Cinemalaya 2019: All the Films to Catch in This Year's Film Festival

The Cinemalaya Film Festival turns 15 this year, and with that comes a new set of full-length and short films that every cinephile should look forward to! If you still haven't planned on which films you want to see, now's the time to start doing so! 

Happening this August 2 to 11 at the Cultural Center of the Philippines, the festival will be showcasing 10 full-length and short films which will also be competing for the big awards. In celebration of another milestone in Cinemalaya's book, the entries will also be brought to more screens in the country. From August 7 to 13, both the full-length and short film entries will also be shown in Evia Lifestyle Center, Glorietta, Greenbelt, Market! Market!, UP Town Center, Trinoma, Ayala Malls Legazpi, Abreeza Davao, Capitol Central Bacolod, Vista Cinemas Iloilo, Vista Cinemas Naga, and Vista Cinemas Pampanga.

Photo: Cinemalaya/Facebook

We're giving you a rundown of all the competing and non-competing films this year, so make sure to bookmark this page as you start making your lists on which films you should catch first! 

OPENING FILM

Ang Hupa (The Halt)
Directed by: Lav Diaz

Photo: Ang Hupa/Facebook

Set in 2034, Ang Hupa shows Manila after a flu epidemic and volcanic eruptions cause millions of people to die. A dictator named President Nirvano Navarro rules the nation, and flying drones executes dissidents onsite. The film stars Piolo Pascual, Shaina Magdayao, Joel Lamangan, and Hazel Orencio. 

FULL-LENGTH CATEGORY 

ANi (The Harvest)
Directed by: Kim Zuñiga and Sandro Del Rosario

ANi is a film set in 2050 and follows Mithi, an orphaned boy who lives with his grandfather Mauricio. When he falls ill, Mithi then goes on a quest with his malfunctioning robot to search for magical grains that could save his grandfather's life. The film stars Zyren Dela Cruz, Ricky Davao, Miguel Valdes, Marc Felix, Anna Luna, and more. 

The film is also said to be the first Filipino film to use a CGI character as its main lead. 

Belle Douleur (Beautiful Pain)
Directed by: Joji V. Alonso 

Belle Douleur stars Kit Thompson and Mylene Dizon in a story about a woman finding happiness while she tries to move away from the walls that the society has created on women. The film is directed by Joji Alonso, and will also be starring Marlon Rivera, Jenny Jamora, and Hannah Ledesma. 

Annak Ti Karayan (Children of the River)
Directed by: Maricel Cariaga

Set in a village by the river, Annak Ti Karayan is about Elias, Agol, Pepsy, and Robin, a group of friends who lives a quiet and innocent life in their village. However, when an outsider named Ted takes a vacation in their community, the arrival triggers a change in Elias, leaving him confused and seeking comfort from his friends. 

The film stars Noel Comia, Jr., Ricky Oriarte, Dave Justin Francis, Junyka Santarin, JR Custodio, and more.

Edward
Directed by: Thop Nazareno

Edward centers on a young boy who is stuck in a public hospital to take care of his sick father. The boy then treats the hospital grounds as his playground, without knowing that it can be his source of liberation in the end. It stars Louise Abuel, Dido dela Paz, Elijah Canlas, Manuel Chua, and Ella Cruz

Fucc Bois
Directed by: Eduardo Roy Jr. 

Fucc Bois stars Royce Cabrera and Kokoy De  Santos as Ace and Miko, two people who want to become famous actors. The Universe, however, has different plans for both of them. 

Iska
Directed by: Theodore Boborol 

Iska is a film by Theodore Boborol centered on a loving grandmother who struggles to singlehandedly raise her grandson with autism. The film stars Ruby Ruiz, Soliman Cruz, Pryle Gura, Ricky Rivero, Jonic Magno, and more. 

John Denver Trending
Directed by: Arden Rod Condez

John Denver Trending follows a 14-year-old farm boy whose life changes when a video of him attacking his classmate went viral. It stars Jansen Magpusao, Meryll Soriano, Glenn Mas, Sammy Rubido, Vince Philip Alege, and more. 

Malamaya (The Color of Ash)
Directed by: Danica Sta. Lucia and Leilani Chavez

In Malamaya, a pessimistic middle-aged artist finds spark and inspiration from a young photographer who helps her on her creative and sexual awakening. Enzo Pineda, Sunshine Cruz, Raymond Bagatsing, and Bernadette Allyson stars in this film by Danica Sta. Lucia and Leilani Chavez. 

Pandanggo sa Hukay
Directed by: Sheryl Rose Andes

Pandanggo sa Hukay tells the story of Elena, a midwife in her 30s who aims for a greener future for her family. As she was preparing for her application process to go to Saudi Arabia, she finds herself in the middle of a series of unfortunate events, and she must dance her way out of it "the pandanggo way". The film is led by Iza Calzado, who will also be joined Ybes Bagadiong, Acey Aguilar, Diva Montelaba, Charlie Dizon, and more. 

Tabon
Directed by: Xian Lim

Directed by Xian Lim, Tabon is about a man whose beliefs on reality are tested when people are accused of a crime they believe to not have committed. The film stars Christopher Roxas, Ynna Asistio, Dexter Doria, Bapbap Reyes, Menggie Cobarrubias, Leon Miguel, Benjie Felipe, and more. 

SHORT FILM CATEGORY

Posters taken from Cinemalaya's Official Facebook Page
  • 'Wag Mo 'Kong Kausapin (Please Stop Talking') by Josef Dielle Gacutan
  • Disconnection Notice by Glenn Lowell Averia
  • Gatilyo (Trigger) by Harold Lance Pialda
  • Heist School by Julius Renomeron, Jr. 
  • Hele ng Maharlika (Lullaby of the Free) by Norvin de los Santos 
  • Kontrolado ni Girly and Buhay N'ya (Girly is in Control of His Life) by Gilb Baldoza
  • Sa Among Agwat (In Between Spaces) by Don Senoc
  • Sa Gabing Tanging Liwanag ay Paniniwala (Belief as the Light in Darkness) by Francis Amir Guillermo
  • Tembong (Connecting) by Saira Advincula
  • The Shoemaker by Sheron Dayoc 

VISIONS OF ASIA

  • Lying to Mom by Katsumi Nojiri (Japan)
  • Still Human by Oliver Siu Kuen Chan (Hong Kong)
  • The Third Wife by Ash Mayfair (Vietnam)
  • Kejal by Nima Yar (Iran)
  • Sweet Requiem by Tenzing Sonam, Ritu Sarin (Tibet)

FESTIVALS' BEST

  • Kung Paano Hinihintay ang Dapithapon by Carlo Encisu Catu
  • Liway by Kip Oebanda
  • Pailalim by Daniel Palacio
  • Akin ang Korona by Zig Dulay
  • Oda Sa Wala by Dwein Baltazar
  • Hintayan ng Langit by Dan Villegas
  • Tanabata's Wife by Charlson L. Ong, Choy Pangilinan
  • Sol Searching by Roman Perez, Jr.
  • Paglisan by Carl Joseph Papa
  • Mamu; And a Mother too by Rod Singh
  • Rainbow's Sunset by Joel Lamangan
  • Signal Rock by Chito S. Roño

TOKYO DOCS

  • My Little Dancing Shoes by Bryan Kristoffer Brazil 
  • Sunday Cinderella by Baby Ruth Villarama
  • Daughter's Courage by Khashem Gyal
  • Cycling Tahmina 

EXHIBITION FILMS

Indie-nation

  • Dog Days by Timmy Harn
  • Fisting (Never Tear Us Apart) by Whammy Alcazaren 
  • Never Not Love You by Antoinette Jadaone
  • Bamboo Dogs by Khavn Dela Cruz

Digital Classics

  • Bad Bananas sa Puting Tabing (Remastered) by Peque Gallaga

CLOSING FILM

Mina Anud
Directed by: Kerwin Go 

A film which stars Matteo Guidicelli, Dennis Trillo, and Jerald Napoles, Mina Anud follows two local surfers who must decide if having a good future is worth risking their family and freedom for. 

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The 15th Cinemalaya Film Festival will be running from August 2 to 13 at the CCP and in selected cinemas nationwide. Festival passes are now available at the CCP Box Office. 

You may check out Cinemalaya's official website and Facebook page for more information. 

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