The 19th edition of Cinemalaya is happening this August with a big (temporary) move to a new home.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic, Cinemalaya has been testing the waters on how it could resume its usual operations. Last year, the long-running Philippine independent film festival brought back its physical screenings, and while there were hesitations from patrons to return to the cinemas at the time, it was good enough to bring local film festivals again to their full glory.
A number of things might change this year, but Cinemalaya's aim to showcase compelling narratives and voices from Filipino filmmakers remains the same. If you’re looking to be part of this year’s movie fest, we have prepared a guide on everything you need to know—from the screening schedule and ticket prices to the participating films this year. Read on.
Venue and festival run
Cinemalaya 2023 is happening from Aug. 4 to 13 at the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay since its original mainstay venue, the main building of the Cultural Center of the Philippines, is undergoing rehabilitation. PICC is situated in the CCP compound, and it's just a short walk from the CCP Main Building.
PICC hosts multiple meeting rooms that can cater to film presentations. Cinemalaya will be held at Cinema Rizal (Meeting Room 1), Cinema Bonifacio (Meeting Rooms 2 and 3), and Cinema Felipe (Meeting Room 4). The Cinema Palma (Meeting Room 5) and the Executive Lounge will also be open for special festival activities such as talkbacks, conversations, and exhibitions.
Select screenings of the films will also take place at four Ayala Malls: Ayala Mall Manila Bay, Trinoma, Glorietta, and UP Town Center.
Schedule and ticket prices
Cinemalaya has released the official schedule of its film screenings at PICC and Ayala Malls venues, which you can check out in the gallery below.
On Aug. 4, the film fest will open with Quark Henares’ Marupok AF, a film inspired by a viral Twitter thread that explores the many surprises of online dating.
Dwein Baltazar’s Third World Romance will close the festival on Aug. 12. The film, starring Charlie Dizon and Carlo Aquino, follows the budding romance of two grocery staff amid financial constraints.
In terms of ticket prices, the regular price per screening is P300, while students can avail of a discounted P200 per screening.
Special festival pass
For a better festival experience, you can avail of the Cinemalaya 2023 Festival Pass, which gives you admission to all films in the competition at the PICC screenings for only P2,880.
Pass holders will receive priority lane access and a slot in the reserved section of participating film screenings. To avail of the festival pass, you may register online here or go to the Cinemalaya Festival Pass Booth at the Tanghalang Ignacio Gimenez (CCP Black Box Theater) between 9:00 a.m. and 6:00 pm.
Ten (10) new films will premiere at this year’s Cinemalaya for the main competition's full-length category.
Ten (10) short films are also set to take center stage as part of Cinemalaya 2023’s main competition—shorts category.
Outside the main competition line-up, festivalgoers can expect exciting film screenings to be showcased at this year's Cinemalaya.
In “Retrospective,” award-winning works from the previous Cinemalaya edition will be screened, including Anna Isabelle Matutina’s 12 Weeks, Zig Dulay’s Black Rainbow, Ma-an L. Asuncion-Dagñalan’s Blue Room, Gabriela Serrano’s Dikit, TM Malones’ Kargo, Kat Sumagaysay and Richard Salvadico’s Mga Handum Nga Nasulat sa Baras, and Carlo Obispo’s The Baseball Player.
Special film sections are dedicated to screenings of Asian Film Alliance Network's (AFAN) works and Shoutout Pinas 2022. The AFAN section highlights renowned Asian short films such as Anthony Chen’s Grandma, Yoon Ga Eun’s Guest, Edwin’s Kara, the Daughter of a Tree, Amanda Nell Eu’s It’s Easier to Raise Cattle, and Lkhagvadulam Purev-Ochir’s Mountain Cat.
Shoutout Pinas 2022, an anthology of film and theater shorts from Pelikulove, will also debut at Cinemalaya. The participating shorts are Roman Perez, Jr.'s How to Make an Effective Campaign Ad, Gab Hernandez's Libro For Ransom, Julius Dela Peña and Dada Grifon's No Trespassing, Sari Saysay's Quarantine 5, and Niel Arkhe Azcuna's When A Manananggal Loves A Man.
Cinemalaya’s premier documentary showcase “Dokyu” also returns this year, featuring works from all over the world such as India (Supriya Suri’s Aruna Vasudev: Mother of Asian Cinema), Sweden (Samir Arabzadeh’s Powernapper’s Paradise), USA (PJ Raval’s Kapwa Texas), and the Philippines (Joseph Mangat’s Backstage Pass: Life Behind the Curtains Episode 1 and 2, Avic Ilagan’s Lockdown Diaries: COVID 19, and Seth Gagahina’s Segunda Pulo: Filipino Heritage Through the Artistans’ Hands).
For the “Digital Classics” section, ABS-CBN’s Sagip Pelikula will be presenting the restored and remastered version of May Minamahal, Jose Javier Reyes’ 1993 romantic comedy starring Aga Muhlach and Aiko Melendez.
Cinemalaya 2023 will also be the venue for several book launches of Filipino authors, all of which are happening at PICC’s Cinema Palma (Meeting Room 5).
On Aug. 8 at 6:00 p.m., Nick Deocampo is debuting Sine Tala, a book series featuring essays on Philippine cinema.
National Artist for Film and Broadcast Arts Ricky Lee is also set to launch the English edition of For B (translated by Noelle Q. de Jesus) and the book’s follow-up Lahat ng B (Karugtong ng Para Kay B) on Aug. 9 at 6:00 p.m.
On Aug. 10 at 6:00 pm, Adjani Arumpac will be launching her book on CCP entitled CCP ARTHOUSE CINEMA: Programming the Pandemic.