The spirit of Filipino independent cinema pushes through with Cinemalaya 2020. Since 2005, the popular film festival showcasing the best of Pinoy indie filmmakers continues to expose Filipino moviegoers to a variety of film styles, creative concepts and unique ideas in storytelling that goes against the flow of mainstream film production outfits.
This year, Cinemalaya 2020 goes exclusively online and shows that no pandemic or quarantine can stop Filipino filmmakers from expressing their stories and creativity. The films are traditionally screened at the Cultural Center of the Philippines in Manila, as well as a handful of select theaters across the country. However, in this current COVID-19 world, all entries and forums can be screened on Vimeo.
Starting August 7, binge watch all films that will be streamed on Vimeo via a subscription for a one week period. All you need to do is register for a Vimeo account (which is free) before heading over to the Cinemalaya website and choosing the bundle package you want to pre-order today. I suggest going all-out on the (best value, in my opinion) P350 bundle to get everything Cinemalaya 2020 has to offer.
After creating your free Vimeo account here, head over to the Cinemalaya 2020 ticketing page to purchase your viewing bundle here. Once accomplished, wait for August 7 for the screenings to start.
(Update: alternatively, you may click directly on the Cinemalaya 2020 ticketing link and, after selecting your preferred bundle, the next page will prompt you for a Vimeo signup via email or Facebook or Google, or log in if you already have an account before proceeding. - Ed.)
This year's digital edition will feature 10 Short Films, selected out of 244 entries submitted that will be competing for the Best Film award. Here are previews and loglines of the 10 finalists:
Ang Gasgas na Plaka ni Lolo Bert
Janina Gacosta and Cheska Marfori
A closeted gay man in his 60s has been living with HIV for 10 years. His monotonous life takes a sudden turn when he receives an old vinyl record from his dead ex-lover.
Excuse Me, Miss, Miss, Miss
Vangie, a miserable contractual sales lady, is about to lose her job. But in her desperate attempt to convince her boss not to sack her, Vangie uncovers the ultimate jaw-dropping secret to regularization.
Martika Ramirez Escobar
Kints and Charles have been together for almost a decade. One day, Kints wakes up and discovers that her lover has changed, literally.
Carla Pulido Ocampo
As Limmayug carries firewood back to his home village, something falls from the sky: a 1950s television, with a hysterical showbiz star trapped inside it.
Jan Andrei Cobey
A documentary team progressively intervenes and trespasses into the lives of a poor family living in the slums as they try to cope with the loss of their TV.
Fatigued is an interactive short film about an employee who overslept and must wake-up from his/her nightmare. This requires participation from the audience.
Quing Lalam Ning Aldo (Under the Sun)
A transgender sampaguita farmer decides to renovate their neglected kitchen as soon as she hears that her son is coming home.
Ang Pagpakalma Sa Unos (To Calm The Pig Inside)
Joanna Vasquez Arong
The film is a contemplation on the effects a typhoon leaves on a seaside city. Myths are woven in to try to understand how people cope with the devastation and trauma.
Richard Salvadico and Arlie Sweet Sumagaysay
Toto and his father live on an island where the primary source of their livelihood is the ocean. One afternoon, a group of fishermen throw dynamite in the waters around them.
Pabasa Kan Pasyon (Chanting the Passion)
Religion and economy take center stage in a Bicolano family’s story, set during the Lenten season. To make ends meet, one of them turns to religion, and pushes his mother to make a living off her faith.
Aside from the 10 finalists are a number of independent shorts. One will definitely find a story that will resonate with them amongst these varied time-sinkers:
Stunned by the death of his parents, a struggling teenage boy is forced to look after his siblings while battling against nature.
In the arid, poverty-stricken world, fetching water is the only way an old woman can do to bring her second family to Manila, from an island in Batangas devastated by the eruption of Taal Volcano.
Jepoy is a little bullied boy who likes super heroes. At the wake of Japan’s Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster, he realizes that the answer to his problems is the oncoming radiation.
Ang Meron Sa Wala (Beyond Nothing)
Arby and Chrisitne Laraño
A resolute man unapologetically abandons his first-born, believing that it was the right thing to do. Many years later, an inquisitive documentary filmmaker interrogates him.
A forest guard in his late 50s leads the confiscation of equipment used for illegal logging, even if he works under the government he is still unassertive of his power to stop the illegal activity.
Dama De Noche
Lawrence Arvin Sibug
Daisy Resurrection, an overseas Filipino worker, comes home from years of working abroad, but her homecoming is unlike any other OFW story you’ve heard of.
John flies home to furniture in one corner, the dining table arranged for guests, and their bedrooms removed of its function. He comes home to his father's funeral. With his mom Leia, they learn how to put together what was removed and rearranged.
Bryan Kenette Padilla
Kurt sells burgers to earn a living. When he tries to catch the perpetrator of a crime committed in front of his burger stand, he makes a decision that he will regret for the rest of his life.
Si Gloria at si Juan
Sometime in the early '70s, Gloria went through several sleepless nights because of the frequent pestering of a creature often only regarded as myth: a duwende, which stalked her wherever she went.
Tarang (Life's Pedal)
Roel, a pedicab driver, works alongside his wife, Aya, a prostitute; in a place where they can wishfully earn just enough to survive. An incident in what was supposed to be a normal day will test their faith and forever change their lives.
Ang Nawalang Haligi
After his son's sudden disappearance, a single father searches day and night to find him. How far can he go?
Himagsik ng Hiwaga (Revolt of the Mystic)
1896, start of the Philippine Revolution. Liwa, Ula and Ughaw, female aswangs facing extinction due to Spanish colonizers wanting to extinguish the Filipino culture, join the Katipunan as faction leaders.
A series of disappearances occur in Himogaan River because of an alleged Mermaid living beneath it. The people feared, except for Andoy, a lonely fisherman who still lives by the riverbanks.
After burying their deceased parent beneath their farmland, a devoted sister saves the ultimate dream of her sibling who suffers from ALS.
Fernando, an ex-convict is released from prison and joins his family. At first, it seems his new life would be an opportunity to start over, only for him to realize that things are not the same.
An elusive graphic designer, who steals and retouches photos for his website, finds himself in another dimension after updating his website's content.
Kung Saan Patag Ang Bundok
Maya, a farmer living in a rural area finds herself stuck in a repetitive cycle. As she struggles to break free from it, she meets Alon, a fellow farmer.
Christian Paolo Lat and Mia Salisbury
Dong is an OFW struggling to make ends meet as an illegal kitchen worker at a local asian restaurant. When Dong's pay gets held up and he discovers his mother's leukemia treatment is taking a harsh toll on her, he's put in a desperate situation, faced with looking for fast cash to
send back home.
A dysfunctional father and son, one still coping from a loss, the other with a highly-stigmatized illness, are compelled to talk to one another to make ends meet and heal the wounds of their relationship.
A beguiling series of random footage encapsulate pieces of memories of displaced children during the Marawi siege of 2017. They share their stories of survival, present circumstances and messages of hope; still longing to return to the place they once called home.
Ang Tumuluo (The Devotee)
Thea is a disillusioned devotee who enters an exclusive cult. She leaves the cult, but comes back to save her friend Seva.
Buding, Ang Babayi Nga Naglutaw (Buding, The Woman Who Floated)
Mark Raymund Garcia
Three individuals report to the police, claiming to have seen Buding, a woman living by the sea, floating on her bed.
Leo falls for the charms of his best friend, Amara, who rejects him as soon as he confesses his love for her. Now, they must meet again because of a mini-reunion their friend Ed and Pascual organized. Will old wounds reopen if they see each other again?