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Cinemanila celebrates its 11th year

The annual Cinemanila International Film Festival celebrated its 11th year last Oct. 15 to 25, 2009 at the Bonifacio Global City, Taguig.

10 days of films, master classes, seminars, parties, and even reunions for many filmmakers, artists, and cinephiles — it has considerably become a part of their daily routine throughout the duration of the festival.

“Moving Forward with Moving Images.” Young as it is and still facing a number of challenges and tough times, Cinemanila is best known for the good films it shares to the Filipino audience every festival season – a mix of both local and international picks from the freshest and most promising to the well-renowned and critically-acclaimed.

Around 100 international and local films were screened – from the current toasts of the local independent scene to the award winners and favorites at prestigious festivals such as Cannes, Berlin, Venice, Rotterdam, Sundance, and Pusan. 

Apart from being known for its good programming of top films from all over the world, another good part of Cinemanila is that it tries to expand itself as much as it could – which then makes itself reaching out to more people. From the outdoor screenings to the 1stCinemanila Machinima Film Festival to the Sine Barangay project, these are valuable ways to expose more people, especially those who don’t usually get to watch art-house films, to such cinema experiences.

The parts still needing improvements mostly fall under the major concern of festival budget and funding. Market! Market! and Bonifacio High Street were definitely wonderful places to situate the festival in. However, there was just one major concern for the general audience – they were not very accessible to local public transport especially to those students and working cinephiles who would have to brace rush hour traffic with mostly expensive taxi rides in order to catch their film picks at the festival. Yet, on the brighter side, it is interesting to note that the local government of Taguig welcomed Cinemanila in their progressive city this year. Personally, I felt the kind of support the Taguig government provided for the festival. In fact, if not for the transportation issue that a number of people were not able to attend due to inaccessibility of direct public transport as MRT, LRT, jeepneys, and buses from major points/work places/schools, things were then developing rather smoothly for the festival.

Perhaps, this could be one major concern that festival and the city government should attend to next time – maybe by utilizing The Fort buses with effective dissemination of pick-up points to the people intending to go the festival from work places and schools, and also maybe having additional cinemas and/or outdoor screenings near these places through the help of both private institutions and other local government units. It is about making Cinemanila a part of the subculture of the Pinoys during this time of the year – with it being customary for them to see such great films from all over the world through the festival. We can definitely do it if we work together and support one another to make our very own Cinemanila International Film Festival a part of our valuable events to look forward to every year.

As we acknowledge all these growth and learnings, with such a young but promising international film festival by the Filipinos, we should be proud of all these efforts. Every year, we get to see these esteemed films and acknowledge the filmmakers behind them, and we also meet such inspirational people from the industry both in the local and international scenes. Kudos to Cinemanila, the filmmakers, and the Cinemanila audience!

Highlighting the 11thCinemanila are films including:

Opening Film – “Lola” by Brillante Mendoza (Philippines)

Closing Film – “Himpapawid” (Manila Skies) by Raymond Red (Philippines)

International Competition
Jury Members – Brillante Mendoza, chair (Philippines); and Eric Sasono (Indonesia)

“Cheng Du, I Love You” by Fruit Chan (China)
“Hunger” by Steve McQueen (UK)
“Independencia” by Raya Martin (Philippines)
“Mammoth” by Lukas Moodysson (Sweden)
“Machan” by Uberto Pasolini, (Italy/Sri Lanka)
“Milk of Sorrow” by Claudia Llossa (Peru)
“Pandora’s Box” by Yesim Ustaoglu (Turkey/France/Germany/Belgium)
“Ricky” by Francois Ozon (France)
“Samson and Delilah” by Warwick Thornton (Australia)
“Tony Manero” by Pablo Larrain (Chile/Brazil)
“Tulpan” by Sergey Dvortsevoy (Kazakhstan)

Digital Lokal (Philippines)
Jury Members – Sonja Heinen, chair (Germany); In-Seong Yoo (Korea); Sherad Anthony Sanchez (Philippines)

“Anacbanua” by Christopher Gozum
“Biyaheng Lupa” by Armando “Bing” Lao
“Ang Beerhouse” by Jon Red
“Dolores” by Lito Casaje
“69 1/2” by Ted Manotoc
“Iliw” by Bona Fajardo

World Cinema

“Adam Resurrected” by Paul Schrader (USA)
“A Year Ago in Winter” by Caroline Link (Germany)
“Baby Doll Night” by Adel Adeeb (Egypt)
“Black Dynamite” by Scott Sanders (USA)
“Broken Embraces” by Pedro Almodovar (Spain)
“Inglourious Basterds” by Quentin Tarantino (USA)
“Let the Right One In” by Tomas Alfredson (Sweden)
“I Come with the Rain” by Anh Hung Tran (Vietnam/USA)
“My Suicide” by David Lee Miller (USA)
“Leonera” (Lion’s Den) by Pablo Trapero (Argentina/Korea)

Asian Cinema

“A Matter of Size” by Sharon Maymon and Erez Tadmor (Israel)
“Beautiful” by Juhn Jaihong (Korea)
“Call If You Need Me” by James Lee (Malaysia)
“Caramel” by Nadine Labaki (Lebanon)
“Engkwentro” by Pepe Diokno (Philippines)
“Jeonju Digital Project 2009: Visitors” (Korea, Japan, Philippines)
“Little Zizou” by Sooni Taraporevala (India)
“Macabre” by Mo Brothers Indonesia/Singapore)
“My Magic” by Eric Khoo (Singapore)
“Non-ko” by Kazuyoshi Kumakiri (Japan)
“Waltz with Bashir” by Ari Folman (Israel)
“Passion” by Ryusuke Hamaguchi (Japan)

Young Cinema Competition (Philippines)
Jury Members – Tan Chui Mui, chair (Malaysia); Kong Rithdee (Thailand); and John Torres (Philippines)

“Dalaw” by Janus Victoria
“Harang” by Mikhail Red
“Ito ang Gabing Babalikan Kita Pagkatapos ng Tatlong Taon nang Hindi Maiiyak at Masasaktan” by Antoinette Jadaone
“Limang Libo” by Ice Idanan
“Save Me!!!” by Ramon del Prado
“Stations” by Emmanuel Quindo Palo
“To Siomai Love” by Remton Siega Zuasola

Young Cinema Exhibition (Philippines)

“The Artist Is In” by Marcus Adoro
“Ang Ibig Sabihin ng ‘OK Lang’” by Ryan Nikolai Dino
“Gemini” by Leo Valencia
“Gusto Kong Lumipad” by Glenn Ituriaga
“Irene F**king Jordan” by Paolo Herras
“Karoler” by Michael Angelo Dagñalan
“Technophilia” by Rianne Hill Soriano
“Waiting Shed” by Ely Buendia

SEA (Southeast Asia) Film Competition
Jury Members – Ronnie Lazaro (chair); Joel Shepard (USA); and Bee Thiam Tan (Singapore)

“Adrift” by Thac Chuyen Bui (Vietnam)
“Bakal Boys” by Ralston Jover (Philippines)
“Here” by Ho Tzu Nyen (Singapore)
“Jermal” by Ravi Bharwani (Indonesia)
“Karaoke” by Chris Chong (Malaysia)
“A Moment in June” by O Nathapon (Thailand)
“Talentime” by Yasmin Ahmad (Malaysia)
“Woman on Fire Looks for Water” by Woo Ming Jin (Malaysia)

SEA Shorts Competition

“Uwan Init Pista sa Langit” (Philippines) by Remton Siega Zuasola and Keith Deligero
“Focal Point” (Malaysia) by Alizera Khatami & Ali Seifourri
“Rat” (Malaysia/Taiwan) by Lau Kek Huat
“Outing” (Singapore) Jow Zhi Wei
“Sea Horse” (Indonesia) by Shalahuddin Siregar

SEA Shorts Exhibition

“Lakad ni Sammy” (Philippines) by Joel P. Ruiz
“Love Suicides” (Malaysia) by Edmund Yeo
“It’s Not Raining Outside” by Yosep Anggi Noen

The 11th Cinemanila awardees are:
Main Competition

Best Actor – “Alfredo Castro in Tony Manero” (Chile/Brazil)
Best Actress – “Tsilla Chelton in Pandora’s Box” (Peru/Spain)
Grand Jury Prize – “Tulpan” by Sergey Dvortsevoy (Germany/Kazakhstan/Switzerland/Russia/Poland)
Lino Brocka Grand Prize – “Hunger” by Steve McQueen (UK/Ireland)

SEA (Southeast Asia) Competition

Best SEA Short – “Focal Point” by Alizera Khatami and Ali Seiffouri (Malaysia)
Best SEA Film – “Talentime” by Yasmin Ahmad (Malaysia)
Special Mention – “Woman on Fire Looks for Water” by Woo Ming Jin (Malaysia)

Young Cinema (Philippines)

Best Short Film – “To Siomai Love” by Remton Siega Zuasola
Ishmael Bernal Award for Young Cinema – Remton Siega Zuasola for “To Siomai Love”

Digital Lokal (Philippines)

Lino Grand Prize – “Anacbanua” by Christopher Gozum
Lino Grand Jury Prize – “Biyaheng Lupa” by Armando Lao
Best Director – Christopher Gozum for “Anacbanua”

Special Awards

Lifetime Achievement Award – Paul Schrader (USA)
Indie Spirit Award – Lav Diaz

Rianne Hill Soriano
Rianne is a director, writer, educator, and consultant in film and commercial productions. From mainstream essentials to independent flair, she knows the drill in making entertaining and well-meaning productions. She can lead a pack passionate about extreme action and technological edge; she can breathe an endearing and sentimental style for a team with a sweet disposition.

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