Cinemalaya Film Festival is doing things differently. Here’s how.
BY Create Philippines
September 23, 2023

The film industry is one of the hardest hit from the ongoing pandemic with strict health protocols making it nearly impossible to complete a project. At the same time, this period gave filmmakers the time and space to work on unrealised ideas, of which Cinemalaya, the Philippines’ leading independent film festival, hopes to support with a new initiative.

For its 2023 edition, the festival is introducing the Cinemalaya Film Lab, a three-month-long film-laboratory mentorship which will be held from September to November 2021, for filmmakers. The program will be held entirely online, convening industry players from different film trades — from scriptwriting, directing, and cinematography, to marketing, production design, and management. Lab participants will partake in various modules: Conceptualization, Screenwriting, and Polishing, The Directorial Vision, The Film as Seen: Camera and Design, The Rhythm of the Film, The Film as Heard: Music and Sound Mix and The Film as Product. The program also includes a Producers’ Market session where filmmakers can pitch their works for funding and distribution to major mainstream, independent, and platform producers.

Cinemalaya encourages “multi-genre” and multimedia entries (e.g. animations), as well as extending its Main Competition category to full-feature documentaries for the first time, focusing on subjects that capture “the heart of the Filipinos.” In doing so, Cinemalaya hopes to encourage new Filipino talent to lift their projects off the ground, providing tangible support for their stories to be heard.

To learn the requirements to join the film lab, interested parties can visit or Entries can be sent through this link or to the Film, Broadcast and Media Arts Division of the Cultural Center of the Philippines, Roxas Blvd., Pasay City.

Deadline for submission of entries is at 6 p.m. on June 11.

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