Since 2011, I am supporting Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival. All through out the years, I witnessed how the festival evolves as it takes out of the box themes and issues that showcases Filipino ingenuity through films. Year after year, the audience become more mature, the film makers become more creative and technically advanced, the Filipino independent film community become more enthusiastic on what the festival will offer. However, Cinemalaya didn't saved itself from controversies as it faced issues last year where films have been uploaded via YouTube and film makers don't have much support as before. This year, the festival organizers decided not to have grants for full length (new breed) films as well as for director's showcase category due to budget constraint. Honestly, I am not used to see the lobby of CCP's main theater not jam packed. Yesterday, August 8, 2015, Saturday, the official start of Cinemalaya week, I was amazed to see only a handful of independent film patrons. Compared last year, the audience dropped significantly.
I admire the organizers for putting films which I can say best sellers from the previous years of the festival. It gives the audience a chance to watch the films if ever they missed the screening before. Sana Dati, Ang Babae Sa Septic Tank, Transit, Posas, Bwakaw, Ekstra and a lot more have been chosen to be part of this year's "Revisited". I also commend the organizers for letting other films to debut or at least be the venue of films like Above the Clouds, Anatomiya ng Pag-ibig, Esprit de Corps, Taklub and Silong to name a few. It was a smart move to do such an act as these movies created buzz even before the directors start shooting it.
Although the organizers opened a wider horizon, I am not a fan of the decision that Asian Films should be included in this year's festival. I fully understand that it helps movie goers widen their perspective and also to know more about other countries' culture but allotting more screening schedule in a bigger venue is a no no. How I wish the organizers gave the slot to FILIPINO films.
Moving forward, It's part of my tradition to assess and rank films which is part of the competition base on my personal criteria; Sound Design, Musical Score, Editing, Cinematography, Production Design, Theme and Originality, Relevance and Over All Impact.
Here's my over all ranking for Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival 2015 Short Film Category (1 being most commendable):
1. Sanctissima by Kenneth Dagatan
Presenting, The #OhOhLeoAwards for #Cinemalaya2015
Best Sound: Mater
Best Original Music Score: Lisyun Qng Geografia
Best Editing: Kyel/ Mater
Best Production Design: Sanctissima/ Pusong Bato
Best Cinematography: Wawa
Best Direction: Sanctissima by Kenneth Dagatan
Best Performance of an Actor: Lead in Kyel
Best Performance of an Actress: Lead in Pusong Bato
Best Film: Sanctissima by Kenneth Dagatan
How about you? What's your favorite? Agree with the ranking? Will you award the films same as mine? Drop your comments below. I love to hear from you!
Note: All films have been evaluated base on the criteria as mentioned above. This ranking and awards are subjective and based on my exposure to different fields of arts. I am just giving my opinion about the festival and how I perceive each films potential.
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