life.
‘Retirada’ by Milo Alto Paz and Cynthia Cruz -Paz
Despite her husband Edong’s assurance, Azon Marcelo experiences melancholia as she adjusts to her life as a retired government employee. Their neighbor Chayong introduces the game of Bingo to Azon. After hitting the jackpot, Azon becomes a regular Bingo player hoping to duplicate her initial windfall. But her new sense of purpose and the adrenaline rush from her new hobby would teach her what retirement really means.
‘The Baseball Player’ by Carlo Obispo
Amir, a 17-year-old Moro child soldier whose father was killed in an all-out war in 2000, dreams to live a different life – he wants to become a baseball player. Training extensively with his coach, he makes it to the final tryout of a local university. Unfortunately, another all-out war against Moro rebels breaks out in 2003, and he is confronted with making a choice between pursuing his dream or fighting in the war.
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