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Here's how you can watch the films of Cinemalaya 2021

By Kara Santos Published Aug 10, 2021 4:03 pm Updated Aug 11, 2021 11:59 am

Looking for something new to watch this ECQ Season 3? Enjoy the magic of indie moviemaking right at home with this year's Cinemalaya selections.

The 17th Philippine Independent Film Festival is currently streaming online via the platform from August 6 to September 5, 2021. This year puts a spotlight on the short film genre and marks the second online edition of the film festival due to pandemic-related restrictions.

The short films will be grouped into two sets, with each set priced at P150 each. Ticket prices will be on a pay-per-view basis. A few selections are also available for free via

There are 13 main short film entries competing for the Balanghai awards this year.  

Aside from the 13 competing films, the country's biggest independent film festival will be streaming a variety of award-winning documentary films selected by acclaimed film director and screenwriter Dr. Clodualdo “Doy” Del Mundo, Asian indie films, and more.

Four never-before-seen films directed by award-winning Filipino directors will also premiere at the film festival including family drama Highest Peak by director Arnel Barbarona, drama He Who Is Without Sin by director Jason Paul Laxamana, noir film Love and Pain In Between Refrains by director Joselito Altarejos, and social monologue Tao Po by Mae Paner aka Juana Change. Premieres are priced at P250 per title. 

Five award-winning Asian indie films will also be showcased in the Visions of Asia section, namely A Dark, Dark Man by Adilkhan Yerzhanov (Kazakhstan), Bandar Band by Manijeh Hekmat (Iran), Jazz Kissa Basie: Swifty’s Ballad by Tetsuya Hoshino (Japan), Mosul My Home by Adalet R. Garmiany (Iraq) and Sthalpuran (Chronicle of Space) by Akshay Indikar (India).

The Cinemalaya retrospective brings back six  award-winning films of 2020, namely Tokwifi by Carla Pulido-Ocampo, Living Things by Martika Ramirez Escobar, Pabasa Kan Pasyon by Hubert Tibi, Ang Pagpakalma sa Unos by Joanna Vasquez Arong, Quing Lalam Ning Aldo by Reeden Fajardo, and Excuse Me Miss, Miss, Miss by Sonny Calvento.

Meanwhile, the festival’s Indie Nation section features four full-length feature films: Lockdown by Joel Lamangan, Kintsugi by Lawrence Fajardo, Don Filipo by Tim Muñoz, and ECQ DIARY (Bawal Lumabas) by Arlyn Dela Cruz Bernal.

Cinema Under the Stars

Aside from enjoying the films from the comforts of your home, this year, Cinemalaya has come up with another creative way for people to enjoy watching independent films while safely observing social distancing. 

The film festival is also holding "Cinema Under the Stars," an outdoor screening of select films at the CCP Grounds. The special outdoor screening will be held from September 2 to 4, 2021 at 4:00 PM, 7:00 PM, and 9:00 PM at the Liwasang Ulalim, CCP Complex in Manila. Tickets will be priced for only P250 per section, with payment via KTX.

How to buy tickets for Cinemalaya 2021?

STEP 1: Go to

STEP 2: Create an account or log on to your existing account at KTX.PH.

STEP 3: Go to “Find your next KTXperience” and click CINEMALAYA 2021.

STEP 4: Choose your preferred film and schedule. You can find the full festival schedule here.

STEP 5: Fill out all required payment details. You can pay using credit cards, online banking, over-the-counter local banks and non-local banks (via Dragon Pay), and e-wallets such as GCash, GrabPay, ECPAY and PayMaya.

STEP 6: Once done, you will receive an email with an e-receipt and link to watch the films you’ve purchased.

(Images via Cinemalaya)