COMING-of-age thriller "Birdshot" will open the 13th Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival on August 4, at the CCP Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo (Main Theater). The opening film will be screened at 7 p.m., following the opening rites at 6 p.m.
“Birdshot” tells the story of a young farm girl who wanders off into a Philippine forest reserve. Deep within the reservation, she mistakenly shoots and kills a critically-endangered and protected Philippine Eagle. As the local authorities begin a manhunt to track down the poacher, their investigation leads them to an even more horrific discovery.
The mystery-drama film has won production funding from the Doha Film Institute and the CJ Entertainment Award at BIFF's Asian Project Market. The mystery-drama film has also won the Best Picture in the Asian Future category of the 2016 Tokyo International Film Festival, and has been selected at the Goteborg Film Festival: The Ingmar Bergman International Debut Award.
Young filmmaker Mikhail Red directed and co-wrote the film. Born in Manila, Red gained international recognition for his socially-relevant films such as his first feature "Rekorder," which won Best Production Design at the 2013 Cinemalaya. It also premiered at the Tokyo International Film Festival, and won for Red the Best New Director at the Vancouver International Film Festival.
The film stars Mary Joy Apostol as Maya, Arnold Reyes as Domingo, John Arcilla as Mendoza, and Ku Aquino as Diego. The production crew include: screenwriter Rae Red, executive producers Fernando Ortigas, E.A. Rocha, Maricris Calilung and Vincent Nebrida, producer Pamela Reyes, cinematographer Mycko David, production designer Michael Espanol, music scorer/designer Teresa Barrozo, and editor Jay Halili.
The biggest indie film festival in the Philippines, Cinemalaya will run from August 4 to 13, at various venues of the CCP and selected Ayala Mall Cinemas. It is a project of the Cinemalaya Foundation, Inc., the Cultural Center of the Philippines and the Ayala Malls Cinemas. Established in 2005, the film festival aims to discover, encourage and honor cinematic works of Filipino filmmakers.
Following the theme "See the Big Picture," this year's Cinemalaya features nine full-length films and twelve short films in the Main Competition section. In addition to the competition proper, Cinemalaya will showcase Best of the Festivals (best films from other local film festivals), Visions of Asia (featuring Asian and Netpac-winning films), Indie Nation (a special section featuring independent films), Dokyu (documentaries), Animahenasyon (showcasing best animation), Cinemalaya Institute showcase, Digital Classics, and Retrospective (winning films in the full-length and short film categories of the 2016 Cinemalaya).
There will be tributes to legendary actress Lolita Rodriguez and acclaimed director Gil Portes. The Cinemalaya Campus, a major component of the Festival, will happen during the festival, while the Gawad CCP Para sa Alternatibong Pelikula at Video, considered the longest-running independent film competition of its kind in the ASEAN/Asian region, will harvest the best of the best, with films competing in various categories. Pre-selected entries will be screened on August 5 to 7.
The Cinemalaya Awards Night is slated on August 13, 2017, at the Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo (CCP Main Theater).
For more information, visit www.cinemalaya.org, www.culturalcenter.gov.ph, or Cinemalaya Facebook page. You may also call CCP Media Arts at +632-832-1125 local 1704 to 1705. For ticket inquiries, call the CCP Box Office at +632-832-3704.