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BAGAHE by Zig Dulay bagged 3 awards at the Festival International du Film Transsaharien de Zagora in Morocco! The award-winning Cinemalaya 2017 film took home the Best Actress award for Angeli Bayani and the Critic's Special Mention and People's Choice Award! Congratulations, Direk Zig! 🎬
Cinemalaya is almost here—that great time of the year where local filmmakers’ are given the spotlight. The final list of full feature films to be shown this year was already announced and we are more than excited to see these new creations. But for now, let’s look back at previous Cinemalaya entries which have helped secure the good name of the local film festival. These movies show issues that are not often discussed in mainstream media, and we particularly love them for their inclusive cast. To hype ourselves up more for the upcoming event, we list down female-led films that were not only recognized here, but abroad too.
Denise O’Hara’s Mamang is about an elderly woman who struggles against dementia to be with her son Ferdie. The more she grapples with her worsening, she starts getting “haunted by the ghosts of her past. In the end, she is forced to decide between staying sane or letting her mind go in what has now become a labyrinth of memories.”
It bagged the Best Feature Film award in the Dhaka International Film Festival held in Bangladesh. Mamang bested 28 other films under the Women Filmmakers Section of the festival. In November 2018, the film also competed in the International Competition Section of the 40th Cairo International Film Festival in Egypt.
Inspired by stories told to him as a child, director Aurelius Solito’s film, Busong, is a social commentary on the deteriorating environmental conditions of his hometown, Palawan. It tells the the story of a woman born with severe wounds on her feet “and cannot step on the earth.” Carried by her brother in a hammock, they travel across Palawan to find a healer, and meet people along the way.
The Cinemalaya-funded film which debuted in the country in 2011, won the International Federation of Film Critics (FIPRESCI) International Critics Prize at the Eurasia International Film Festival (EIFF) held in Almaty, Kazakhstan. It also premiered to a standing ovation at the Cannes Directors’ Fortnight.
Produced by multi-awarded entrepreneur and educator Dr Carl Balita, and directed by Lem Lorca, Maestra tells the true story of an aspiring teacher who managed to make her mark in the Aeta community despite great struggles.
Anna Luna, who played Licensure Exam for Teachers topnotcher Lah Serasp was awarded the Best Lead Actress at the 2017 Five Continents International Film Festival in Venezuela, and another nomination at the 2018 Philadelphia Independent Film Awards [PIFA].
Meanwhile, the film emerged as the winner of Best Screenplay in the 2017 Five Continents International Film Festival in Venezuela. It was also an official selection in Sydney International film Festival, Warsaw International Film Festival (Ohio), Facine Intetnational Film Festival (Los Angeles) and NPS International Children Film Festival (India).
Directed by Zig Dulay, Bagahe is about an OFW named Mercy, who is suspected of abandoning a newborn child in a trash bin of an airplane toilet. The film shows what happens to her while being investigated. “The film not only examines Mercy’s situation, but it also makes the inventory of the Philippines’ social institutions,” Dulay said in the film brief. “We try to understand both why mothers abandon their children and how a country can be so little attentive to the fate of its workers abroad.”
The 2017 Cinemalaya entry bagged the top award in the 2018 Festival des Cinémas d’Asie de Vesoul (Vesoul International Film Festival of Asian Cinema) held in Vesoul, France.
Percival Intalan’s film centers around Liza, played by Iza Calzado, a woman who is still in mourning following the death of the love of her life, when she receives an unlikely visit from her husband. “With no questions asked and no conditions made,” she was invited back to her husband and their two children’s lives after being apart for five years.
While it still has yet to bag international awards, it did compete under the Asian Cinema Competition section of the Bengaluru International Film Festival (BIFFES), as well as the 2019 Roze Filmdagen Film Festival in Amsterdam.
Photo courtesy of Cinemalaya’s Instagram account
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