Festivals, Reviews

A Festival in Review: Cinemalaya 2021’s Dokyu Program A

I remember reading once this quote about cinema: “The cinema is truth 24 frames per second.” It felt, to me, like it came from the early Soviet filmmakers, perhaps the person who did Berlin: Symphony of a Metropolis. (The quote comes from Godard, which makes more sense than my first assumption.) Even in a world… Continue reading A Festival in Review: Cinemalaya 2021’s Dokyu Program A

Festivals, Interview

Cinemalaya 2021: Filmmaker Shiri de Leon on trauma, autonomy, and ‘Ang Pagdadalaga ni Lola Mayumi’

Editor's note: Spoilers for Ang Pagdadalaga ni Lola Mayumi ahead. A personal standout in this year’s Cinemalaya Main Competition is Ang Pagdadalaga ni Lola Mayumi, where an old woman recognized as the “Town Virgin” (played brilliantly by Ruby Ruiz) books a motel room and hires a callboy (Julian Roxas). Women-directed films about sex and sexual… Continue reading Cinemalaya 2021: Filmmaker Shiri de Leon on trauma, autonomy, and ‘Ang Pagdadalaga ni Lola Mayumi’

Festivals, Reviews

Cinemalaya 2021: Main Competition Shorts B — Extending the Short Form to Wider Lengths

With the ongoing pandemic still restricting the film industry, there is a stronger need to give an accessible platform for filmmakers to showcase not only their work but also realities that most people may not easily witness today. Films play a much more vital role during these times; as many of us are still confined… Continue reading Cinemalaya 2021: Main Competition Shorts B — Extending the Short Form to Wider Lengths

Festivals, Reviews

Rise of the Short Films: Cinemalaya 2021 Main Competition Set A

Since the lockdown was mandated, it has been difficult for filmmakers to come up with new films. Producing full-length films became more expensive due to COVID-19 safety protocols. This has allowed us to reimagine the landscape of Philippine cinema; with short films previously seen as inferior to full-lengths, the short form has taken over. QCinema,… Continue reading Rise of the Short Films: Cinemalaya 2021 Main Competition Set A

Festivals, Reviews

IFFR 2021: ‘The Witches of the Orients’—Champions Defined by Their History

It is the personal that tells the specific moments lived through by an individual. It is the individual that comprises the society. It is the society that dictates one’s history. It is the history that births an individual. It is the individual that tells the personal. It is the personal that is political. It was… Continue reading IFFR 2021: ‘The Witches of the Orients’—Champions Defined by Their History

Essays, Festivals

Online Film Festivals: A Pandemic Alternative for a Safer Moviegoing Experience

As the film community watched Cannes move its dates multiple times, other festivals scrambled to find a better alternative to continue. Cases were rising everywhere and no one could see the situation get any better in time for the Fall festival circuit. Venice then announced that it will continue with a limited number of films.… Continue reading Online Film Festivals: A Pandemic Alternative for a Safer Moviegoing Experience

Festivals, Reviews

IFFR 2021—The Reimagined Academy We Dream: Reflections on ‘Manifesto’

We had rules in school. Rules that don’t make sense. I had to follow them. Having a grade below 85 would remove you from the honors list. I didn’t graduate with honors even after reaching the required grade. It made me sad, I lost my self-esteem; everything went downhill. The worse thing: I’m not the… Continue reading IFFR 2021—The Reimagined Academy We Dream: Reflections on ‘Manifesto’

Festivals, Reviews

‘Judas and the Black Messiah’: A Powerful Film with the Best Performances of the Year

Judas and the Black Messiah is a film from a rising Black director, starring two of the most talented Black actors in Hollywood, about one of the most prominent figures of the Black Panther Party: Fred Hampton. As someone who isn’t American, I knew very little about the Black Panther Party other than their open… Continue reading ‘Judas and the Black Messiah’: A Powerful Film with the Best Performances of the Year

Festivals, Reviews

Sundance 2021: ‘Flee’—A Beautiful Documentary Dealing with a Man’s Journey to Freedom and Identity

It starts with Amin finally telling his story to his filmmaker friend, the documentary’s director, under the condition that his name and the places mentioned are changed to conceal his identity. This led to the choice of telling this story through animation, with some mix of archival footage. Rasmussen and Amin knew each other when… Continue reading Sundance 2021: ‘Flee’—A Beautiful Documentary Dealing with a Man’s Journey to Freedom and Identity

Festivals, Reviews

Sundance 2021: ‘Try Harder!’—An Electrifying Documentary that Captures the Life of Overachieving Students

What’s amazing about high school-centric documentaries is that we all went through what the subjects are going through, so we already have this affinity towards them. Debbie Lum’s Try Harder! captures the life of seniors attending a top magnate public school in San Francisco as they prepare for the next step in their academic life.… Continue reading Sundance 2021: ‘Try Harder!’—An Electrifying Documentary that Captures the Life of Overachieving Students