Metro Manila · That was the Cinemalaya 2013
Sold out shows, a transgender as best actor, and new insights into Filipino culture: a round up of this year's Cinemalaya Festival.
In its 9th year, the Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival has become so popular that most screenings were sold out. Good news for the organizers and participants, but sad for those film fans who came too late for tickets. An advise for next year: secure your seats at least a day in advance.
The winners of Cinemalaya were clear. Transit, a drama about a Filipino migrant family in Israel directed by Hannah Espia, was voted Best Film and won five further awards in the New Breed category. In the Director's Showcase, Jerrold Tarog won Best Film and seven further awards for his love story Sana Dati.
The transgender Mimi Juareza was voted Best Actor in the New Breed Category. When asked by a newspaper if she would have preferred Best Actress, she explained: “Whatever, for as long as they show their appreciation for my work, I don’t mind." The Best Actress award in the Director's Showcase was given to Vilma Santos, one of the Philippines' biggest show stars who has been in the business for more than five decades.
Cinemalaya offers a great opportunity to gain new and intimate insights into Philippine culture, everyday life, and politics. We recommend in particular the short film presentations. One screening features five or six works about such diverse social topics as children's games in squatter areas, missing persons, Chinoy mourning rituals, and security and prejudices in Mindanao. The stories can be sad, angry, funny, hopeful, or even all at once.