Cinemalaya pushes ahead, celebrating its 17th year with a drive-in cinema
BY CREATE Philippines
November 29, 2023

Whether it was in the way they supported filmmakers or by exploring new genres, Cinemalaya, the country’s largest independent film festival, have always remained agile to changes, most especially during the pandemic.

This year, things are no different. For its 17th year anniversary, Cinemalaya will push ahead with thirteen short film entries, chosen from 200 hundred submissions - all competing for the Balaghai trophies. The festival will take place between August 6 and September 5, streamed exclusively on – a Filipino digital events platform.

The Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) will also open up the Liwasang Ullalim to host “Cinema Under the Stars,” Cinemalaya’s hybrid drive-in cinema. It is the first audience-centered on-site event since the beginning of quarantine measures in the Philippines, welcoming everyone from drivers and cyclists, to passing pedestrians. 

Gawad Alternatibo and Visions of Asia will be hosting screenings at this year’s Cinemalaya, being mainstays of the festival. While the former is the longest-running independent film and video competition in Asia, the latter will present award-winning independent Asian films from India, Iraq, Japan, and Kazakhstan. Other exhibitions include Dokyu, featuring a selection of documentaries, and; Indie Nation, showcasing critically acclaimed feature length and short films.

Other aspects of the festival include the Cinemalaya Retrospective, a presentation of last year’s winning films; Cinemalaya Film Lab’s launch, a three-month-long film mentorship program; a Cinemalaya book launch for “Riding Waves: 15 Years of Cinemalaya”; virtual exhibits, and other premieres and tributes.

The 2021 Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival is co-presented by the Cultural Center of the Philippines and the Cinemalaya Foundation Inc., in partnership with streaming partners and Kumu. Supported by corporate partners, Huachen Bayfront Hotel, McDonald’s Philippines, Optima Digital, and B+C Design Inc.

For more updates, visit the CCP and Cinemalaya websites and social media channels. 

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