If you miss last year’s entries or just want to re-live the experience of watching them, this is your chance as the 2021 Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival presents the award-winning films in the Retrospective, streaming on ktx.ph starting August 6, 3pm. The ticket is priced at Php150. This Cinemalaya section features 6 short films – Tokwifi by Carla Pulido-Ocampo, Living Things by Martika Ramirez Escobar, Pabasa Kan Pasyon by Hubert Tibi, Ang Pagpakalma sa Unos by Joanna Vasquez Arong, Quing Lalam Ning Aldo by Reeden Fajardo, and Excuse Me Miss, Miss, Miss by Sonny Calvento. Tokwifi narrates the story of a 1950s mestiza star who was trapped inside a television. The star falls from the sky and dreams up a romantic romp with a Bontok Igorot man who does not know how to kiss. The film won the 2020 Cinemalaya Best Film for its highly original take on love between two persons coming from different eras and worlds, and how modernity and tradition could best be bridged by common humanity.
Living Things is about a woman who discovers that her decade-long lover has turned into a cardboard standee. Bagging the Best Director award, director Escobar has effectively orchestrated the resources of cinema in its whimsical yet convincing tale of how two people in love confront the challenges of change by even more love and devotion.
Director Hubert Tibi won the Best Screenplay for his film Pabasa kan Pasyon, which follows a Bicolano family that turns to religion to make both ends meet. A moving tale of mother and son struggling to survive amid the sounds and sights of lent in the Philippine countryside, the short film has been screened in the Court Metrage section of the 2021 Cannes Film Festival.
Ang Pagpakalma sa Unos, which received the Cinemalaya Special Jury Prize, has been making the rounds in various film festivals. The film is known for its moving account through the eyes of a child of the ravages wrought by the strongest typhoon ever recorded in human history, its poignant poetry losing none of the event’s immediacy and tragedy.
The tale of a transgender sampaguita farmer who decides to renovate their neglected kitchen as soon as she hears that her son is going home won the hearts of the viewers, bagging the People’s Audience Choice Award for Quing Lalam Ning Aldo.
Completing the list is Excuse Me Miss, Miss, Miss, which is about a department store sales lady who unearths the ultimate secret to regularization. The fantasy comedy short film was the first Filipino short film to compete in the Sundance Film Festival.
The Cinemalaya Retrospective is part of the country’s largest indie film festival, happening on August 6 to September 5, 2021. For more information, visit the CCP and Cinemalaya websites and follow the official CCP and Cinemalaya social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.