The Unreel Guide to the 2018 Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival
Welcome to the Unreel Cinemalaya 2018 Festival Guide! It’s the one-page primer for all-things Cinemalaya, complete with film info, trailers, ticket information, screening schedule and more. Read on for our festival guide.
Cinemalaya, the country’s premier independent film festival, returns for its fourteenth iteration. This year’s lineup showcases feature films from both established and up-and-coming directors. This year also marks the debut of Nespresso’s vertical film festival, a definite first in the festival’s vernacular. The 2018 Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival culminates in a 10-day event, from August 3rd thru 12th, at the Cultural Center of the Philippines and select theaters nationwide.
This year, the theme is “Wings of Vision”—as of press time, Cinemalaya has yet to announce what that theme entails, but along the theme announcement, they’ve unveiled the festival’s key art, which you can see to the right.
Below is Cinemalaya 2018’s official omnibus trailer.
On this festival guide, you’ll find the full list of entries—complete with synopses, film info, and trailers—screening schedules, and other key information as they become available.
If you’re thinking of going, we urge you return to this mega-article in the days leading up to the festival’s culmination—or even better, watch out for regular updates on the festival across our socials.
This year’s roster sprawls an entire spectrum of stories in its Full-length feature category, starring thespic icons like Eddie Garcia (Bwakaw), Dante Rivero (1st Ko Si 3rd), and Celeste Legaspi (Ang Larawan) as well as up-and-coming actors. Similarly, new and established filmmakers compete for the fest’s awards, usually announced later in its run.
In addition to full-length features, Cinemalaya also hosts its staple short categories, chiefly the In-competition short films and the Gawad CCP showcase. New to this year is the Nespresso Vertical Films competition, which will feature vertically shot films. Read more about it here.
Distance (Perci Intalan)
Liza returns to the family that she abandoned five years ago and suddenly everyone is struggling. Struggling to stay civil. Struggling not to reopen old wounds. Struggling to stay together even though a secret from the past will always keep them apart.
Kung Paano Hinihintay Ang Dapithapon (Carlo Catu)
An old unmarried couple broke the monotony of their daily lives when the woman’s estranged husband reached out to them, seeking reconciliation and forgiveness.
Kuya Wes (James Mayo)
Kuya Wes is a timid and earnest remittance clerk who falls for his customer in need, Erika. As Wes helps her from his own pocket, his relationship with his brother degrades, forcing him to change.
Liway (Kip Oebanda)
The true story of a young mother who uses story-telling to protect her child from the reality of growing up in prison and the difficult life she endured.
Mamang (Denise O’Hara)
Mamang is about an old woman’s struggle against the senility of old age so she can be with her only son, Ferdie; however the more she struggles, the more her condition worsens until her memories literally starts coming back and she finds herself reliving a life filled with pain and loss which she must confront again if she wants to stay with her son.
ML (Benedict Mique)
A college student, his girlfriend and bestfriend get more than what they bargained for when they decide to learn about the dark days of Martial Law straight from an old retired soldier who may be one of its worst abusers.
Musmos na Sumibol sa Gubat ng Digma (Iar Arondaing)
A coming-of-age tale set against a backdrop of age-old clan wars, a Muslim girl named Eshal discovers herself as she is torn by both love and violence.
Pan De Salawal (Che Espiritu)
A community near the Manila Railroad gets its dose of miracles from a wandering girl who violently hurts the sick as her magical way of healing them.
School Service (Louie Ignacio)
School Service follows the story of Maya, a young girl taken against her will from the province and placed as a beggar in Manila by a small-time syndicate.
The Lookout (Afi Africa)
The Lookout is a story of love, betrayal, and revenge through the eyes of Lester Quiambao, a gay hired killer who has a score to settle from his past.
SI ASTRI MAKA SI TAMBULAH (Astri and Tambulah)
Directed by Xeph Suarez
Fiction, Drama | PG
A Badjao transwoman is forced to abandon her lover to marry a woman betrothed to her from birth.
YOU, ME, AND MR. WIGGLES Directed by Jav Velasco
Drama, Comedy, Experimental | R-18
An ordinary night becomes filled with emotional landmines as erectile dysfunction challenges a man and his girlfriend on their views on love and relationships.
JODILERKS DELA CRUZ, EMPLOYEE OF THE MONTH
Directed by Carlo Francisco Manatad
Dark Comedy | R-13
Jodilerks has been quietly and diligently working as a gas station attendant for a very long time. Tonight is her final shift and she has decided to sign off in, quite frankly, outrageous fashion.
Directed by Keith Deligero
Dark Comedy, Satire | R-13
Two young girls travel through time to assassinate a barangay dictator to revise history.
Directed by Kani Villaflor
Drama | PG
Living in a society where people limit his world, Bruno decides to take the risk and go for what he wants instead of settling for what people allow him to be.
Directed by Jojo Driz
Drama | R 16
A blind and aging gay man who makes his living washing clothes sees what matters the most in life after losing the man he loves.
SA SAÍYANG ISLÁ (In His Island)
Directed by Christian Candelaria
Drama | GP
A young boy struggling with his identity finds solace in his dream of becoming a mermaid.
SIYUDAD SA BULAWAN (City of Gold)
Directed by Jarell Serencio
Drama | GP
Three young brothers needing cash take a job in the gold mines of Mt. Diwalwal amidst a life-threatening reality.
NANGUNGUPAHAN (Who Rents There Now?)
Directed by Glenn Barit
Drama, Family, Experimental | GP
The interwoven lives of people meet when they occupy a single room of an apartment through different points in time.
Directed by Mika Fabella and Rafael Froilan
Drama, Experimental | GP
A woman’s last few moments of life before crossing over to the afterlife are told through dance.
Gawad CCP Shorts, Exhibition films, and more
The submission of Gawad CCP short films had closed late May this year; Cinemalaya has yet to announce the official lineup of entries. As for exhibition films, no new info has currently unearthed yet.
Nespresso Vertical Film Competition
The Nespresso Vertical Film Competition is “a joint project of the Cultural Center of the Philippines, Cinemalaya Foundation Inc., and Novateur Coffee Concepts Inc., the Nespresso Competition seeks to discover, encourage and honor cinematic works of Filipino filmmakers. The competition is open to all Filipinos, including those residing and working abroad.
“Following the theme “Pagmamalasakit (Empathy),” the video entries should be in vertical format (9:16) and should not exceed three minutes. Entries can be in any language, but must have English subtitles. Entries should be for General Patronage.”
Cinemalaya has yet to release any screening schedule—partial or official—but rest assured we will update this guide with info once it becomes available.
Cinemalaya 2018: Tickets and festival passes
Ticketing information, similarly, has yet to be announced. However, as it usually goes every year, if you’re planning on watching on CCP (and you should, at least if it’s your first time), we urge you to buy tickets ahead of time. There will also be festival passes, we’re assuming, but those will come in limited supply, so you’ll have to be punctual in buying them. We’ll update this information once Cinemalaya makes the announcement.
UPDATE (7/6/18): Cinemalaya has announced the availability of festival passes. Patrons can now reserve the ALL-ACCESS PASS for P3,500 and the FIC PASS (Films-in-Competition) for P2,500 by calling the CCP Box Office. Read our post to learn more.
The Cultural Center of the Philippines have been the homebase for the primed festival for years, and we’re certain it’s going to be the same this year. However, to accommodate more viewers, Cinemalaya partners with select theaters—usually Ayala Malls Cinemas—and microcinema.
If it’s your first time, we urge you to watch in CCP, just to waft the festival culture. It’s fun.
A whole strip of food vendors set up shop around CCP during Cinemalaya. This should give festival goers a good selection of food and snack items. Beyond that, there are food establishments nearby at the Harbour Square.
The easiest commute to CCP would be via the LRT-1. Alight at Vito Cruz station. You’re to turn right at P. Ocampo Street; from there, you have the option to walk (15 minutes), take the jeepney or hail a tricycle. Here’s a GMaps screenshot for your reference.