Exploring identity in CineFilipino

MANILA, Philippines - The CineFilipino 2013 Film Festival is set to feature a diversity of films guided by the broad theme of Filipino identity and culture.

The festival promises a lineup of "stories worth watching and movies worth celebrating" (to quote its website), to be screened at Gateway Cineplex and Ali Mall Cinemas.

Entries were gathered last year, and 8 outstanding works were chosen for the feature-length category. The finalists each received a P1.5 million grant for their respective productions.

The top 3 feature-length films will each receive P500,000, P300,000, and P200,000, and the 3 best short films from the 10 selected in this category will be given P100,000, P75,000, and P50,000.

The festival, originally scheduled for June 26, has been moved to September 18 to September 24 at Resorts World Manila, and Lucky Chinatown. For September 21 and 22, the festival we be shown in Edsa Shangri-La Cineplex.

For the full schedule, visit the CineFilipino page.

Here are the films for the Feature-Length Film category

"Mga Alaala ng Tag-ulan" by Ato Bautista

"Artista Academy" finalist Akihiro Blanco and singer-dancer Mocha Uson play devastated young lovers in a coming-of-age story unfolding in episodic fashion. Bautista's other credits are "Blackout" in 2007 and "Carnivore," for which he won Best Direction in Cinemanila 2008. 

MGA ALAALA NG TAG-ULAN. Young love during a period of rain. Photo from the Mga Alaala ng Tag-ulan Facebook page

MGA ALAALA NG TAG-ULAN. Young love during a period of rain.

Photo from the Mga Alaala ng Tag-ulan Facebook page

"Bingoleras" by Byron 'Ron' Bryant

This film starring Mercedes Cabral, Eula Valdez, Charee Pineda, Max Eigenmann and Liza Diño is a comedy about a decisive encounter among a group of single women in a bingo marathon.

Director Bryant also has to his credit a full-length documentary on "The Cinema of Celso Ad. Castillo," with whom he had worked.

BINGOLERAS. Six intersecting lives in one bingo game. Photo from Liza Diu00f1o's Facebook page

BINGOLERAS. Six intersecting lives in one bingo game.

Photo from Liza Diu00f1o's Facebook page

"Puti" by Miguel 'Mike' Alcazaren

"The truth is colorblind," proposes the trailer for Alcazaren's psychological thriller starring Ian Veneracion, Jasmine Curtis-Smith and Lauren Young. The film tells the story of a counterfeit painter who is left colorblind after a freak car accident. Alcazaren, a freelance television and commercial director, is a recipient of the 2007 Carlos Palanca Award for Literature. 

Watch the trailer here:

"The Guerilla is a Poet" by Sari Raissa Dalena and Kiri Dalena

This martial law-era film by Sari and Kiri Dalena (daughters of renowned painter Danilo Dalena) portrays an activist's 9 years of detention leading to his rebirth as a poet. Among the film's stars are industry veterans Raymond Bagatsing and Lui Quiambao Manansala.

Kiri Dalena is a CCP Thirteen Artists awardee. Sari Dalena won Best Director for her 2012 Cinema One Originals film "Ka Oryang." 

Watch the trailer here:


"Ang Huling Cha-Cha ni Anita"  by Sigrid Andrea Bernardo

Bernardo's coming-of-age film tells the tale of a girl whose childhood crush on a woman grows years later during the Fiesta of Santa Clara in Obando, Bulacan. The film stars Angel Aquino, Lui Quiambao Manansala, Jay Bordon and Teri Malvar.

Watch the trailer here:

"The Muses" by Janice Perez

This film stars real-life musician Kitchie Nadal as she stumbles along the highs and lows of fame in the context of sibling rivalry. 

Watch the trailer here:

"Ang Kuwento ni Mabuti" by Ramon 'Mes' De Guzman

Moral questions arise in Mes de Guzman's film about an impoverished faith healer who finds a bag containing a huge amount of money. Starring the great Nora Aunor. De Guzman has won several Palanca awards for screenwriting.

Watch the trailer here:

"Ang Turkey Man ay Pabo Rin" by Randolph Longjas

Randolph Longjas' experimental comedy features the cultural differences between a Filipino-American couple. The filmmakers call the film "a celebration of the Filipino experience from a foreigner's perspective, and, simultaneously, the realization of the American dream through a Filipino's eyes."

Watch the trailer here: