The local film festival’s new tagline “Sine Lokal, Pang-Internasyonal” lives up to its core as the roster of finalists handpicked by Sinag Maynila CEO and Founder Wilson Tieng and world-renowned and internationally acclaimed film director Brillante Ma Mendoza have been announced. “The upgraded mechanics for this season may have been a risky move, but we are very happy with the outcome,” says Tieng. “We are looking forward to the reception of these films here and of course, internationally.”
With the tremendous success of Sinag Maynila’s debut in March 2015, more talented filmmakers took their chance in getting a nod to be part of the competing roster as it has been closely associated with the opportunity for international recognition. This year’s categories include Full Length, Short Film, and Documentary.
FULL LENGTH CATEGORY
1. Kristo by HF Yambao
Cast: Angela Cortez, Julio Diaz, Kristoffer King
Total Running Time: 92 minutes
The film Kristo, digs deep into what is supposed to be a grand day for Boy, whose first born - Jemjem, graduated from elementary school with honors. Throughout the story, bits and pieces of fighting against oppression of losing his main livelihood as a vendor, of fighting for his winnings in a bet to game fowls, fighting for his honor as a family man, and eventually fighting for his own life against fate - all his struggles in life, will finally be revealed. In this "game" we called life, who are the ones who really wins, and who are the ones who really loses?
2. Beyond the Block by Ricardo Carranza
Spanning some fifty years and charting a path across three diverse continents, “Beyond the Block” is an energetic docudrama that weaves a thoughtful and personal account of the evolution of the Hip Hop Dance in the Philippines.
From its humble beginnings at the sensational TV program of “Penthouse 7” in the 70s to the cult classic “Dance 10” in the 80s to the struggles of Filipino contingents in today’s biggest international dance competitions, the film lovingly showcases the special place of dance in every Filipino life. It provides a tapestry of anecdotes, recollections and testimonies that constitute a living history of contemporary Filipino dance indispensable for any serious study on the subject.
3. Ladyfish by Jason Orfalas
Cast: JC Santos, Martin Escudero, Brenda Mage, Ruby Ruiz
Total Running Time: 90 minutes
4. Bhoy Intsik by Joel Lamangan
Cast: RS Francisco, Ronwaldo Martin, Elora Espano, Jim Pebanco, Tony Mabesa, Jeric Raval
Total Running Time: 107 minutes
When the lives of two small-time felons with disparate personalities crossed paths, having a petty mutual disdain for a competitor in their illegal business: BHOY INTSIK and MARLON, the key personalities in the community of the living-dead, must forge a strange alliance in order to survive.
5. Tu Pug Imatuy (The Right To Kill) by Arnel Barbarona
Cast: Malona Sulatan, Jong Monzon, Luis Georlin Banaag III
Set in an indigenous community in the hinterlands of Mindanao, a family goes up to the mountains to grieve and bury its youngest member who died from sickness. But as they make their way back to their village, they were confronted by soldiers and this forced them to turn to their traditional defense called “pangayaw” in order to drive off the abusive soldiers away from their village.
SHORT FILM CATEGORY
1. I Am Jupiter, I am the Biggest Planet by Matthew Victor Pastor
Silence in the red light district of Manila.
2. Ang Langit, Burger at ang Universe by Emmanuel Escalona Jr.
It took burgers and one girl for a man to discover his place in the universe.
3. Aliens Ata by Karl Glenn Barit
Two brothers deal with the sudden loss of their father and an eventual separation from their overseas-Filipino-worker mother. Some things are hard to grasp that's why they look to the sky for answers. Could it be aliens?
4. Ang Hindi Ko Masambit by JoseMaria Javier Manoos
Principal Cast: Angeli Bayani, Raikko Mateo, and Stanley Pantano
A deaf kid who dreams of going to school faces a series of rejection from his mother because of an unprecedented past.
5. Tulay Buhay by Paul Arrenze Dionela
In the streets of Manila, the homeless struggle to live. Some fool others; others don't want to be fooled and some imitate some in order to survive.
1. Hango by Avelino Mark Balmes Jr.
Total Running Time: 9 minutes and 33 seconds
Follows the story of a grandfather and his grandchild who works as fishermen in Bacoor, Cavite.
2. Kupkop by Jaynus Olaivar
Total Running Time: 14 minutes and 4 seconds
The documentary Kupkop, which literally means to “adopt”, revolves around the life of 3 kids with cerebral palsy who were abandoned by their parents due to their condition. They were able to find love and affection from people who may not be their kin, but shows great compassion without any form of compensation.
3. The Recycled Spirits of Roel Cabato by Noah Del Rosario
Total Running Time: 8 minutes and 20 seconds
Meet Roel Cabato: an Ilocano-Ifugao artist and environmentalist from Baguio City, who spends his time creating artworks from whatever he can find in his home/art space called Hanan'chi (Aninito Art Space and Café). His works represent his spiritual connection with the Ifugao culture as well as his advocacy for environmentalism and recycling.
4. Pagrara Sang Patipuron (Weaving a Circle) by Jean Claire Dy, Manuel Domes
Total Running Time: 20 minutes and 24 seconds
Pagrara San Patipuron follows a group of indigenous Aeta women weaving artists in Nagpana, a sitio up in the mountains of Barotac Viejo, Iloilo. The film explores their artistic processes and products, reflecting negotiations between tradition and modernity. With the help of two young artist entrepreneurs in the community, the women were empowered to explore their artistic imagination and extend the limits of the design process in the hope of transcending their present realities.
5. Krudo Boys by Mirielle Frances V. De Lara, Angelica Domingo, Dannieleth Julapong, Maria Agnes Malvar, Bea San Juan, Nathaniel Santiago
Total Running Time: 10 minutes and 25 seconds
Renato together with his brother Alyo, are two of the few men who call themselves "Krudo Boys". They scavenge for spilling crude oils coming from ships in Navatos City using only their worn-out boat and a piece of foam to gather oil and then selling it to the consumers. With this kind of grueling labor, they strive to work hard in order for them to provide food and shelter for their family.
Check the full list of finalists via http://sinagmaynila.com/. The 2017 Sinag Maynila Film Festival will be from March 9 to 14, 2017. Get updates on Sinag Maynila via Facebook.com/SinagMaynila, Twitter and Instagram via @sinagmaynila. Subscribe also to the official Sinag Maynila Youtube Account: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCmZPI6kPKUCsbim9e_qByNQ.
Solar Entertainment Corporation together with renowned director Brillante Mendoza launched this film festival in 2015 that aims to support local independent cinema.
Sinag Maynila was born from the vision of Mr. Wilson Tieng and Direk Brillante Mendoza’s wish to have a festival that not only inspires but educates and enlightens Filipino movie audiences.