Film enthusiasts will again have their fill of Filipino movies of international caliber when the Sinag Maynila 2020 Independent Film Festival screens in selected cinemas from March 17 to 24, 2020. This year marks the sixth edition of the filmfest known for its “Sine Lokal, Pang-International” selections.
Sinag Maynila is the brainchild of globally famous Filipino director Brillante Mendoza and Solar Pictures’ big boss and long-time Filipino cinema advocate Mr. Wilson Tieng.
This year’s Sinag Maynila is the biggest yet as the festival includes five full-length films that are making their Philippine premiere, four of which are world premieres. Also in competition are six documentaries and ten short films, plus a post-production lecture series, a film appreciation symposium, filmmakers’ Fellowship Night, special screenings of world-class films and other activities.
The full-length feature films in competition are He Who is Without Sin by Jason Paul Laxamana, starring Enzo Pineda and Elijah Canlas; The Highest Peak by Arnel Barbarona, starring Dax Alejandro and Mara Lopez; Kintsugi (Beautifully Broken) by Lawrence Fajardo, starring JC Santos and Japanese actress Hiro Nishiuchi; Latay (Battered Husband) by Ralston Jover, starring Lovi Poe, Allen Dizon, Snooky Serna and Mariel de Leon; and Walang Kasarian Ang Digmang Bayan (The Revolution Knows No Gender) by Joselito Altarejos, starring Oliver Aquino, Arnold Reyes, Sandino Martin and Rita Avila.
In Sinag Maynila 2020’s official selection in the documentary section are A Remembering of Disremembering by Cris Bringas, Agos by Jerel Travezonda; Coal Story, Bro by RA Rivera; Kung Saan Ka Happy: An A.D.N. Story by Kimberly Ilaya; Mga Bayaning Ayta by Donnie Sacueza; and Vahay: A Documentary on The Ivatan House by Rica Arevalo.
Selected for the lineup of short films are Ang Kaibigan ni Imaginary F. by Joey Paras; Dasal by Angela Andres; Leave Notes by Yssa Valdes; Nilalang (Of Being and Deceit) by Juan Carlo Tarobal; Pabasa kan Pasyon by Hubert Tibi; Silang Mga Nakatago sa Dilim by Diana Manguiat and Angelica Nitura; Supot by Philip Giordano; Tahanan by Mick Quito; Tarang (Life’s Pedal) by Arvin Belarmino and Patsy Ferrer; and Together by Blasgil Tanquilut.
The festival’s opening ceremonies will be on March 17 featuring the screening of the digitally restored and remastered 1985 Lino Brocka masterpiece, White Slavery. The sexy drama written by Ricky Lee stars Sarsi Emmanuelle, Emily Loren, Jaclyn Jose, and Patrick Dela Rosa.
Another highlight is the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) Film Talks series with two free Post Production Workshops from John Wong of Shutter Post. The first, entitled, “From Computer Screen to The Big Screen” will be held on Wednesday, February 19; and the second entitled “Importance of Color and Power of Sound” will be held on Wednesday, March 4. Venue for both talks will be at the Solar Screening Room in Makati, from 1 to 5 pm.
Part of the FDCP Film Talks is a Film Appreciation Workshop featuring the 44th Metro Manila Film Festival Best Picture Mindanao by Brillante Mendoza to be held on Saturday, March 21, from 1 pm to 5 pm at SM Megamall.
Sinag Maynila 2020 will also focus on promoting filmmaking collaborations between the Philippines and other countries. For this year, the Asian Film Festival (AFF) based in Rome, Italy, will be partnering with Sinag Maynila with an exchange of feature films from the two festivals. AFF’s La paranza dei bambini by Claudio Giovannesi (closing film) and Dafne by Federico Bondi will also be screening at the UP Film Institute’s run of Sinag Maynila. Then, beginning March 25, AFF unveils in Rome and will be opening with Mindanao, then showing some of Sinag Maynila’s notable films as well as some Solar Pictures’ released films.
Finally, winners of the full-length, short film and documentary competitions will be announced at the Gabi ng Parangal to be held on Sunday, March 22.
Sinag Maynila 2020 is made possible through the support of SM Retail, Inc., The Podium Hall, SM, and SM Cinema — official venue partners, and the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP). Special thanks to screening venue partners Cinema 76 Anonas, Cinema 76 San Juan, Cinema Centenario, Gateway, Robinsons Galleria Ortigas, Robinsons Galleria Cebu, Robinsons Magnolia, SM Manila, SM Mall of Asia, SM Megamall, and the UP Film Institute.
With public screenings starting on March 18, the complete screening schedule will be available by March