Cinemalaya 2013, the most prestigious indie film festival in the land, is set to start this week, from July 26 to August 4 at the Cultural Center of the Philippines, Greenbelt 3, and Trinoma. Now on its ninth year, the festival has become a go-to source for Filipinos who are looking for a left-field view on local cinema. Tackling topics that mainstream local movies are too scared to touch, the 10 films in the New Breed category will give viewers a glimpse on cinematic life outside loveteams and whatever sequel Mano Po is on.
Here is a rundown of these movies:
BABAGWA (THE SPIDER’S LAIR)
Directed by: Jason Paul Laxamana
With: Alex Vincent Medina, Joey Paras, Alma Concepcion, Kiko Matos
Alma Concepcion’s movie comeback. In the film, an Internet scammer named Greg (Medina) uses a fake Facebook profile to swindle people of their hard-earned money. He falls instead for the spinster he is trying to victimize (Concepcion) and his desire suddenly alters his motives and intentions. Oh, the follies of Facebook.
Just so you know: Writer-director Jason Paul Laxamana was inspired to write this entry because his friend was actually victimized by an online scammer on Facebook.
Directed by: Emmanuel “Manny” Palo
With: Quester Hannah, Sid Lucero, Art Acuña, Rocky Salumbides
Tells a triptych-type story of the life of David Fagan, an African- American soldier who deserted the Americans during the Philippine-American War to side with the Filipinos. Broken into three major parts, his experiences unravel from his original service to being promoted as colonel under Emilio Aguinaldo to eventually marrying a Filipina.
Just so you know: The film was partly shot in Montalban.
Directed by: Alvin Yapan
With: Paulo Avelino and Mara Lopez
Mando (Avelino), a Bicolano devotee of Ina, the virgin of Peñafrancia, is accidentally injured in the mountains. He is nursed back to health by morena beauty Salome (Lopez), who lives at the foot of Mount Mayon. However, what Mando doesn’t know is that Salome carries a dark secret that threatens their relationship.
Just so you know: Paulo Avelino studied Bicolano months before the shooting date.
Directed by: Leo Abaya
With: Eugene Domingo, Rico J. Puno, Archie Alemania
The presence of the queen regent of hilarity, Eugene Domingo, should be enough motivation to watch this entry. She plays Bechayda, a wardrobe mistress in TV commercials who pretends to be preggy to reel in her Japanese lover. Guaranteed intelligent laughter from writer Chris Martinez? We’re ready to slurp this one down.
Just so you know: Leading man Yuki Matsuzaki is a Hollywood-based actor who has appeared in The Last Samurai and Letters From Iwo Jima. He studied Tagalog for a total of 143 hours so he could deliver the script that was written in the vernacular.
Directed by: Joseph Israel Laban
With: Nadine Samonte, Jake Cuenca, Anita Linda
Child star Barbara Miguel portrays a nine-year-old girl who bears her father's child through rape. It’s heavy, hinged in reality, and Jake Cuenca plays the rapist. Based on true events.
Just so you know: The director got the idea for this movie after doing a documentary for GMA News TV’s Front Row, where he serves as managing producer.
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