Fresh from winning the Nikkei Prize for Culture and Community, the Cinemalaya Foundation, in partnership with the Cultural Center of the Philippines, celebrates 15 years of introducing independent cinematic works to the Filipino film community. Catch this year's roster on August 2 to 11, 2019 at various venues of the CCP.

The 15th edition of the country's biggest independent film festival goes nationwide through simultaneous screenings on August 7 to 13 at selected Ayala Cinemas and Vista Malls in Manila, Pampanga, Naga and Legaspi in Bicol, Bacolod, Iloilo and Davao. 

Ten full-length films and ten short feature films take the spotlight. The 10 full-length films in competition are: “ANi (The Harvest),” directed By Kim Zuñiga and Sandro Del Rosario; “Belle Douleur (Beautiful Pain),” directed by Joji V. Alonzo; “Children of the River,” directed by Maricel Cabrera–Cariaga; “Edward,” directed by Thop Nazareno; “Fuccbois,” directed by Eduardo Roy Jr; “Iska,” directed by Theodore Boborol; “John Denver Trending,” directed by Arden Rod Condez; “Malamaya (The Color of Ash),” directed by Danica Sta. Lucia and Leilani Chavez; “Pandanggo Sa Hukay,” directed by Sheryl Rose M. Andes; and “Tabon,” directed by Xian Lim.

1 / 10

Belle Douleur

Belle Douleur (Beautiful Pain) tells the story of a woman’s journey of finding happiness as she breaks free from the confines that society puts on women.

GENRE: Drama
CAST: Mylene Dizon, Kit Thompson, Marlon Rivera, Jenny Jamora, Hannah Ledesma

2 / 10

Children of the River

The blissful simplicity of life for four childhood friends comes to a tragic halt when phone calls come late one morning.

GENRE: Drama
CAST: Noel Comia Jr., Junyka Santarin, introducing Dave Justine Francis and Ricky Oriarte. Also Starring: Rich Asuncion, Juancho Trivino, JR Custodio, Elysha Dinn Rasay, with the special participation of Jay Manalo

3 / 10

John Denver Trending

A 14-year-old farmboy’s life is suddenly upended when a video of him brutally attacking a classmate goes viral.

GENRE: Drama
CAST: Meryll Soriano and introducing Jansen Magpusao, with Glenn Mas, Sunshine Teodoro, Sammy Rubido, Vince Philip Alegre, Jofranz Ambubuyog, Christian Alarcon, and more

4 / 10


A pessimistic uninspired middle-aged artist finds spark with a millennial photographer who leads her on a path of creative and sexual reawakening.

GENRE: Drama / Romance
CAST: Sunshine Cruz, Enzo Pineda, Bernadette Allyson, and Ms. Gloria Sevilla, special participation of Raymond Bagatsing

5 / 10


A loving but impoverished grandmother of an autistic child tragicomically loses everything and turns into someone society reckons her to be.

GENRE: Drama
CAST: Ruby Ruiz, introducing Pryle Gura, with Soliman Cruz, Angie Castrence, Ricky Rivero, Jonic Magno, Jomari Angeles, Ana Abad Santos, Jade Lopez, Elora Españo, Cherry Malvar, Sunshine Teodoro, Divine Acuna, with the special participation of RK Bagatsing and Beauty Gonzales

6 / 10


Two friends desperately want to become famous actors but it seems the universe has a different plan for their lives.

GENRE: Suspense / Drama
CAST: Royce Cabrera, Kokoy de Santos, and Ricky Davao

7 / 10


A man's belief in reality is tested when suspects are accused of a crime they say they did not commit.

GENRE: Mystery / Crime
CAST: Christopher Roxas, Ynna Asistio, Benjie Felipe, Lao Rodriguez, Leon Miguel, Menggie Cobarrubias, Dexter Doria, Leon, Richard Manabat, Bapbap Reyes

8 / 10

ANI (The Harvest)

When his grandfather falls ill, an orphaned boy and his malfunctioning robot embark on a quest to look for magical grains that he believes will save the old man’s life.

GENRE: Science Fiction / Coming-of-Age
CAST: Zyren Dela Cruz, Ricky Davao, Miguel Valdes, Anna Luna, Marc Felix,, JM Canlas, Rolando Inocencio, Victor Medina, Mio Maranan, Raphael Robes

9 / 10

Pandanggo Sa Hukay

A small-town midwife’s preparation for a job interview is disrupted by series of unfortunate events.

GENRE: Crime / Drama
CAST: Iza Calzado, Charlie Dizon, Ybes Bagadiong, Acey Aguilar, Diva Montelaba, Star Orjaliza, Sarah Pagcaliwagan-Brakensiek, and Mercedes Cabral

10 / 10


A public hospital serves as a witness to a young boy’s rite of passage when he is stuck to take care of his ailing father.

GENRE: Coming-of-age
CAST: Louise Abuel, Ella Cruz, Dido dela Paz, Elijah Canlas, Manuel Chua


For the short feature main competition, the finalists are: “Disconnection Notice,” directed by Glenn Lowell Forneste Averia; “Gatilyo (Trigger),” directed by Harold Lance Pialdal; “Heist School,” directed by Julius Renomeron Jr; “Hele ng Maharlika (Lullaby of the Free),” directed by Norvin De Los Santos; Kontrolado Ni Girly Ang Buhay N’ya (Girly Is In Control of His Life)” directed by Gilb Baldoza; “Sa Among Agwat (In Between Spaces),” directed by Don Senoc; “Sa Gabing Tanging Liwanag Ay Paniniwala (Belief As The Light In Darkness),” directed by Francis Guillermo; “Tembong (Connecting),” directed by Shaira Advincula; “The Shoemaker,” directed by Sheron Dayoc; and “‘Wag Mo ‘Kong  Kausapin (Please Stop Talking),” directed by Josef Gacutan.

Film enthusiasts can look forward to the exhibition films in the festival's mainstays: Dokyu, the documentary section; Best of the Festivals, which showcases the best films from local festivals; Indie Nation, a special section featuring independent films; Visions of Asia, featuring award-winning Asian and Netpac films.

This year, Cinemalaya brings back the Premiere section, where newly-made films will make their screen debut.  The Retrospective section will feature not only the 2018 Cinemalaya Best Film, Audience Choice and Special Jury Prize winners, but also the best films of Cinemalaya from its inception in 2005.

Cinemalaya will pay tribute to actor Eddie Garcia, actress Armida Siguion-Reyna, and production designer Cesar Hernando – all of them have made significant contributions to the Philippine film industry.

This year, Cinemalaya partners with microcinemas in Metro Manila and in the regions for “Kinse sa Sandaan: Cinemalaya Wave at the Microcinemas.”

On its 31st edition, the Gawad CCP Para sa Alternatibong Pelikula at Video, considered the longest-running independent film competition of its kind in the ASEAN region, will once again harvest the best films which will compete in various categories such as Short Feature/Narrative, Experimental, Documentary and Animation.  Finalists from the different categories, as well as a specially-curated section exhibiting selected participating entries, will be screened on August 3 to 5 at the CCP Tanghalang Manuel Conde (Dream Theater). Awarding rites for the Gawad will be on August 5, 7pm, at the CCP Dream Theater.

The Cinemalaya Campus, a major component of Cinemalaya, expands its reach to the regions.  The Regional Cinemalaya Campus kicks off a one-minute filmmaking competition for students.  Dubbed Short Shorts Competition, it aims to discover, encourage and honor cinematic works of young Filipino talents from Bicol, Western Visayas and Davao City.  The top 10 Shorts Shorts finalists will be screened in Legazpi, Naga, Bacolod, Iloilo and Davao City.

Cinemalaya introduces the Mini-Versity, a new component of the festival which is envisioned to spur interest on filmmaking among the youth.  From August 2 to 11, at the Silangan Hall, those who are interested can have engaging conversations on various aspects of filmmaking with industry practitioners.

The Cinemalaya Awards Night will be held on August 11, 2019, at 7pm, at the Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo (CCP Main Theater).

Since 2005, Cinemalaya has continued to discover, encourage and support the cinematic works of upcoming and veteran Filipino filmmakers who boldly articulate and freely interpret the Philippine experience with fresh insight and artistic integrity.

To date, Cinemalaya has supported and promoted the production of Filipino full feature independent films and short films.  Many of these films have won awards in local and international competitions and festivals. Through the annual festival, Cinemalaya has showcased over 1,000 works by independent filmmakers including full feature films, shorts, documentaries, Filipino film classics, and art films.



For more information about Cinemalaya, visit, and the Cinemalaya Facebook page.  You can call the CCP Film and Media Arts Division at 832-1125 local 1704 & 1712. Tickets and festival passes are available at CCP Box Office, call at 832-3704.