Cinemalaya: Discover, honor,
encourage new filmmakers
By Leah Salterio
Inquirer News Service
MARYO J. de los Reyes' winning the best director awards for
his work on "Magnifico" should inspire independent
producers to come up with quality movies that can inspire
viewers, earn loads of cash at the box office, give big production
companies a run for their money and their awards, and, more
importantly, pull the local film industry out of its slump.
Produced by Violett Films, "Magnifico" also won
a best actor grand slam for its young lead, Jiro Manio.
While the top production outfits -- Star Cinema, Regal Films,
Viva Films -- continue to churn out their annual, if reduced,
quota of movies, a call is being made for new filmmakers to
create fresh works in the First Cinemalaya Philippine Independent
Organized by the Cultural Center of the Philippines with
the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) and
the University of the Philippines Film Institute, Cinemalaya
is slated for February 19 to 25, 2005. It is open to those
who have not yet directed a full-length commercial film.
The festival is supported by producers and directors as well
as by top businessmen, academicians and even TV executives.
Among those present during the Cinemalaya launch last week
at Dream Bar in Makati City were Unitel Pictures' Tony Gloria
("Crying Ladies" producer and distributor of Ramona
Diaz's controversial documentary, "Imelda"), filmmakers
Lav Diaz and Banaue Miclat, businessman Tonyboy Cojuangco
and Bobby Barreiro of ABC 5, National Artist for Cinema Eddie
Romero, Caloy de Leon of the FDCP, Nick Tiongson of the UP
College of Mass Communication, and Cultural Center of the
Philippines president Nestor Jardin.
Jardin noted that for almost a decade now, the Filipino film
industry has been in critical condition, proof of which is
the decreasing number of films produced every year. "Eight
or nine years ago, the industry was able to produce 230 films,"
said Jardin. "This year, the industry would be lucky
if production ever reached 60, compared to the 80 films produced
"The film industry needs all the help it can get to
encourage young filmmakers to produce films," he added.
"Cinemalaya aims to discover, encourage and honor a
new breed of movie mavericks. The festival seeks to elevate
independent films to the mainstream."
The organizers hope that through the festival, young filmmakers
will be able to express their own concepts freely and not
be limited by the industry's present condition, where artistic
integrity is sacrificed in the pursuit of commercial success.
The weeklong Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival will feature
competitions and film exhibitions as well as a film expo and
market, seminars, conferences and a film congress on the promotion,
marketing and distribution of independent movies.
The Cinemalaya films will have the Filipino identity and
culture as main narrative theme. They will be divided into
two categories: the short feature (with 15- to 20-minute running
time) and the full-length feature (90- to 120-minute running
time). Entries must be submitted in digital or video format.
Makers of short features are encouraged to submit a synopsis
of their work in Filipino or English, a brief resumé
with two recent 2 x 2 photos of the filmmaker(s) together
with a completed application form on or before Sept. 1 to
CCP Media Arts Office (4th Floor, CCP Main Building, Roxas
Boulevard, Pasay City) or the FDCP office (Unit 2 JM Raymundo
Bldg., 14 Balete Drive, New Manila, Quezon City).
The 10 best short feature entries will be announced on December
In the full-length category, filmmakers must submit a one-
to three-page synopsis of their work in English or Filipino
together with a brief resumé and two recent 2 x 2 photos
of the filmmaker(s), samples of previous film works in CD/DVD/VHS
format and an application form from July 30 to August 15 to
the above addresses.
By August 31, a selection committee will have determined
20 semifinalists who will then be required to submit a full
screenplay or a detailed treatment of their work, with a production
schedule and a production budget, as well as counterpart financing
plan on or before September 20.
Announcement of the 10 finalists will be on October 30.
Feb. 25, 2005 awarding
Each finalist will receive a seed investment of 500,000 pesos
from the Philippine Multi-Media Systems Inc. and Dream Satellite
TV. The amount will be released as follows: 50 percent upon
selection and 50 percent upon submission of the final work.
Deadline for submission of the completed full-length film
is January 15, 2005.
The final work for both short and full-length features must
be submitted in DVD format, properly labeled with the title,
production company address and contact numbers, director's
name and running time.
Awards for both categories will be given on February 25,
2005 at the CCP Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo (CCP Main Theater).
The best short feature will receive a 100,000-peso grant plus
trophy. The best full feature will receive an additional 200,000-peso
grant plus the Cinemalaya trophy.
Application forms are available at www.culturalcenter.gov.ph,
or e-mail email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For inquiries, call the CCP, +63 2 832 1125 local 1704 or
1705; FDCP, +63 2 722 4482 or +63 2 723 3648; or the UP Film
Institute, +63 2 932 9361 or +63 2 920 6863.
The CCP Media Arts office is open Tuesday to Friday, 9 a.m.
to 5 p.m. FDCP and UP Film Institute are open Mondays to Fridays,
9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Organizers of the Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival hope
to hold the event annually, preferably in November, and to
eventually go beyond the Philippines.
Leah Salterio is a contributor to the Philippine Daily