I don’t get to watch Filipino indie films as much as I want. Having lived and studied in Laguna most of my life, my only chance to see indie films were when they show it in Elbi. I remember watching only 2 full-length indie films in college: Kubrador and Manoro. I didn’t understand both. Haha! But when I attended a screening in UPLB of multiple indie films about kids (Andong‘s my favorite!), I decided to watch as many indie films as I can.
When I finally moved to Makati for my first (and current huhu) job, I thought I’d have more time to attend indie film screenings. That didn’t go according to plan. Though I had all the chances in the world, I have failed to go to screenings. But this year, I made plans with friends to attend the opening night of Cinemalaya and I’m glad our plans pushed through! Well, they’re regular attendees, anyway, and I just tagged along.
We braved the harsh weather and trekked our way to CCP. Jinky, Kimpee and Sarah were already there, and Ate Marco, Ayessa and I arrived later. I was just glad to arrive whole at CCP, wet, but whole. It was my second time at CCP and I felt as if my drenched self was a bit out of place. The place was lovely, of course.
We didn’t get to see the opening program but we were just in time for Laurice Guillen’s introductory speech of Mario O’Hara’s Babae sa Breakwater. I enjoyed the film but it gave me mini-heart attacks every other scene. It was just incredibly intense and incredibly depressing, too. I guess that’s what a movie reflecting the lives of millions of Filipinos can do to you. I talked more about it here.
After the movie, we saw tons of celebrities in the lobby. We had a picture taken with Sir Lou Veloso who was in the film. Laurice Guillen was doing an interview so we didn’t have the guts to approach her. I heard Tita Gretchen and Tito Tony Boy were there, too, but I missed them. Huhu.
There’s also a little gallery displaying the posters and behind-the-scene photos of the Cinemalaya films. The posters are exceptional, okay. This is one of the many striking differences of indie and mainstream movies. Mainstream films focus on the actors and actresses when creating the poster while posters for indie films focus on the content and symbolism. This is why the posters can speak for the film. This is why the posters are art in itself.
I had a great time last Friday night mostly because I got to watch a movie for free and I saw tons of famous people. It was my first time to attend the opening of Cinemalaya, and I really hope that I’d get to do it every year.
I do wish that I’d get to watch at least two of the movies. I’m no longer a student so I won’t get a discount. Paying the full price isn’t exactly cheap but it’s something I’m willing to pay. Not for all movies, though, since I’m not rich or anything. I am most interested on seeing Ang Nawawala, Kalayaan, Kamera Obskura, and Intoy Syokoy. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that my schedule (feeling busy!) would allow me to see the four films. But I doubt it.
Anyway, check out Ate Marco’s compilation of some of the Cinemalaya films’ trailers. You can view the screening schedule here.