Cover "Quing Lalam Ning Aldo" by Redeen Fajardo / Cinemalaya

The Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival continues to sail on its 16th year with a digital edition slated to run from 07 to 16 August 2020. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the country's biggest independent film festival will now be streamed on Vimeo

Vying for the Best Film award are 10 short films selected out of 244 entries submitted this year. Premiering on 7 August, the films will be available on Vimeo throughout the two-week festival and can be streamed afterwards on iWant and globally on TFC (for viewers abroad).

Premium bundle on Vimeo costs 7.00 USD and available for 1-week streaming only. This includes more than 20 films of the short film exhibition category, 10 short films of the main competition, four (4) full-length independent feature films for this year's Indie Nation section menu, two (2) full-length documentaries selected by award-winning director and screenwriter Clodualdo del Mundo, and eight (8) past acclaimed Cinemalaya films (shorts and full length).

Other content to be included in the coming days of the festival include three (3) new short films, tribute films to the late Peque Gallaga and premier Filipina actress Anita Linda, six (6) acclaimed Asian short films, and a lot more.


Read more: Tatler Review: Cinemalaya 2020's Main Competition Category


An old vinyl record alters a closeted gay man’s life in this film by Janina Gacosta and Cheska Marfori.


Memories catch up as a girl visits a ravaged port city in this hauntingly beautiful short by Joanna Vasquez Arong.


Sonny Calvento's film entry tells the story of a department store sales lady who unearths the ultimate secret to regularisation.


This film by James Robin Mayo is about an employee who overslept and must wake-up from a nightmare.


Martika Ramirez Escobar's entry is about a woman who discovers that her decade-long lover has turned into a cardboard standee.


Hubert Tibi's black-and-white short film entry follows a Bicolano family that turns to religion to make both ends meet.


A transgender sampaguita farmer decides to renovate their neglected kitchen as soon as she hears that her son is going home in this Capampangan film by Redeen Fajardo


Jan Andrei Cobey satirises documentary filmmaking in his entry that follows a film crew who progressively intervenes and trespasses into the lives of a poor family living in the slums as they try to cope with the loss of their TV.


A 1950s mestiza star, trapped inside a television that fell from the sky, dreams up a romantic romp with a Bontoc-Igorot man who does not know how to kiss in this film starred and directed by Carla Pulido Ocampo.


Richard Salvadico and Arlie Sweet Sumagaysay tell the story of a young boy who discovers the ocean as he tries to learn how to dive and fish.


  1. Igib (Fetch) by Joey Paras
  2. Jepoy by Avid Liongoren
  3. Ang Meron sa Wala (Beyond Nothing) by Arby and Christine Laraño
  4. Sakmit by Seph Tan
  5. Dama De Noche by Lawrence Arvin Sibug
  6. Grand Gestures by Cody Abad
  7. Mata by Bryan Kenette Padilla
  8. Si Gloria at si Juan by Galliano Salvador
  9. Tarang (Life’s Pedal) by Arvin Belarmino
  10. Ang Nawalang Haligi (Pillar) by Sarah Mya Regacho
  11. Himagsik ng Hiwaga (Revolt of the Mystic) by Geoffrey Solidum
  12. Paon (Bait) by Seb Valdez
  13. Sumasaiyo, (Yours Truly,) by Jermaine Tulbo
  14. Tahanan by Mick Quito
  15. OctoGod by Shievar Olegario
  16. Kung Saan Patag ang Bundok (Where the Horizon Meets the Mountain) by Dolliete Cristi Mari Echon
  17. Habak (Charm) by Christian Paolo Lat and Mia Salisbury
  18. Gulis (Lines) by Kyle Francisco
  19. Displaced by Aedrian Araojo
  20. Ang Tumuluo by Aldrich Rosano
  21. Buding by Mark Garcia
  22. Saliwat by Jay Palmares


Three short feature films will have their premiere at the Cinemalaya. The films are: Basurero by director Eileen Cabiling, Heneral Rizal by director Chuck Gutierrez, and Nang Em by director Maria S. Ranillo.


Directed by Eileen Cabiling, a fisherman finds himself on a dangerous side gig in Basurero. Wracked with guilt and fear, he searches for a way out. Actor Jericho Rosales will portray the embattled fisherman.


Cinemalaya and Tanghalang Pilipino, the resident theatre company of the Cultural Centre of the Philippines, synergise this year to bring Heneral Rizal to more audiences online. Featuring actor and artistic director of Tanghalang Pilipino, Fernando “Nanding” Josef, the film shows the dying confession of Paciano Rizal about the Philippine revolution to his younger brother Jose. The film is directed by Chuck Gutierrez.


A Visayan short film based on a true story, Nang Em witnesses how an 85-year-old woman from Cebu tries to survive along through the quarantine.  While she sometimes falls into depression and anxiety, she fights through these negativities.  The film will open eyes to a whole understanding of being “old” in the time of “new.”  Veteran actress Gloria Sevilla plays the lead role in this film directed by Maria S. Ranillo.


Featured Asian short films are: Beloved by director Yaser Talebi; The Rooftop by director Avirup Biswas; My Little Goat by director Misato Tomoki; A Japanese Boy Who Draws by director Kawajiri Masanao; I Am American by director Omid Mirzaei; and Salam by director Mohammad Reza Hajigholami Yazdi.

A NETPAC winning film, Beloved is a story of 82-year-old Iranian Firouzeh who lives a life of a herder. The film follows this strong-minded woman in her work across the seasons as she tells the story of her life.  With work and fate as the dominant themes, she makes fervent efforts to get closer to her kids.

In The Rooftop, Abhishek, a psychiatrist and medical officer of the Gandhi Mental Hospital, has rented an apartment near his workplace.  Living opposite his apartment, there is a girl who suffers from mental illness as a result of the sexual assault that happened to her. Abhishek slowly heals her by love.

A dark fantasy inspired by Grimm Fairy Tales, My Little Goat is about a mother goat who tries to help her children who have been eaten by a wolf, but one is still missing. It stars Aimi Fukuhara, Kaori Yamashita and Mizuho Misato.

Portraying the joy and sorrow of being a creator, A Japanese Boy Who Draws is an experimental animation/mockumentary depicting the life of a man who dreams to be a comic writer, told alongside the imagery that develops with him.

The screening of the two Japanese short films is made possible through the partnership with Eiga Sai, the Japanese film festival organised by the Japan Foundation Manila.  For the past years, the Eiga Sai and Cinemalaya have strengthened their ties and have become an allied festival.

Cinemalaya also collaborated with the Iranian Film Festival, another allied festival, to feature two Iranian short films:

Salam is a short fiction story about the boy who makes a religious vow to say hello to 1000 people so that his father, a defender of the Holy Shrine, would come home unscathed. The film highlights the hardship that families of fighters on the front line go through when they are away. 

I Am American narrates the story of an American newsman captured by ISIL who is hoping to be saved by the US army but was saved by Iranian anti-terrorist unit instead.

Selected shorts from the Cine Europa, another allied film festival presented by the European Union, will also be screened. The featured films include: A Sunny Day by director Faouzi Bensaïdi; Hungry Seagull by director Leon Wang; Olmo by Silvio Soldini; and Tuã Ingugu by Daniela Thomas.

Premium bundle of the Cinemalaya Film Festival on Vimeo costs 7.00 USD and available for 1-week streaming only. For more information, visit

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