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2017 CINEMALAYA FEATURES AWARD-WINNING FILIPINO INDIE FILMS

THE 2017 Cinemalaya Film Festival presents 18 award-winning Filipino indie films for its Indie Nation section, to be screened on August 5 to 12, at the CCP theaters. 
 
The featured films include: ‘Alipato: The Very Brief Life Of An Ember” by Khavn Dela Cruz; “Ang Babaeng Humayo” by Lav Diaz; “Area” by Luisito Ignacio; “Baka Bukas” by Samantha Lee; “Best.Partee.Ever.” by Howard Yambao; “Bhoy Intsik” by Joel Lamangan; “Ang Babae sa Septic Tank 2, Forever Is Not Enough” by Marlon Rivera; “Bliss” by Jerrold Tarog; “Die Beautiful” by Jun Robles Lana; “Instalado” by Jason Paul Laxamana; “Kabisera” by Arturo San Agustin and Real Florido; “Maestra” by Lemuel Lorca; “Mrs” by Adolfo Alix Jr.; “Oro” by Alvin Yapan; “Patay na si Hesus” by Victor Villanueva; “Tisay” by Alfonso Torre III; “What Home Feels Like” by Joseph Abello; and “Vince & Kath & James” by Ted Boborol. 
 
“Alipato: The Very Brief Life Of An Ember” follows a gang of 10-year-old rogues who attempted to rob a bank but failed and ended with 20 years of imprisonment. After they were released, they begin to disappear one by one. 
 
Director Lav Diaz explores the life of a woman who has been wrongfully imprisoned for three decades and plots revenge in “Ang Babaeng Humayo (The Woman Who Left)”; while filmmaker Luisito Ignacio tells the story of an aging woman who tries to escape from a life of prostitution in “Area.” 
 
In the second installment of “Ang Babae sa Septic Tank,” Eugene Domingo prepares for her comeback vehicle after a long sabbatical from moviemaking. Her director-writer proposes to create a movie on a heartbreaking anatomy of a crumbling marriage as told through a couple’s trip to Baguio, their former honeymoon location. But while Eugene Domingo is excited about it, she has other ideas in mind. In the film-within-the-film, Eugene’s absurd suggestions and recommendations change the script by employing the poetics of the Pinoy romantic comedy genre into what is supposedly a realistic portrayal of love and marriage. 
 
In “Baka Bukas,” Alex, a 20-something year old creative based in Manila, hides the truth about her gender to her best friend Jess who she has been secretly in love with since they were kids. When Jess discovers the truth about Alex, they are forced to confront the feelings they have for each other. 
 
“Best.Partee.Ever” narrates about a young gay man who spends five years in a city jail while hearing his case for drug pushing and becomes the ring leader to a group of gay inmates. Together, they thrive to survive the dangers of several gang riots, as well as the mundane and the decay of human dignity. 
 
Two small-time felons with disparate personas cross paths in “Bhoy Intsik.” One is a principled tough gay, while the other is a scheming, street-smart teenager. Together, they get caught up in a string of petty exploits while managing to forge a stronger bond. Can they survive the ordeal? 
 
Meanwhile, Jane Ciego (portrayed by Iza Calzado), a successful actress gets crippled in an accident during a film production, slowly shifts into madness after experiencing horrors and tortures in her own home in “Bliss.” 
 
Directed by Jun Robles Lana, “Die Beautiful” tells the story of Trisha (played by Paolo Ballesteros), a Filipino transgender woman who suddenly dies while being crowned in a beauty pageant and whose last wish is to be presented as different celebrity on each night of her wake. Because her conservative father opposes and wants to bury her as a man, Trisha’s friends has to steal her body and hold the wake in a secret location. As Trisha is transformed to look like different celebrities, they look back at the colorful and extraordinary life that she has led. 
 
With socio-political undertones, “Kabisera” follows a Filipino family confronted by certain elements involved in extra-judicial killings and other societal abuses. Meanwhile, “Oro” portrays the lives of simple folks caught in the middle of tension between their local leader who is accused of political patronage, and an environmental group with its own economic agenda on the small mining community. 
 
Set in the agricultural town of Porac in the not-so-distant future, “Instalado” is a social science fiction about Victor who lives in a time when the dominant form of education is through installation, a process wherein bodies of knowledge can be installed directly into people's brains using technology owned by big corporations. To raise money for installation, Victor abandons farming and works as the housekeeper of a wealthy childhood friend who has become extremely successful after undergoing a series of installations. 
 
“Maestra” pays tribute to the passion and dedication of school teachers by depicting the inspiring stories, struggles, and triumphs of three generations of courageous women - a poor dreamer who reaches the top, an Aeta teacher who hopes of passing the licensure exam, and a veteran educator who believes that a teacher never quits. 
 
“Mrs” is about Virginia, a 70-year-old woman, lives in an old ancestral house with her loyal maid Delia. But Delia confides that she wants to marry her long-time boyfriend Rene and go home to her parents in the province to start a new family life. The film shows a portrait of a woman and a mother trying to juggle the sad realities of life in a cycle of life and death. 
 
“Patay na si Hesus” follows Iyay, a single mother who drags her entire family on a road trip to attend the funeral of her estranged husband. With her children, she drives her tiny multicab on a journey that yields unexpected stopovers, detours and revelations. 
 
In “Tisay,” a beautiful bookie recruits a promising player to the underworld of game-fixing happening in the semi-pro basketball league. “Vince & Kath & James” is a romantic comedy that sets love struck teens onto a maze-like course of responding to the truest feelings of love and affection sent across text messages. Seafarer Antonio deals with his forced retirement after spending the last 33 years as a seaman and realizes that his absence has alienated him from his family in “What Home Feels Like.” 
 
Indie Nation, a special section featuring independent films, is part of the Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival, which is a project of the Cinemalaya Foundation Inc., and the Cultural Center of the Philippines, in partnership with Ayala Malls Cinemas. Established in 2005, Cinemalaya is an all-digital film festival and competition that aims to discover, encourage and honor cinematic works of Filipino filmmakers. 
 
This year's Cinemalaya will be held on August 4 to 13, 2017, at the CCP theaters and select Ayala Malls (Greenbelt 1, Glorietta 4, UP Town Center, TriNoma, Fairview Terraces, and Marquee Mall in Pampanga. 
 
For more information, please contact the Media Arts Division at 832-1125 loc. 1705, 1712, or visit www.culturalcenter.gov.ph or www.cinemalaya.org. For ticket inquiries, you can call the CCP Box Office at 832-3704.

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