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The Philippine Film Festival Circuit: A list as of 2008

Film festivals celebrate both local and international films of various genres for the diverse Filipino audience.

Some of the most noted film festivals that cinephiles, students, and even the general viewers and future film enthusiasts could check out the whole year round include:

Cinemanila International Film Festival 

Cinemanila is an annual film festival focusing on the cinema of the Philippines as well as Southeast Asian cinema. Among the world community of film festivals, it has gained respectability with its programming of independent Asian films and its diverse programming of great films all over the world. It also features a number of film-related events to further enhance filmmaking as a craft. 

Cinemalaya: Philippine Independent Film Festival

In the spirit of independent expression, Cinemalaya seeks to discover, encourage, and honor the cinematic works of Filipino filmmakers that boldly articulate and freely interpret the Filipino experience with fresh insight and artistic integrity. It highlights short and full-length film competitions, film funding for chosen scripts, film exhibitions, seminars, conferences, and other film-related fringe events that articulate the Filipino identity and culture.

Animahensyon Pinoy Animation Film Festival

The Animahenasyon Pinoy Animation Film Festival highlights original Pinoy animation – giving both professional and amateur Filipino animators a venue to screen their original works. With its professional and student/amateur divisions, it aims to showcase a wide array of original animated content by Filipinos and the recognition of the Filipino talent in the field of animation – in the spirit of local and international animation excellence and competitiveness.

Moonrise Film Festival

The Moonrise Film Festival features documentaries on the world’s foremost cultural, environmental, and social issues. This environmental documentary film fest aims to make the public aware of the issues surrounding the environment through the film medium.

Pink Film Festival

The Pink Film Festival is a fitting tribute to gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender “Pride” in the Philippines and the gains Filipinos have achieved in terms of advancing equality, and acceptance of all citizens. It showcases short films, documentaries and full feature films from all over the world to help raise awareness on various issues on sexuality, sexual preference, health, acceptance, and human rights.

Cinema One Originals

Cinema One provides another option for independent filmmakers to shoot their full-length features. Just like Cinemalaya, Cinema One also funds the production of chosen works and bring the films to a vast audience by airing them nationwide and worldwide under the “Cinema One Originals” banner. 

Pelikula at Lipunan Film Festival

Mowelfund’s Pelikula at Lipunan Film Festival features indie films both old and new, shorts and full-length, during its festival season. It also features a series of festivities and exhibitions relating to Philippine cinema.

.MOV Digital International Film Festival

.MOV celebrates filmmaking using digital technology to showcase the wonderful potentials the film industry can reach using digital tools. It also features workshops in film criticism, cinematography, script writing, and other film-related endeavors.

Metro Manila Film Festival 

The Metro Manila Film Festival showcases locally produced commercial films during the Christmas season – as it has been a tradition for Filipinos to watch movies during this time.

International Women’s Film Festival

In keeping with the season’s worldwide women’s month celebration every March, the University of the Philippines Film Institute annually holds the International Women’s Film Festival. It features in competition and for exhibition films (shorts and full-length) from women and films tackling woman issues and woman themes.

Gawad CCP para sa Alternatibong Pelikula at Bidyo

The Gawad CCP has been known to provide a huge roster of film entries every festival season. It provides distinction to the four categories fiction, animation, documentary, and experimental films for the much-coveted Gawad CCP merit to the deserving films for each film category.

Various festivals of foreign films

A number of embassies, organizations, and agencies promote their films to the Filipino audience through film festivals like Cineuropa, French Film Festival, Eiga Sai, International Silent Film Festival, among others. The programming best suited for the celebration of cultural exchange then provides diverse selection of classic and contemporary films from various countries. 

School-based and art house-based film festivals

A number of school-based, most of them student film festivals happen throughout the year. Some of these festivals happen within the school premises while some are opened and made more accessible to the general public by showing them outside the school grounds. There is the UP Diliman Student Film and Video Festival, the CineVita Film Festival of UST, Inyorai Bidyo Independent Film Festival of UP, among others.

There are lots of other venues for art house events coming up with film selections and programming like the annual Arts Month of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts every February, the Neo-Angono Artists Collective Public Art Festival, screenings at Instituto Cervantes, Magnet, Mogwai, Titus Brandsma, and lots of other valuable venues for films.

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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