Film Festivals

Cinemalaya 2013


Now on its 9th year, Cinemalaya 2013 will run from July 26 to August 4, 2013 in CCP theaters, Trinoma, Greenbelt, and Alabang Town Center Cinemas.




Director: Cesar Evangelista
Cast: Althea Vega, Markki Stroem, Adrian Sebastian, and Ama Quiambao. Also starring: Mico Palanca, Kuya Manzano, Amante Pulido.

Set in 16th century, “Amor Y Muerte” (means “love and death”) is an examination of the initial encounter between the Indios (natives) and their colonizers (Spaniards) and their conflicting views on love, passion, religion, and sexuality. WATCH THE TRAILER


Director: Gil Portes
Cast: Alessandra de Rossi, Jan Harley Hicana, John Michael Bonapos, Cris Villanueva, Richard Quan, Jim Rocky Tangco, Sue Prado, Dax Alejandro, and Arnold Reyes

Based on a real-life sports scandal, “LIARS” traces the incredible rise and the humiliating fall of a humble Filipino baseball team of young boys in an international baseball competition in 1990s. WATCH THE TRAILER


Writer & Director: Jerrold Tarog
Cast: Paulo Avelino, Lovi Poe, Benjamin Alves, Ria Garcia, and TJ Trinidad

Sana Dati is a love story about a woman whose wedding is thrown into disarray when a mysterious person arrives and reminds her of the man she really loves. WATCH THE TRAILER


Director: Adolfo Alix Jr.
Cast: Angel Aquino, Carlo Aquino, Rosanna Roces, and Yul Servo

Porno is a powerful story about individuals linked by pornography. Three souls, one explicit illusion. To find the ultimate joy in their empty lives. A safe haven, where passion and love mean humanity, ecstasy means enlightenment; and the soul is the ultimate arbiter of the truth. WATCH THE TRAILER


Director: Jeffrey Jeturian
Cast: Vilma Santos, Marlon Rivera, Vincent de Jesus, Ruby Ruiz, Tart Carlo

A socio-realist drama-comedy film, which follows a seemingly usual day in the life of LOIDA MALABANAN as she embarks on yet another shooting day of a soap opera as an extra. As the shoot goes on, we get a glimpse of the truth in the ruling system of the production as well as the exploitation on the marginalized laborers like her. WATCH THE TRAILER




Writer & Director: Christopher Ad Castillo
Cast: Gretchen Barretto, Art Acuña, Mon Confiado, Joel Torre, Nico Antonio, Chanel Latorre, Abe Pagtama, Sarah Gaugler

A disgraced reporter seeks redemption by leading his documentary crew to spend one night and tell the story of what really happened at the haunted and infamous The Diplomat Hotel (Baguio City). WATCH THE TRAILER


Writer & Director: Hannah Espia
Cast: Ping Medina, Irma Adlawan, Mercedes Cabral, Marc Justine Alvarez, Jasmine Curtis-Smith

Transit begins and ends in an airport during a father and son’s transit flight from Tel Aviv to Manila.  It tells the story of Moises, a Filipino single-dad working as a caregiver in Herzliya, Israel, who comes home to his son Joshua’s 4th birthday.  It was on that day that Moises, together with their Filipino neighbors, Janet and her daughter Yael, find out that the Israeli government is going to deport children of foreign workers.  Afraid of the new law, Moises and Janet decide to hide their children from the immigration police by making them stay inside the house. WATCH THE TRAILER


Writer & Director: Joseph Israel Laban
Cast: Nadine Samonte, Jake Cuenca, Anita Linda, Manny Castañeda, Mikael Liwag, Barbara Miguel

Inspired by the actual story of one of the youngest mothers in Philippine history, “Nuwebe” follows the story of Krista who at the tender age of 9 got pregnant from the sexual abuse perpetrated by her own father… Her story is complex. Krista refuses to see herself as a victim. With an almost documentary style, “Siyam” follows Krista’s story as she demonstrates a level of resilience uncommon to her age.  Her mother on the other hand is torn between her love for her child and her love for her husband. WATCH THE TRAILER


Director: Mikhail Red
Cast: Ronnie Quizon, Suzette Ranillo, Earl Ignacio, Abe Pagtama, Mike Lloren, Joe Gruta, Belinda Mariano

Rekorder tells the story of a former 1980’s film cameraman who now currently works as a movie pirate operating in present day Manila. He routinely smuggles a digital camcorder into movie theaters in order to illegally record films. One night he records something else… And the footage goes viral. WATCH THE TRAILER


Director: Jason Paul Laxamana
Cast: Alex Vincent Medina, Joey Paras, Alma Concepcion

An internet scammer falls in love with a rich old maid while trying to swindle her using a fake Facebook profile. WATCH THE TRAILER


Director: Eduardo Roy, Jr.
Cast: Mimi Juareza, Junjun Quintana, Miggs Cuaderno, Natashia Yumi, Felipe Martinez, John Relucio, Giggle Esmeralda, Francine Garcia, Rolando Inocencio

Dorina believes she is a lady incarcerated inside a male body. She’s got herself a flourishing career, albeit in an illegal cosmetic surgery business. She is a mother figure to Hero, her eight year old nephew. She acts as a devoted wife to Uno. Between her job and her family, Dorina feels that she is one lucky woman. Until Uno falls in love with another tranny. WATCH THE TRAILER


Director: Carlo Obispo
Cast: Krystel Valentino, Miggs Cuaderno, Arnold Reyes, Angeli Bayani, Jean Judith Javier, Carlon Matobato, Olive Nieto, Karen Haniel, Max Celada, Aaron Ching, Sheenly Gener, Julian Trono

A countryside dramedy (drama-comedy) that follows 14-year-old Diana and her younger brother who live by themselves after their mother went abroad and their father lived with another woman. Set in a remote purok, where people display positive outlook in life despite daily struggles, the film features the light side of country lifestyle as the main characters take advantage of the fun and thrills of the town festival to take hold of their sweet childhood. WATCH THE TRAILER


Director: Emmanuel Quindo Palo
Cast: Eula Valdes, Sid Lucero, Quester Hannah, Art Acuña, Anita Linda, Shamaine Centenera-Buencamino, Mitch Valdez, Rocky Salumbides, Jess Mendoza, Will Devaughn, Mariella Castillo, Dax Martin

David F is written as a triptych with 3 short stories hinged together by the story of David Fagan, a real life historical character in the early 1900’s. The film is a fictionalized account of an African-American soldier, David F, who defected to the Filipino revolutionaries during the Filipino-American war. WATCH THE TRAILER


Director: Alvin Yapan
Cast: Paulo Avelino, Mara Lopez, Ramona Rañeses, Roy Dominguiano

Mando, a Bicolano devotee of Ina, Virgin of Peñafrancia, injures himself. He will be nursed back to health by a mysterious woman, Salome, living at the foot of Mount Mayon. They will fall in love with each other. Salome holds a secret that will devastate Mando’s love for her; while Mando relies on his devotion to the Virgin of Peñafrancia to lift a curse that involves his life. WATCH THE TRAILER


Director: Leo Abaya
Cast: Eugene Domingo, Rico J. Puno, Luis Alandy, Shamaine Centenera-Buencamino, Tuesday Vargas, Matt Evans, Jojit Lorenzo, Nicco Manalo, Yuki Matsuzaki

Story of a summer’s journey of Bechayda amidst a highly visualized world where the video screen reigns supreme. Bechayda is a wardrobe mistress in TV commercials who pretends to be pregnant to keep her Japanese fiance. WATCH THE TRAILER



Click here for the screening schedule on all cinemas.

Film Festivals

Eiga Sai 2013

Japanese Film Festival Eiga Sai 2013 runs from July 4-14 at Cinema 2 of Shang Cineplex, Shangri-La Plaza. Admission is free. Seats are on a first come, first served basis.

About Her Brother (2010)
“Otôto” (original title) | Drama
Director: Yôji Yamada
Stars: Ryo Kase, Yû Aoi, Yuriko Ishida

Ginko seems to be living the good life: She’s the respectable owner of a neighborhood drug store in Tokyo, and her daughter Koharu is about to get married to a doctor. However, Koharu’s wedding day also brings homes Ginko’s younger brother Tetsuro, a failed actor and a hard drinker who shows up causing trouble. Having covered for him all her life, Ginko is ready to disown her burdensome younger brother, but some things are easier said than done.


Confessions (2010)
“Kokuhaku” (original title) | Thriller
Director: Tetsuya Nakashima
Stars: Takako Matsu, Yoshino Kimura, Masaki Okada

High school teacher Moriguchi Yuko came up with a twisty master plan to avenge the death of her daughter whom she believes was murdered by two students in her class.


Dear Doctor (2009)
“Dia dokutâ” (original title) | Drama
Director: Miwa Nishikawa
Stars: Tsurube Shôfukutei, Eita, Teruyuki Kagawa

After examining widow Kazuko, Ino learns she has a terminal condition. Kazuko asks him to lie about her illness, but before long, he mysteriously disappears.


Rinco’s Restaurant (2010)
“Shokudo katatsumuri” (original title) | Drama
Director: Mai Tominaga
Stars: Kyôko Enami, Hikari Mitsushima, Tomokazu Miura

After a bad breakup, a young woman leaves the big city and returns to her hometown and opens a menuless restaurant.


Always – Sunset on Third Street (2005)
“Always san-chôme no yûhi” (original title) | Drama, Family
Director: Takashi Yamazaki
Stars: Maki Horikita, Hidetaka Yoshioka, Shin’ichi Tsutsumi

Tells the interweaving stories of community residents at the time the famous Tokyo Tower was being constructed.


Parade (2009)
“Parêdo” (original title) | Drama
Director: Isao Yukisada
Stars: Tatsuya Fujiwara, Karina, Shihori Kanjiya, Kento Hayashi

Four youths share a two bedroom apartment in a corner of Tokyo. A series of assault cases occur in the same district. Eighteen year old Satoru, a male prostitute, joins them as a new house mate. Their daily life slowly starts to change.


Kamui (2009)
“Kamui gaiden” (original title) | Action, Drama
Director: Yôichi Sai
Stars: Ken’ichi Matsuyama, Koyuki, Kaoru Kobayashi

A live action period film that portrays the fierce escape of the young Kamui from the Ninja world, hoping to find his own freedom.

Castle Under Fiery Skies

Castle Under Fiery Skies (2009)
“Katen no shiro” (original title) | Drama, History
Director: Mitsutoshi Tanaka
Stars: Toshiyuki Nishida, Shôzô Endô, Saki Fukuda

Takes place in 1575 Feudal Japan, the film depicts how Oda Nobunaga’s forces defeated Takeda Katsuyori when the Nagashino Castle was besieged. Years after, Oda Nobunada builds a lavish new castle to symbolize his unification of various factions.

mai mai miracle

Mai Mai Miracle (2009)
“Maimai Shinko to sennen no mahô” (original title) | Animation
Director: Sunao Katabuchi
Stars: Mayuko Fukuda, Manami Honjô, Jenya

Inspired by her grandfather’s stories, young Shinko embarks on wild flights of fancy about the history of the little town she lives in. But dreams can’t fend off the realities of growing up.


Japan, Our Homeland (2007)
“Furusato Japan” (original title) | Animation, Drama, History
Director: Akio Nishizawa
Stars: Sayaka Hanamura, Maika Kawaguchi, Subaru Kimura

The 31st year of the Showa Era (1956) marked the tenth year since Japan’s defeat in World War II. It was when Japan took its first step out of post-war poverty to rejoin the international community. In old downtown Tokyo, a teacher and her students try to pass down Doyo (Japanese traditional children’s songs) as the root of Japanese cultural identity to the future generations.


Screening Schedule (Shang Cineplex Cinema 2)

July 4, 2013 (Thursday)

1:30pm – ALWAYS-Sunset on Third Street
4:30pm – Castle under fiery skies
7:30pm – Confessions

July 5, 2013 (Friday)

1:30pm – ALWAYS -Sunset on Third Street- 2
4:30pm – Rinco’s Restaurant
7:30pm – Parade

July 6, 2013 (Saturday)

1:30pm – Mai Mai Miracle
4:30pm – ALWAYS -Sunset on Third Street- 3
7:30pm – About Her Brother

July 7, 2013 (Sunday)

1:30pm – Furusato -Japan
4:30pm – Dear Doctor
7:30pm – Rinco’s Restaurant

July 8, 2013 (Monday)

1:30pm – Castle under fiery skies
4:30pm – Confessions
7:30pm – KAMUI

July 9, 2013 (Tuesday)

1:30pm – Mai Mai Miracle
4:30pm –  ALWAYS-Sunset on Third Street-
7:30pm – Parade

July 10, 2013 (Wednesday)

1:30pm – Furusato -Japan
4:30pm – About Her Brother
7:30pm – ALWAYS -Sunset on Third Street- 2

July 11, 2013 (Thursday)

1:30pm – ALWAYS -Sunset on Third Street- 3
4:30pm – Rinco’s Restaurant
7:30pm – Confessions

July 12, 2013 (Friday)

1:30pm – Castle under fiery skies
4:30pm – Parade
7:30pm – Dear Doctor

July 13, 2013 (Saturday)

1:30pm – Mai Mai Miracle
4:30pm – ALWAYS -Sunset on Third Street- 2
7:30pm – KAMUI

July 14, 2013 (Sunday)

1:30pm – ALWAYS-Sunset on Third Street
4:30pm – Rinco’s Restaurant
7:30pm – ALWAYS -Sunset on Third Street- 3

Film Festivals

18th French Film Festival


The season for French cinema in the Philippines has arrived!

Presented by the Embassy of France to the Philippines, the Alliance française de Manille and Institut Français, under the French cultural program, FrancoPhil, the annual French Film Festival opens to the public from June 7 to 9, 2013 at the Greenbelt 3 cinemas in Makati City. Read more.


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Film Festivals

Cinemalaya 2012 Short Feature Category

Ang Paghihintay sa Bulong

Director: Sigrid Andrea P. Bernardo

It is in the culture of the Filipinos that when a person dies, you can whisper and send your wishes to the dead.  The film is about a family who happens to take care of their ailing mother / grandmother. They see this as a burden in their lives and they wait for her death so they could whisper their wishes. WATCH TRAILER

As He Sleeps (Mientras Su Durmida)

Director: Sheron Dayoc

In sickness and in health, should marriage really be an unconditional partnership that should never be broken? Christina, in her 30’s, is married to Hector, a husband who’s paralyzed and therefore physically incompetent to consummate their marriage. She wants to liberate herself from a sexless union. Her needs as a woman are unfulfilled. But her love for Hector, and her commitment to him coupled with the dictates of her faith and marital vows, and her sympathy and care for her husband keeps her in “cage of marriage,” where she suffers in melancholic solitude, yet contemplates on freedom and rediscovering her true worth. WATCH TRAILER

Balintuna (Irony)

Director: Emmanuel Escalona Jr.

Two young boys who have met by fate are bound by the irony of their lives. Can two different people share the same story? And can each of them find his own escape? WATCH TRAILER

Bohe Son of the Waves

Director: Nadjouna Bansil

Sama Palau or commonly known as “Badjaos”, are the second Sea Gypsies in the world. They hail from the Southern parts of the Philippines to escape from conflicts and constant abuse from the pirates and ordinary folks. They find an island of hope called “Malitam Island”, a tiny patch of land in Southern Luzon. A new place for them to settle and keep. In this Island, five Badjao boys (Harun, Rasul, Manel, Jamil and Wahab) learn the value of mangroves so they plan to save their island from sinking due to harsh weather and other man-made causes. While they lack the money to buy the needed seedling, they decide to steel them at the sanctuary. Little did they know what they are about to lose. Will these seedlings become their tree of hope or will this hope drown their dreams for a stable home far from people who drove them away. The hope of these young sea gypsies will be the frustration of their elders. WATCH TRAILER

Manenaya (Waiting)

Director: Richard Legaspi

Manenaya is a story of a determined woman and her journey through life under the backdrop of the various landscapes of Pampanga. She brings with her a wooden casket for her husband, a victim of political killings. The film is a journey in search for truth and personal triumph through the challenges of life. WATCH TRAILER


Director: Mario Celada

You may look at it like:  “It is about a woman in a jeepney who keeps on babbling – sharing her ideals and personal issues – as if you are listening to a live commentary and an audio diary at the same time” OR “The passenger(s), the driver, the 10 Commandments, the window, the high tech lifestyle and the high tech love life, the rumors, the government, the reality TV shows, Death, the family…” WATCH TRAILER


Director: Hannah Espia

A drunk, cynical man is playing a coin toss game at the local town carnival. On his way home, he finds an engagement ring lying on the ground. He picks it up and considers himself lucky for getting something so expensive for free.  What he will never know is that it took two people’s misfortunes to pay the price of his day’s luck. WATCH TRAILER

Sarong Adlaw

Director: Marianito Dio Jr.

Mag-amang magsasaka sa isang liblib na lugar sa Kabikulan ang binubuno ang bawat araw.  Yumao ang asawa ng matandang magsasaka nang ipanganak ang kanilang panganay. Manunulat at makata ang nanay at namana ng lalaking anak ang hilig at ibig sa pagsususulat.  Dahil hikahos sa buhay at naiipit sa kapanglawan ng ama, ninais ng anak na ituloy ang pagsusulat, pag-aaral at paghahanap ng pag-asa sa Maynila. Kaya isang araw ay nagpaalam siya sa ama. Bagaman bakas ang pagtutol at pagkadismaya sa desisyon ng anak, sa huli ay sasang-ayon ang matandang magsasaka. WATCH TRAILER

Ulian (Senility)

Director: Chuck Gutierrez

Ulian centers on young Dayang and her Grandmother in their journey of self‐discoveries in unexpected circumstances. Together they explore each other’s consciousness to realize the most important thing about growing old and growing up. WATCH TRAILER


Director: Jarell M. Serencio

Life is a big show. For ten long years, Victor, a native in San Pedro Cutud,San Fernando, Pampanga, religiously offers himself to be nailed on the cross every Holy Week. Likeother people, this has been his long time “panata” for he believes that God will forgive him for all hissins and grant all his petitions after crucifying himself on the cross. But this film will show you theglaring realities of faith and beliefs and how Filipinos and foreigners embrace the tradition of “SemanaSanta” (holy week) as an attraction to this town. This film will leave you with questions on your own faith as well as Victor’s belief. Is he doing a divine sacrifice? Or it’s just part of his life’s big show? WATCH TRAILER

Screening Schedule

Cinemalaya 2012 New Breed (Full-Length) Category

Cinemalaya 2012 Directors Showcase

Film Festivals

Cinemalaya 2012 Directors Showcase


Director: Jun Robles Lana

Cast : Eddie Garcia, Rez Cortez, Soliman Cruz, Bibeth Orteza, Joey Paras, Alan Paule, Beverly Salviejo, Soxie Topacio, Luz Valdez, Gardo Versoza, Ms. Armida Siguion-Reyna

Bwakaw is a drama-comedy about growing old, and everyone’s fear of growing old alone. Rene is a gay man who came out of the closet at age 70. Ailing in his twilight years, he thinks it is now too late for love, even companionship, and that all there is to look forward to is Death.  The only companion Rene has is Bwakaw, a stray dog that hangs around his house and follows him wherever he goes. As Rene waits for the day of his death, he gets the surprise of his life when it is Bwakaw who suddenly falls ill and is diagnosed with cancer. WATCH TRAILER


Director: Adolfo B. Alix Jr.

Cast: Ananda Everingham, Zanjoe Marudo, Luis Alandy, Rocky Salumbides, Kiki Sugino, Angeli Bayani

Julian, a Filipino soldier stationed in Kota Island, is ready to leave Kalayaan. He already completed his three months of service. News of a pending coup d’ etat in Manila orders him to stay in the island until further notice. With nothing much to do, he spends his waiting hours walking by the beachfront, cleaning his rifle, watching porn, listening to songs on his old radio to overcome boredom and loneliness. He also has to contend with ‘someone’ seemingly watching him. Not until his officer from the main island sends the loud mouth Lucio and the newbie Eric to station with him on the island. WATCH TRAILER

Kamera Obskura

Director: Raymond Red

Cast: Pen Medina, Joel Torre, Nanding Josef, Abe Pagtama, Irene Gabriel, Ping Medina, Suzette Ranillo, Lou Veloso, Archie Adamos, Mads Nicolas, Sue Prado

The film’s concept adheres to formalist cinema, where the filmmaker’s thesis is to make a semblance of a vintage film seemingly produced sometime in the late 1920s to early 1930s in the Philippines. The thesis is to conjure up a film from a period that did not really exist in Philippine cinema’s historical cultural heritage as we know it, such as a pseudo-expressionist / experimental Filipino cinema of the silent film era. It is a film within a film. The narrative plays with the idea of a retro-futurist world where a prisoner locked away in a dark chamber for over two decades only sees the reality of the world outside through the small hole in his cell, which projects an image of the city on his wall, the phenomenon of the “camera obscura”. WATCH TRAILER

Mumunting Lihim (Those Little Secrets)

Director: Jose Javier Reyes

Cast: Iza Calzado, Agot Isidro, Janice de Belen, Judy Ann Santos

The death of Mariel was met with such hurt by her three closest friends.  But it was her best friend, Carla that she leaves a most special gift, a box full of her diaries through the years. Their two other girl friends, Sandra and Olive formed the quartet who would get together ever so often and served as a mutual support system.  Despite warnings from Sandra and Olive not to read the diaries left behind by Mariel, Carla could not help herself  to find out what was written on those volumes of handwritten materials.  True enough, what she discovered completely shattered all her perceptions and beliefs of the friendship shared by the four women through the years. WATCH TRAILER

Posas (Shackled)

Director: Lawrence Fajardo

Cast: Nico Antonio, Bangs Garcia, John Lapus, Art Acuña, Nor Domingo, Jake Macapagal, Wendy Valdez, Susan Africa, Philip Nolasco

Corruption is a process.  Jestoni “Jess” Biag, early 20s, is a notorious snatcher victimizing people in bustling streets around Quiapo Church.  As a routine, he steals wallets, gadgets and jewelries, which he will trade for a meager amount of peso—enough for him to survive and to support his family.  Today, Jess will be captured by the police for snatching a cellphone of a call center agent, Ma. Grace Rosuello (Bangs Garcia).  It’s his first time to undergo investigation.  And as he goes in the process from Barangay Hall Clinic, Police Station to the Fiscal’s Office, we will witness how human rights violation bluntly executes, and how culture of corruption deviously perpetuates in this chain of institutions. WATCH TRAILER

Screening Schedule

Cinemalaya 2012 New Breed (Full-Length) Category

Cinemalaya 2012 Short Feature Category