5 Film Festivals That Will Restore Your Faith in Philippine Cinema
We can all pretty much agree that 2016 was a strange year for a lot of things, but it was a great year for Philippine cinema. With the most recent Metro Manila Film Festival, we saw dynamic filmmaking through movies like Seklusyon and Sunday Beauty Queen. But if news and resignations are to be believed, we might not be able to replicate that quality at the 2017 MMFF. Despite this setback, there still exists the last frontier of worthy Philippine cinema. Kudos to these film festivals that still put craft and quality before commercial success.
TOFARM FILM FESTIVAL 2017
When: July 12 to 19
Where: SM Megamall, SM Manila, Greenbelt 1, Robinsons Galleria, and Gateway Mall
TOFARM stands for The Outstanding Farmer, and the festival was founded to advocate the field of agriculture. Only on its second year, TOFARM's theme is “Planting the Seeds of Change,” which emphasizes the topics of fishing and the environment.
Lineup: Jason Paul Lazamana’s Instalado, Byron Bryant’s Sinandomeng, Tara Illenberger’s High Tide, Joseph Abello’s What Home Feels Like, Topel Lee’s Baklad, and Victor Acedillo Jr.’s Kamunggai.
For updates, visit TOFARM's official Facebook page.
When: August 4 to 13
Where: Cultural Center of the Philippines Theaters and Ayala Cinemas in Metro Manila and Cebu City
Now on its 13th year, Cinemalaya is the trailblazer for local cinema, supporting homegrown filmmakers to create independent films. A permanent fixture in any film junkie’s calendar, Cinemalaya pledges to promote Filipino arts and culture.
Lineup: Mes De Guzman’s Ang Pamilyang Hindi Lumuluha, Joseph Israel Laban’s Baconaua, Zig Dulay’s Bagahe, Iar Lionel Arondaing’s Sa Gabing Nanahimik Ang Mga Kuliglig, Thop Nazareno’s Kiko Boksingero, Treb Monteras’ Respeto, Perry Escaño’s Ang Guro Kong Di Marunong Magbasa, Nerissa Picadizo’s Requited, and Sonny Calvento’s Nabubulok.
For updates, visit Cinemalaya's official Facebook page.
PISTA NG PELIKULANG PILIPINO
When: August 16 to 22
Where: Cinemas nationwide
Lineup: Jason Paul Laxamana’s 100 Tula Para Kay Stella, Prime Cruz’ Ang Manananggal sa Unit 23B, Enzo William’s AWOL, Kip Oebanda’s Bar Boys, Mikhail Red’s Bird Shot, Ralston Jover’s Hamog, Zig Dulay’s Paglipay, Victor Villanueva’s Patay Na Si Hesus, Paolo Villaluna’s Pauwi Na, Sherad Sanchez’ Salvage, Randolph Longjas’ Star Na Si Van Damme Stallone, and Miguel Michelena’s Triptiko.
For updates, visit Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino's official Facebook page.
QCINEMA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL 2017
When: October 19 to 28
Every filmmaker had to start somewhere, and there’s no better place than to launch a career than QCinema. The official film festival of Quezon City, QCinema is the place to find the hidden gems of the local film scene.
Lineup: Full length features are yet to be announced, but the short films include: Ice Idanan’s Anya Iti Nagan Mo?, Xeph Suarez’s Astri Aka Tambulah, Keith Deligero’s Babylon, Phyllis Grae Grande’s Kun’diman, Mike Esteves’ Link, Carl Papa’s Love Bites, Epoy Deyto’s Pixel Paranoia, and Kiri Dalena’s Sa Ngitngit Nga Kinailadman.
For updates, visit QCinema's official Facebook page.
CINEMA ONE ORIGINALS FESTIVAL 2017
When: November 12 to 21
In the same vein as Cinemalaya, Cinema One prides itself on funding filmmakers to create their visionary projects. Home to critically acclaimed films, the festival is known for its diverse and unique entries that still manage to capture the masses (without falling into the trap of commercialism). After last year’s millennial hits like Baka Bukas and 2 Cool 2 Be 4gotten, the expectations are high for the 2017 installment.
For updates, visit Cinema One Originals' official Facebook page.