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Cinemalaya 2021 navigates the current’s of Philippine Cinema in its 17th year

The 17th edition of the Cinemalaya Film Fest was still pushed forward last August 6, after the high-level alerts, warnings, and drills for the Delta COVID-19 virus and the Metro Manila Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ).

Instead of a three-week online run, the annual indie festival will be streamed on for four weeks, from August 6 to September 5. Moreover, Cinemalaya will have a “hybrid set-up” this year. It will attempt to undertake live streaming in one of the outdoor venues of the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) in Pasay City.

Cinemalaya 17: Navigating Currents is this year’s theme for the film festival as the festival navigates today’s social currents through the use of digital platforms. There are 13 films in the spotlight competing in the Short Film Category:

  1. Kids On Fire by Kyle Nieva

  2. Maski Papano by Che Tagyamon and Glenn Barit

  3. Beauty Queen by Myra Aquino

  4. An Sadit na Planeta by Arjanmar H. Rebeta

  5. Crossing by Marc Misa

  6. Kawatan Sa Salog by Ralph John Velasco

  7. Looking For Rafflesias and Other Fleeting Things by James Fajardo

  8. Out of Body by Enrico Po

  9. The Dust in Your Place by David Olson

  10. Ang Mga Nawalang Pag-asa at Panlasa by Kevin Jay Ayson

  11. Ang Pagdadalaga ni Lola Mayumi by Shiri Francesca D. De Leon

  12. Ate OG by Kevin Mayuga

  13. Namnama en Lolang (Grandmother’s Hope) by Jonnie Lyn Dasalla

The Cinemalaya Virtual Awarding Program, hosted by Glaiza De Castro was held yesterday, August 19. The live awarding was streamed through different online platforms such as the CCP FB Pages and the CCP Lounge on KUMU.

‘Kids on Fire’ by Kyle Nieva bags the Best Screenplay Award and Best Direction Award. Moreover, ‘An Sadit na Planeta’ by Arjanmar Rebeta took home three awards, namely: Audience Choice Award, Special Jury Prize, and NETPAC Jury Prize. Finally, the Best Film Award was awarded to ‘Beauty Queen’ by Myra Aquino.

Furthermore, the 33rd CCP Gawad Alternatibo awards finalists will officially be available for public viewing until September 5 via online streaming sites such as the Cultural Center of the Philippines’ (CCP) Vimeo channel and the Gawad Alternatibo website.

Their most-anticipated project called Cinema Under the Stars, an outdoor cinema initiative by the CCP, had recently been rescheduled from August 14 to September 4 due to the resurgence of virus cases.

According to Laurice Guillen, Cinemalaya Foundation Inc. president, the festival’s pandemic experience has allowed organizers and directors to evaluate what they have been doing for the past few years. Guillen added that the Cinemalaya Film Institute has also developed long-term training programs, including five new training programs to prepare young filmmakers to shoot in the new normal.

Tickets can be purchased at and can be availed with food and drinks for an additional fee. The initial bundle deal was P150 for a set of three short films. Cinemalaya 2021 runs from August 6-September 5. Visit the CCP and Cinemalaya websites for more information, as well as their official social media pages.

Lead Writer - Elisha Joy Evangelista

Co-Writer - Doreen Emen

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