A recent controversy may have rocked it to its core, but this year’s Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival is shaping up to be its biggest staging in terms of star power.
Major celebrities have signed on to headline many of the entries in the two categories for full-length feature: New Breed (for young and upcoming directors ) and Directors Showcase (for veteran filmmakers).
Judy Ann Santos, Coco Martin, Dawn Zulueta, Eddie Garcia, Iza Calzado, John Lapus, Dennis Trillo, Alessandra de Rossi, Ryza Cenon, JM de Guzman, and Zanjoe Marrudo are only some of the A-list stars and network luminaries who will pit talents with such indie mainstays as Mercedes Cabral, Shamaine Buencamino, Ronnie Lazaro, Pen Medina, Joel Torre, and Nanding Josef.
Also in the mix are mainstream actors who have become indie veterans themselves, namely Mylene Dizon, Jodi Sta. Maria, Agot Isidro, and Janice de Belen.
Recently, Cinemalaya organizers came under heavy fire from many sectors of the film industry for disqualifying one of the New Breed entries over a disagreement with the director’s casting choices.
The selection committee deemed Alan Paule and Joy Viado, known for playing minor supporting roles even in indies, as “unsuitable to the material” after Emerson Reyes, a Cinemalaya winner last year for best short film, insisted on them as his choices for lead actors.
Apparently, Cinemalaya organizers prefer that more mainstream stars lend their cachet to the entries. The introduction of the Directors Showcase category in 2010 has allowed veteran filmmakers to join the festival and convince the mainstream stars to act in a Cinemalaya at a small fraction of their usual talent fees, if not totally for free.
This year’s staging of Cinemalaya, its eighth, appears to be the most star-studded in its history. It is slated for July 20 to 29 in three venues: the Cultural Center of the Philippines, Greenbelt 3, and Trinoma.
Below is the complete list of this year’s entries, their directors, and lead actors:
- Ang Katiwala by Aloy Adlawan: Dennis Trillo, Ronnie Lazaro, Althea Vega, Angelina Kanapi, and Miggs Cuaderno.
- Ang Nawawala by Marietta “Marie” Jamora: Dominic Roco, Felix Roco, Annicka Dolonius, Buboy Garovillo, Mercedes Cabral, Marc Abaya, Jenny Jamora, Alchris Galura, Kelvin Yu (of Itchyworms), and Ms. Dawn Zulueta.
- Aparisyon by Vincent Sandoval: Mylene Dizon, Jodi Sta Maria, Rustica Carpio, Raquel Villavicencio, and Fides Cuyugan-Asencio.
- Dayo by Julius Sotomayor Cena: Che Ramos, Sue Prado, Olga Natividad, Benjamin Sapida, and Aaron Agsalud.
- Diablo by Mes de Guzman: Ama Quiambao, Roeder Camanag, and Arnold Reyes
- Oros by Paul Sta. Ana: Kristoffer King and Kristoffer Martin.
- Requieme by Loy Arcenas: Shamaine Buencamino, Rez Cortez, Paul Jake Paule, and Anthony Falcon.
- Santa Nina by Emmanuel Palo: Coco Martin, Alessandra de Rossi, Angel Aquino, Irma Adlawan, and Anita Linda.
- The Animals by Gino Santos: Albie Casino, Issa Litton, Patrick Sugui, and Dawn Balagot.
- Intoy Syokoy ng Kalye Marino by Lem Lorca: JM de Guzman, Joross Gamboa, and Ryza Cenon.
- Bwakaw by Jun Lana: Eddie Garcia, Armida Siguion-Reyna, Soxie Topacio, Joey Paras, Rez Cortez, Gardo Versoza, Beverly Salviejo, Soliman Cruz, May-i Fabros, Jonathan Neri, Luz Valdez, and Alan Paule, with Princess the dog as “Bwakaw.”
- Kalayaan by Adolfo Alix Jr.: Zanjoe Marrudo, Luis Alandy, Rocky Salumbides, and Thai actor Ananda Everingham.
- Kamera Obskura by Raymond Red: Pen Medina, Joel Torre, Nanding Josef, and Ping Medina
- Mga Mumunting Lihim by Jose Javier Reyes: Judy Ann Santos, Iza Calzado, Agot Isidro, and Janice de Belen; with Gino dela Pena, Lui Manansala, Madeline Nicolas, Roeder Camañag, Albert Guinto, and Cris Lomotan.
- Posas by Lawrence Fajardo: Nico Antonio, Bangs Garcia, Nor Domingo, Jake Macapagal, Art Acuna, Wendy Valdez, Suzette Ranillo, Hector Macaso, Raul Morit, CJ Ramos, Ermie Concepcion, and John Lapus.