It’s very encouraging to note that several stars from the mainstream movie industry headline some of the films in the ongoing 9th Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival and Competition. Leading the stars is no less than Governor Vilma Santos who makes her very first appearance in an indie film. Vi stars in “Ekstra,” a Jeffrey Jeturian film also featuring Piolo Pascual and Marian Rivera. Jeturian is of course the director of some of the most successful indie movies, among them “Kubrador.” The other mainstream stars in this year’s crop of interesting Cinemalaya films include Eugene Domingo who topbills Leo Abaya’s “Instant Mommy,” Gretchen Barretto in Christopher Ad. Castillo’s “The Diplomat Hotel” and Alessandra de Rossi in Gil M. Portes’ “Liars.”
Indie film directors’ favorite, Anita Linda, is in Emmanuel Palo’s “David F.” and Joseph Israel Laban’s “Nuwebe” which also stars Jake Cuenca. Lovi Poe stars in Jerrold Tarog’s romantic movie “Sana Dati” with Paulo Avelino who is also featured in Alvin Yapan’s “Debosyon.”
In running in this year’s Cinemalaya are second generation film directors. Christopher Ad. Castillo is the son of the late Celso Ad. Castillo, Mikhail Red (“Rekorder”) is the son of Raymond Red, while Paolo O’Hara (“The Houseband’s Wife”) is the nephew of the late Mario O’Hara.
Today (Aug. 1), among the films to be shown at the CCP are: Adolfo B. Alix Jr.’s “Porno,” “Debosyon,” “The Diplomat Hotel,” Hannah Espia’s “Transit,” “Ekstra,” “David F.” Jason Paul Laxamana’s “Babagwa,” “Rekorder,” “Liars,”
“Instant Mommy,” “Nuwebe” and “Sana Dati.” For special screening are “Maynila Sa Mga Kuko Ng Liwanag,” “Aguila,” “Brutal,” “Tuhog,” and “Ang Nawawala.”
Cinemalaya 2013 runs till Aug. 4 (which will be the awards night) at the CCP, Trinoma, Greenbelt 3 and Alabang Town Center. The annual Cinemalaya is a project of the Cinemalaya Foundation, CCP, Econolink Investments, Inc. and Film Development Council of the Philippines.